All in the family

via published on November 12, 2008

One of the general secretaries of the Congress Party, Margaret Alva, has resigned from her post. Considered a member of the ‘coterie’ close to Sonia, it is a strange predicament for her. Alva might be feeling hard done by for making the allegation that the Congress party has ‘sold’ tickets during the last Assembly elections. Along with the allegation, she asked another awkward question, ‘why my son was denied a ticket, when the party has shown indulgence to family members?’ It is not known whether the order for disciplinary proceedings was issued for the ‘allegation’ or for the ‘question’!


What ever said and done, having known the ‘family’, which owns the party for the last sixty years, she must not have asked such a question demeaning the inviolability of that family. Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sachin Pilot have entered politics only after the demise of their fathers. Moreover, they have developed a sort of friendship with the ‘scion’ of the Nehru family, who is trying to ‘rediscover’ the India, which was ‘discovered’ by his great grandfather. Margaret Alva must have at least done the wise thing of asking her son to be friendly with Rahul. Having been experienced for more than three decades, she must have understood the ‘culture’ of her party.

Alva’s questions have not only put the Congress in trouble, but have also opened an interesting debate on yet another electoral aspect, which would defame the world’s largest democracy. Though all parties’ high commands do not indulge in selling tickets, it is no secret that tickets are offered only to those, who have either caste strength or cash power. Here in Tamilnadu the Dravidian land, aspiring candidates are required to fund the party’s treasury and the DMK is very famous for such a practice. Issuing a party dictat that the aspiring candidates must pay a certain amount as election fund

cannot be termed as ‘selling’ tickets. But, it seems in Karnataka, the grand old party has actually sold tickets for a price!

Now this calls for the attention of the Election Commission. The allegation has not come from an ordinary party functionary, but from a senior leader and general secretary, who had been refused a ticket. So, the Election Commission ought take suo motu cognizance of the statement and act accordingly. It must also take into consideration the ugly ‘cash for vote’ scam, which happened inside the parliament executed by the congress party, shaming the entire nation in the international arena.

The problem with the grand old party is that, it has pushed itself into an unenviable position, thanks to its culture of sycophancy and dependence on Nehru family. The party has been reduced to being a ‘family concern’. At the time of freedom movement, the party comprised a number of stalwarts of impeccable character, who sacrificed their all including their wealth for the sake of the country. Baring a term of five years under the presidentship of former Prime MinisterP V Narasimha Rao, the party has been dancing to the tunes of the family, which has considered not only the party, but also the nation itself as its own fiefdom.   

Many other parties except the ‘Left’ front and the ‘Right’ BJP have become family concerns, either ‘own’ or ‘adopted’, which is a mockery of democracy. Right from ‘presidentship’ to ‘candidature’ the inner-party democracy is required to be debated and streamlined in such a way that true democracy prevails ultimately.


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