Hyderabad: “There are two kinds of light - the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.”
Lord Gautama Buddha standing tall amidst the murky waters of Hussain Sagar might be thinking in suspicion that the ongoing politics within the Telangana Congress is murkier than the waters surrounding him.
In the stench arising out of murky waters of Hussain Sagar is also found the odor of politics over protracted problem of inconsistency and a tendency to shoot itself in the foot with the manner the Congress has done politics in the state both pre and post-bifurcation.
Telangana is an important and complicated constituency for the Congress, with the TRS establishing itself as invincible force and BJP aggressively looking to expand its footprints in the fledgling state, it is a turf the party has to protect if it wants to stay relevant.
And, more importantly, it is the only turf across the country, where the Congress has every conceivable chance, to regain its glory.
Since its loss in 2014 elections, despite conceding Telangana, there has been no brainstorming session and no large scale changes or simply there was no effort to revive the party in the state.
No media strategy to take on KCR– this has been instrumental in building KCR, as has been his effort to connect with the grassroots workers to boost their morale.
What has been in display in the period after the general election debacle is the battle between “the grumbling old guard and the team that Rahul wants to build for himself”.
All these days, the Telangana leadership is left to fight its own existence without any cohesiveness in its ranks, the AICC leadership, like an Ostrich, has been burying its head in the sand, hoping that time would dilute the crisis before it.
The real problem is that the high-command is bankrupt of ideas while the old mental model of politics are continued to be banked upon. There is total unwillingness to bypass traditional political structures. When compared to KCR’s method of politics, Congress looked outdated and disconnected.
Thus, the ongoing “Bus Yatra” is both a realization that it needs to do something different and a sort of “signalling existential” effort to revive the sagging morale of the party in the state.
So far so good. But to assume that the road to revival of the party and initiative for course correction will be easy is to expect too much.
Where does the party begin the repair, if at all it is serious about it?
It is so broken everywhere that repair work won’t help any more.
There is no leadership at the top, the self-serving middle level leadership is perennially trapped in factional fights as it kept nursing CM ambitions and is busy checkmating its peers, instead of taking on the TRS.
It lacks intellectual clarity on almost every subject of public importance.
In the face of this lack of clarity, it was TRS chief KCR who is walking away with the accolades, embarrassing the Congress at its every move.
The leadership in their greed to stake claims for Chief Ministership, ignored the fact that they first have to vanquish KCR, who has been pulling rabbits out of his hat to remain in the good book of the people.
With the BJP making aggressive moves, the Congress is nowhere getting to occupy an anti-TRS space.
The BJP has been positioning itself as an alternative to TRS, punching above its weight.
The lack of strong local leadership who can match KCR and Modi in all their moves makes the Congress difficult to present itself as an alternative before Telangana electorate.
Moreover, Congress needs to understand that the ongoing spat between TRS and BJP is nothing but a bravado and ploy and result of an understanding between Modi and KCR to divert whole political attention of Telangana between the two of them and make Congress a side-kick watching the whole tamasha.
The state of affairs in Telangana for Congress is akin to have caught in the quagmire of its own making.
So, therefore, to hope that the Congress would eventually be in a position to take on KCR and Modi, as an alternative force, with revived energy , in whatever political equations that might emerge, in the run up to the 2019 assembly elections, under its prevailing predicament, is anything, but delusion.
Unless, it manages to rally the ongoing people’s issues into its ideological struggles, Congress would remain licking its own wounds for its eternity.
Well, by conceding Telangana through a bungled strategy, Congress shed a light which turned out to be a glare that obscured its political fortunes in the state.