A few days ago the Congress party folded its hand in the upcoming assembly election in Nagaland when it was reported that the party was struggling to find candidates for the state elections.
The party workers’ lack of enthusiasm, shortage of resources and organisational weakness was blamed for such a muted response. Further as per a Congress functionary overseeing the party’s preparations for the state’s polls, owing to the lack of candidates the party was planning on contesting just 20-25 seats out of a total 60. In the end, the party fielded 23 candidates.
The embarrassment for the party though doesn’t end here and it has now been reported that a severe cash crunch has forced the party to withdraw 5 candidates leaving a mere 18 in the fray. Those who withdrew are Limawati Jamir from Aonglenden constituency, Hobeto Kiba from Zunheboto, Shami Angh of Longleng, Choakpa Konyak fielded from Tobu and Aimong Lam who stood from Noklak.
As claimed in the report, this was done due to a lack of financial resources in the party, and as per an unnamed Congress leader, it (Congress party) has realised that not a lot can be done (in the state), rendering them reluctant to spend the cash.
Kewe Khape Therie, the Nagaland Congress president, has claimed that the All India Congress Committee cannot fund them and this was conveyed via the party’s general secretary in-charge of the northeast, CP Joshi, who has been accused of a lack of interest in his role.
Reports have also alleged that the Congress has been starved of cash for long and it was admitted to by the party leaders during 2014 general elections.
This raises the question as to why is the Congress now being so careful with its finances even though the so called cash crunch has been visible from 2014?
Has the ascension of Rahul Gandhi as a party president, ushered in a new era of fiscal prudence or is the party penny pinching owing to these lack of funds, to be in contention for a strong push in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
If the former is true, then the question might be asked as to why hasn’t Rahul Gandhi inculcated the same fiscal prudence in his personal life, brought into question when he was recently accused of flaunting his “riches”, by wearing an approximately Rs 63,000 Burberry jacket while campaigning in Meghalaya.
If the latter is true, then does it mean that the nation is witnessing the shrinkage of the Congress party in terms of its national presence and if its misfortune continues, might end up reducing itself to specific pockets of the country.