The Congress seems intent on undermining strong regional leaders, as seen in Punjab
Opportunists without any convictions might be used for particular roles in a party’s strategy, but handing over the command to such a turncoat shows the complete bankruptcy of the Congress and an insult to those who fight the long battle. The misplaced assertion of authority by the Gandhis in riding roughshod over the CM and MPs, is a repeat of the old mistakes that pushed regional satraps out of its fold. Mamata Banerjee, Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy are outstanding political minds who command power in their respective States as CMs of West Bengal, Assam and Andhra Pradesh. They felt suffocated in the durbar politics of the Congress, in which Mr. Sidhu has flourished. Strong regional leaders deliver results but also behave in an assertive and even authoritarian manner, as it appears to be the case with Mr. Singh. But then, humiliating them is no way to rein them in. Now that the deed has been done, perhaps the Gandhis will explain to the party workers what their rationale is, and what they expect Mr. Sidhu to deliver. In the absence of a convincing explanation, the only message is that the high command would stoop low to promote any court jester to undercut a leader who builds any independent standing. If Mr. Sidhu is the future of the Congress, that future appears bleak at this point.
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