Published On : Tue, Aug 2nd, 2016

Rural Congress shows signs of new life but with ‘low heartbeats’

Rajendra Mulak, Mukul Wasnik and Sunil Kedar
The drubbing in Lok Sabha (Ramtek constituency) and Assembly elections in Nagpur District had virtually left Congress party “lifeless.” The District President and the local leaders from Delhi went ‘inactive’ and preferred to sit at their homes since then out of humiliation. However, the appointment of a new District Congress Committee President, it seems, enthused a new life into the party but low heartbeats. The enthusiasm is still lacking as internal bickering is causing a concern among old guards and well-wishers of the party. Hoping against hope is that everything will be alright with the time.

The appointment of new DCC President had witnessed a tug-of-war among two groups of the party in the district. The “contest” had pushed the top leaders from the State as well as Delhi on the edge. Finally, after widespread discussions, the post was bestowed on Rajendra Mulak, a diehard supporter of Mukul Wasnik. But the appointment of Mulak had left Saoner MLA Sunil Kedar, who too was aspiring to grab the post, sulking, silently. The outcome was “boycott” of charge taking ceremony of Mulak by the sulking Kedar amidst round and rounds of speculations and talk over his next move. Had there been consultations among the two claimants of the post the appointment would have been easier. The Congress party would have been rejuvenated.

According to some Congress workers, the gap between the President and the workers is wide and deep. Bridging the gap is necessary for the good of the party as well as party men.

Mulak, in the last Assembly elections, had expressed his desire to his supporters to contest the Ramtek seat. However, this “desire” took the Ramtek Assembly constituency by ‘storm’ and sparked reactions of varying nature. Now, he has become the DCC President, the bewildered Ramtek Congressmen fear he will ‘usurp’ the ticket for the next Assembly polls. Many of the local top Congressmen have avoided to even meet Mulak. They say that Kedar would be a winning candidate and not Mulak.

Parallel Congress group on the anvil?
According to sources, supporters of Kedar in the district have started pressuring him to contest the next Assembly elections by floating an independent group. Kedar usually does not buckle under pressure. But if Kedar floats an independent group and fights the poll, a few diehard workers and leaders only could ensure the party “alive and kicking.” Kedar is an old hand in creating independent group and capturing power. Now, it is to be seen what role the Congress leaders play in this confusing situation. NMC elections in the district are coming. Thereafter the crucial Zilla Parishad polls. The outcome of NMC poll is likely to shadow the ZP election.

– Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha ( )