On August 8, when Congress veteran, Ahmed Patel, was fighting a fierce battle in Ahmedabad for the Rajya Sabha seat, his colleague, Jairam Ramesh, was preaching that the party faced an ‘existential crisis’. He said that it needed a ‘collective effort’ to overcome the Modi-led BJP. This can’t be accidental, coming as it did from Ramesh. Congress insiders revealed that Ramesh and his coterie are at loggerheads with the all-powerful Patel. The former is reportedly fighting a war to step into Patel’s shoes. The way the Congress politics operates, only the likes of Ramesh have a future. He has little interaction with the Congress, its workers and the aam aadmi. He belongs to the elitist group of leaders, for whom the ‘Congress’ means 10, Janpath. After completing his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US, he joined Luv Raj Kumar, who headed the Bureau of Industrial Costs and Pricing. When Abid Husain joined the Planning Commission, Ramesh became an advisor. Rajiv Gandhi’s friends never allowed the latter to join the coterie. So when Vishwanath Pratap Singh became the PM, Ramesh joined him as an OSD. He came in contact with an influential Industrial house of Mumbai, which was unable to breach the political fort of VP Singh. Since then, he is among the top loyalists of the business house. When PV Narasimha Rao became the PM, Ramesh joined him as the OSD, but Rao ejected him from the system. When Atal Bihari Vajpayee came to power, there was a rumour that he was in touch with then BJP’General Secretary Govindacharya and might join the party. However, the news leaked and the plan was aborted. Jairam served as an Advisor of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, and Rajasthan. He held important posts in the Congress and was the main strategist for the last three decades. Now, it needs to be seen if Ramesh is serious about finding a way out for the Congress. Or does he wish to find an option to join the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah bandwagon.
VOL. 11 | ISSUE 5 | AUGUST 2017