Tough times for Congress after veterans’ demise

New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) The Congress is again facing a crisis as in a short span of time, the party has lost two veterans – Ahmed Patel and Motilal Vora too passed away on Monday.
In her condolence message, party chief Sonia Gandhi said “Shri Motilal Vora’s demise has left a huge void that would be difficult to fill. His life is a shining example of public service and unparalleled commitment to the Congress ideology. We will always miss his guidance and his selfless service. My heartfelt condolences to the family.”
Vora, 93, served as party treasurer for a long time. As the Congress is facing an internal pushback from a group of 23 leaders, the demise of Patel and Vora is a setback to the party and the Gandhis as well.
The likes of Vora who were dedicated to the Congress as P. Chidambaram pointed out, “Few have served the Congress party with such total devotion and loyalty for so long and so selflessly. His work ethic is a quality that every Congress worker should imbibe and practise.”
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “He was a true Congress leader with a lot of administrative and political experience.”
The Congress in this difficult time needed veterans to run the party smoothly and also to use their experience in taking on political situations and as well as pacifying the differences. The Congress first lost Sheila Dikshit last year followed now by Patel, Tarun Gogoi in Assam and Vora.
The old hands which Congress have now is Kamal Nath, Amarinder Singh, Ashok Gehlot, A.K. Antony, Virbhadra Singh, and Ghulam Nabi Azad, who all have considerable political experience but barring a few most of them are confined to their home states.
The Congress may give a chance to Kamal Nath and Gehlot to play a major role in Delhi but sources say Gehlot is not keen on leaving Rajasthan.
The Congress’ new hands are not adept in handling the situation like in Bihar as the veterans can do. While the art of reaching out is not the only art but Vora was instrumental in reaching out to Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav simultaneously as he had been Governor of UP and shared good relations with them.
Vora’s native state Chhattisgarh has declared a three-day state mourning from December 21 to 23. The state government has decided to perform the last rites of Vora with full state honours.

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