New Delhi, Oct. 22: Rahul Gandhi today decisively addressed the concern about the Congress being a “divided house” in Chhattisgarh by accommodating all senior leaders on the campaign committee and giving prominence to former chief minister Ajit Jogi without giving him the reins, a balancing act that was necessary to control factionalism in the party.
Jogi, who was sulking till very recently and gave credence to the theory that the BJP would sail through easily because of irreconcilable positions within the Congress, wanted the high command to send out a subtle message that he was in command. He thought the message could be sent out by making him the chairman of the party’s campaign committee.
But Rahul knew Jogi’s explicit projection would entail negative fallouts and definitely annoy other factions including PCC chief Charan Das Mahant and hence, he worked out a middle path.
Although the chairman’s post was given to veteran Moti Lal Vora, Jogi was made the convener of the committee. The 85-year-old Vora, who is completely tied up in Delhi because of his job as the party’s treasurer, will remain a symbolic head as Jogi will handle the committee for all practical purposes.
Yesterday, the party had given ticket to Jogi’s son Amit and wife Renu in a clear indication of a patch-up amid fears that the family could sabotage the election if sidelined.
But Rahul showed both tact and toughness in resolving the crisis: while he firmly dealt with Jogi and ensured that he put no preconditions, he also responded to his concerns and restored his credibility within the party.
Senior leaders attach great significance to this development, arguing that accommodating Jogi without yielding to his demands is the best formula at election time.
Jogi couldn’t have asked for more and now Rahul will hold him responsible for any mishap as the party gears up to regain power in a state that was once considered an impregnable Congress fortress.