Sonia Gandhi has a major problem. She cannot take either victory or defeat gracefully. In defeat, she slips; in victory she loses head. A combination of the two happened in the recently concluded Assembly polls.
It proved all pundits wrong. The biggest gainer was the BJP. It was equally psychological and the results silenced the prophets of doom, who shrieked that the BJP cannot recover from the great defeat of the May Lok Sabha election.
Much of the credit for the BJP resurrection should go to the party president, L.K. Advani'spatient networking of the party machinery. The BJP fought as one man in Jharkhand, and came out in flying colours. A sure defeat was turned into a major victory. Similarly, the NDA notched up the highest number of seats, both in Bihar and Jharkhand. A little understanding with Om Prakash Chautala'sLJP could have arrested the Congress march even in Haryana.
The result however, stopped Sonia Gandhi and the communists on their track. The CPM hardly opened its account in these states. It proved a liability to its allies, their loud talk of secular front and secular victory notwithstanding.
In defeat, the Congress managed only nine seats each in Jharkhand and Bihar?Sonia and her cronies tried to grab power through the Congress lackeys in Raj Bhawans. The operation was successfully tried in Panaji three weeks ago, and the same was sought to be repeated in Ranchi and Patna.
But in Ranchi, it boomeranged, what with the entire nation standing up as one, in outrageous revulsion. It was a well thought out stratagem of the coterie to deny power to BJP everywhere, only that this round it misfired.
The besmirched image of the UPA chairperson, her exalted pretension of high-sounding sacrifice, stood exposed before the world. Now the party managers are busy looking for a scapegoat. Suddenly, the Jharkhand Governor, Syed Sibte Razi is being blamed for not following the rule book. Even the Congress allies have lost their voice, denying their role in the Raj Bhawan coup.
It was that same lot, which twenty-four hours before, was daring even to split or defect from the BJP, if necessary, to prove a majority. It was as a quid pro quo with the RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, who was insisting on Congress reciprocity in Patna, that the Congress managed RJD support in Ranchi. The BJP leaders had informed the Prime Minister of the dirty tricks being played by the Governors, both in Panaji and Ranchi, but the entire script was being monitored from 10, Janpath, by Sonia'shandpicked men. The Prime Minister either pretended helplessness, or ignorance. But for all of them, the top priority was to protect Sonia. They claimed that the high command was angry, was not in the know, and the party chief wanted Governors to follow the Constitution. Pray, what else were they supposed to follow?
Thus, the new mantra from Sonia'sapologists is that she wants her men to follow the Constitution. A few months ago, the catch phrase was the ?law should take its course?, as in the case of Kanchi Shankaracharyas, one would add! For Sonia, Jharkhand was an aborted coup.
The men who frustrated the Sonia game were L.K. Advani, Venkaiah Naidu, Arun Jaitley, Pramod Mahajan and Rajnath Singh. It was a counter-coup carried with alacrity, dexterity and finesse. It was a master strategy to transport all MLAs to Delhi, and without losing any time to present them before the President and the Press.
The Congress had to retract. Democracy is not safe with Congress. Its dictatorial streak is too well known to be repeated. The nation has to be on constant guard against the evil designs of the Congress-communist gang. Given half a chance, they will hijack both democracy and Constitution.