WILL PUNJAB CONGRESS ally with the Aam Aadmi Party? Captain Amarinder Singh has responded to this question twice in the course of two days, but much like a 10+2 student in the board exams who writes an answer to a tricky question, then thinks he can draft it better, and writes the same answer once more.
The evaluator who goes through two confused answers clearly knows the actual situation: the student is confused, and wasn’t prepared to handle the question.
The fact is that Amarinder Singh gave a combo answer to the simple query, fired by reporters as he walked out of the crucial meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) in Delhi: Will Congress align with AAP in Punjab?
Amarinder Singh's answer number 1: Alliances are the prerogative of the central leadership. We will go by the decision of the central leadership.
Twenty-four hours later, Amarinder Singh and his super-efficient army of advisors understood the implications because some journalists decoded
what Amarinder Singh had said. The entire brain-bank hired by the CM worked overtime to put a spin on it and issued a written statement. Their idea was to now fudge the issue, deflect attention, confuse people and bolster the Maharaja
's image as Zille-Ilah
"The Chief Minister, however, reiterated that the final decision on pre-poll alliances rested with the Congress high command, and its decision would be accepted and followed by all the state units, be it in Punjab or elsewhere."
But a student at 10+2 board exams finally only succeeds to the extent his intellect allows, no more. That's the idea of the entire exercise.
So, this time, all that all the King's Men were able to accomplish was that they ended up confirming in writing what they were trying to deny in the first place.
This time, said the official press release
, Captain Amarinder Singh did not mere say it; he, in fact, "made it clear" in his answer number two that the Congress did not need any alliances to fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Lest you think this was in stark contradiction of what he had said earlier, here is the brilliant scoop delivered a few paras deeper in that same press release: "The Chief Minister, however, reiterated that the final decision on pre-poll alliances rested with the Congress high command, and its decision would be accepted and followed by all the state units, be it in Punjab or elsewhere."
Who does not sympathize with the confused 10+2 student re-writing an answer to a question, hoping that it will confuse the evaluator and perhaps result in a couple of extra marks?
But the spin-masters were adamant at thrusting bravado. After all, what's an army of advisors for, if it does not decimate a lowly Sukhpal Singh Khaira in diction and pointed delivery?
"Congress will win Punjab hands down on its own...the party did not require any alliance for the parliamentary elections next year... AAP has lost the support of the people in Punjab completely...(the CM) had not at any stage mentioned that he was open to an alliance between the Congress and AAP in Punjab."
Brave. Brave by any standard. "(T)he party did not really need any political coalition for next year’s parliamentary polls," Amarinder Singh said.
Taaliyan! Bravo!! How much clarity do you need, Mr Evaluator?
Indeed, unless you also decide to read the next paragraph. Some evaluators do, unfortunately.
"Alliances are the prerogative of the national leadership...several factors, including winnability, are usually taken into account...Punjab Congress will share its views with the party high command (but only when the latter seeks the same)...PPCC would also be internally discussing the issue as and when required to build a consensus on the matter," said the press release issued on Tuesday, July 24.
And that is how the confused student gives his game away. That is how the evaluator finds out how much preparation and hard work was actually involved.
Now, with this latest statement in writing, Captain Amarinder Singh has confirmed that what he had said earlier in Delhi was exactly the situation, that the Congress party is open to an alliance with AAP, that the decision about this will only be taken by the national leadership, and yes, that the Punjab Congress will meekly submit to the decision of the Congress high command and has no intention of resisting any directive by the office of Rahul Gandhi.
Amarinder Singh has now confirmed in writing that no consensus exists as of now within the Punjab Congress on having an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party.
In fact, the press release of July 24 has confirmed even minute details of the utter helplessness of the Punjab Congress. It said that the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) will apprise the Congress high command of its views "as and when the latter seeks the same." The PPCC cannot even dare to seek permission to share its views; it has been reduced to wait and stay mum, and speak up only when asked to do so.
Bravado has many forms; utter cowardice isn't one of them.
But then when an army of spin masters writes a press release, it usually does it in a ham-handed fashion. Now, while trying to "clarify" his earlier remarks, CM Amarinder Singh has actually confirmed that the state unit of the party was not on the same page when it comes to having an alliance with AAP.
Sample this: "The PPCC would also be internally discussing the issue as and when required to build a consensus on the matter."
Inference: As of now, there is no consensus in the state unit on whether to have an alliance with AAP, hence the need for discussions to build a consensus.
And yet, the official statement has the gall to claim that "the Chief Minister clarified that he had not at any stage mentioned that he was open to an alliance between the Congress and AAP in Punjab."
Official press releases are usually examples of boilerplate paragraphs and boring staple froth from the mouth, so any form of humour is always welcome. Even mirth. But ridiculousness does not qualify, not when it defeats the very purpose.
The CM wants to clarify. So he reiterated!
Someone in the CMO is not doing his job properly, and the evaluator knows. Read the press release for proof. It’s official this time. When you want to clarify, reiterate. Taaliyan?
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