Topic Of The Day:- “Old Vs New: How The Congress Chooses Cms”

The Congress Must Strengthen Its Democratic Processes While Choosing CMs

Whether the Congress erred in privileging members of the old guard to lead the governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh has become a subject of debate. Those who argue that it missed a trick in not picking Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia as Chief Ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh may well be right. These choices may have signalled a readiness to be bold and break the oldmould. But the real question to ask of the party is how it arrived at the choice of its Chief Ministers. Members of the Congress Legislature Party in the three States left the choice to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, making a mockery of democratic conventions and the electoral mandate. Although the Congress is not the only party that is guilty of such practices, it has become something of a custom, mirroring the leadership’s distrust of developing strong regional leaders. In this case, the final choice may well have reflected the wishes of a majority of the members of the CLPs of the three States, but the Congress still needed to signal the all-powerful nature of the office of the party president in the selection. Closed-door discussions and opaque deal-making preceded the final announcement of the nominees, to be elected “unanimously” in another meeting of the CLP. In Rajasthan, the party opted for two-time Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who had lost two elections, over Mr. Pilot, the State Congress president. Mr. Pilot, despite his role in the campaign, did not have the support of the old guard. His detractors like to point out that he did not take the Congress to a comfortable majority, what Mr. Gehlot had done as the campaign spearhead in 1998 and 2008. But the Congress leadership has opted in the end for experience over youthful dynamism. The compromise was in the form of the deputy chief ministership for Mr. Pilot.

In Madhya Pradesh, the decision was relatively easy. It was the president of the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee, Kamal Nath, who fronted the campaign. Former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had his fair share of supporters, but it was Mr. Nath, who is far senior, who was perceived as having a bigger claimto the post. Those in the Congress calling for blooding youngsters may well have to accept the sober reality that this will only come about as part of a longer, deeper process. Of course, it takes more than a change at the helm to bring about a political reorientation. The process will have to start at the organisational level and extend to the distribution of the party ticket. To allow the space for the party to grow, Mr. Gandhi needs to accelerate the process of letting leaders from the grassroots to emerge. Youth leaders of anysignificance today are of the second or third generation in the party. A good way to start would be by decentralising power and not concentrating it in the so-called high command, a feeble euphemism for the Nehru-Gandhi family.


1.) erred

Meaning : be mistaken or incorrect; make a mistake(v).

Synonyms : misbehave

Antonyms : behave

Example : “the judge had erred in ruling that the evidence was inadmissible”

2.) privileging

Meaning : grant a privilege or privileges to(v).

Synonyms : accredit

Antonyms : disallow

Example : “English inheritance law privileged the eldest son”

3.) mould

Meaning : a distinctive and typical style, form, or character.

Synonyms : blight

Example : “he’s a superb striker in the same mould as Gary Lineker”

4.) mockery

Meaning : teasing and contemptuous language or behaviour directed at a particular person or thing.

Synonyms : farce

Antonyms : flattery

Example : “stung by her mockery, Frankie hung his head”

4.) conventions

Meaning : a way in which something is usually done.(n)

Synonyms : show

Antonyms : discord

Example : “to attract the best patrons the movie houses had to ape the conventions and the standards of theatres”

5.) preceded

Meaning : come before in order or position(v).

Synonyms : anticipate

Antonyms : end

Example : “take time to read the chapters that precede the recipes”

6.) opted

Meaning : make a choice from a range of possibilities.(v)

Synonyms : decide

Antonyms : dislike

Example : “consumers will opt for low-priced goods”

7.) despite

Meaning : contemptuous treatment or behaviour; outrage.

Synonyms : against

Example : “the despite done by him to the holy relics”

8.) detractors

Meaning : a person who disparages someone or something(n).

Synonyms : critic

Example : “the island, say its detractors, has been devoured by development”

9.) spearhead

Meaning : an individual or group chosen to lead an attack or movement.

Synonyms : initiate

Antonyms : end

Example : “she became the spearhead of a health education programme”

10.) perceived

Meaning : become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand.

Synonyms : recognized

Example : “his mouth fell open as he perceived the truth”

11.) claim

Meaning : state or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof(v).

Synonyms : allegation

Antonyms : denial

Example : “the Prime Minister claimed that he was concerned about Third World debt”

12.) sober

Meaning : make or become sober after drinking alcohol.

Synonyms : restrained

Antonyms : agitated

Example : “that coffee sobered him up

13.) helm

Meaning : a tiller or wheel for steering a ship or boat.

Synonyms : control

Example : “she stayed at the helm, alert for tankers”

14.) accelerate

Meaning : increase in rate, amount, or extent(v).

Synonyms : expedite

Antonyms : cease

Example : “inflation started to accelerate”

15.) significance

Meaning : the quality of being worthy of attention; importance(n).

Synonyms : implication

Antonyms : exterior

Example : “adolescent education was felt to be a social issue of some significance”

16.) concentrating

Meaning : the quality of being worthy of attention; importance(n).

Synonyms : establish

Antonyms : confuse

Example : “adolescent education was felt to be a social issue of some significance”

17.) feeble

Meaning : lacking physical strength, especially as a result of age or illness(adj).

Synonyms : decrepit

Antonyms : capable

Example : “by now, he was too feeble to leave his room”

18.) euphemism

Meaning : a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.

Synonyms : delicacy

Example : “the jargon has given us ‘downsizing’ as a euphemism for cuts”