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Sharad Pawar’s ‘Zamindar Without Haveli’ Jab Strikes A Chord With Reformist Congress Leaders

Nationalist Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar’s “zamindar” dig at the Congress party has been hailed by many G-23 group leaders who are making a strong case for the reforms and rejuvenation of the organization lest it loses political relevance. Interestingly, save for Gautam Patole, Nitin Raut and Balasaheb Thorat from Maharashtra, none of the Congress leaders across the country slammed Pawar for his observation that Congress’s situation was now like impoverished zamindars (landlords) who have no land and cannot maintain their havelis (mansions). Pawar chose to target Congress at a time when there has been unanimity among opposition parties excluding BSP, AAP and MIM to join hands to take on BJP in the run up to the next general elections. Pawar has, however, clarified that such a front won’t be possible without the Congress party playing a crucial role. Former union minister Verapppa Moily, who was among the 23 leaders who wrote to Sonia Gandhi last year seeking organisational overhaul, opposed the institutionalisation of the G-23 saying the group has “no role and has become irrelevant.” However, leaders during private conversations admit it is “now or never” situation for the Congress leadership to act fast for its revival or witness more desertions. And what intrigues everybody is the deafening silence of the Gandhis.