Editorial

Editorial: Not in Tandem

Last week, there was much talk about Congress party’s austerity drive, and still hotter controversy over Union Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor’s twitter saying – in response to party’s call for ministers to travel economy class – that he would travel ‘cattle class’. Well, now that matter is settled with UPA chairperson Sonai Gandhi clearly telling Tharoor ‘No More Controversy!’, it’s no mystery to aam admi that the issue was blown out of proportion for a mere reason of capitalizing on a political point at a time when party high command has image building measures at top priority.

Though Tharoor’s twitter, even if humorous without any serious meaning intended as he had clarified, cannot be overlooked, the way Congressmen went about asking for his neck this past week clearly indicates that there is a lack of uniformity of understanding on party’s measures of image building between high command and the party rank and file. High command tried not to confront the ‘Cattle Class’ issue, a section of leaders successfully politicized it until first PM tried to play it down and then Sonia eventually wrapped it up.

Though Tharoor’s twitter, even if humorous without any serious meaning intended as he had clarified, cannot be overlooked, the way Congressmen went about asking for his neck this past week clearly indicates that there is a lack of uniformity of understanding on party’s measures of image building between high command and the party rank and file.

It’s within anybody’s caliber to decipher whatever Tharoor wrote, it was most likely a joke in a bad taste, rather than an attempt to offend anybody. The noisy Congressmen seemed not more than trying to be in good books of public as well as high command instead of really approaching the issue but took the wrong route.

What’s most surprising that have come out of this whole austerity drive is that not just once, even a single Congressmen mooted genuine concerns about austerity raised by a section of media, or perhaps, they tried to conceal them with a veil of Tharoor’s remarks. No Congressmen raised concerns about corruption, about ministers and MPs’ overspending and overstay in exorbitant bungalows in National Capital’s posh area, about aam admi’s inability to have an access to high profile ministers and netas, about the real austerity that is not for show or demonstration but about that part of lives of politicians which is not visible to public.

Obviously, all these Congressmen were not actually concerned about aam admi when they took up the issue. The whole Tharoor Episode which they used to put a veil to austerity drive’s real value and to divert the direction of discussion from it is shocking to people and not a good sign for the party.

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