Is Cong digging its grave ?

| 13 June 2001 22:39 IST

How the Congress should not help the BJP to come to power ?

The high command is still in search of a practical answer to this crucial question. It is also haunting the minds of the loyal Congressmen in Goa, where the Congress had once ruled uninterruptedly for a decade.

A non-entity till 1994 polls in Goan politics, the saffron party is today ruling the tourist state, thanks to the series of defections by the Con(g)men, either to join the BJP or join hands with them to share power.

"The high command is working out a package to take care of the problems", assures Veerappa Moily, the Congress observer and former Karnataka chief minister. He however declines to elaborate, though admits that internal bickering is the cause of it.

Going a step ahead, Ram Niwas Mirdha, another party leader, frankly admits that the Congress is responsible to bring the BJP to power in Goa. "We are trying to unite all the partymen", he claims, following a state convention they attended here on Tuesday.

But these empty assurances were proved to be a hoax, when two former chief ministers - Francisco Sardinha and Churchill Alemao - clashed at the convention, accusing each other for hobnobbing with the BJP.

"Had it not been the greed of some of our leaders who left the Congress to form a coalition, the BJP would have never come to power", observed Alemao, indirectly accusing Sardinha.

Though the Congress was voted to power in 1999 elections, 11 Congressmen led by Sardinha had then split from the then ruling party within five months, to form a coalition government along with 10-member BJP in the 40-member House.

The honeymoon however lasted for only 11 months as the BJP withdrew its support while 10 more greedy politicians split from the Congress and the splinter groups, to form a full-fledged BJP government by joining the saffron brigade.

"He is supporting the BJP government while remaining in the Congress", Sardinha accused Alemao at the convention. Along with the former, at least seven defectors have staged a homecoming. Forgiving their 'sin', the high command has also embraced them wholeheartedly.

Two of them - Somnath Zuwarkar and Mauvin Godinho - were even arrested in connection with a bank scam and power rebate scam, damaging image of the party further.

Mirdha now claims that the Congress would work towards ending the BJP rule in Goa, obviously by admitting more defectors into the party fold. "The internal contradictions within the BJP will make it happen", he adds.

The national leader however prefers to evade a direct reply to the question why the party should remain united if the high command continues rewarding the defectors by admitting them and even giving tickets during elections.

It appears that more than putting an end to the ayaram-gayaram politics, the Congress is desperate to come back to power, no matter it erodes the party image further among the masses, advantage the Bharatiya Janata Party.

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