Appearing to signal dissent in the ranks of India’s ruling Congress party, the Prime Minister’s media adviser told reporters last night that the “status-quoist” party was only concerned with winning elections.
“The Congress is by nature a status-quoist, pragmatic party,” Harish Khare, media adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was reported by the Hindustan Times as saying on Tuesday.
“It does not believe in any conviction. (Its) only conviction is to win elections,” the Indian Express added.
The implications of Khare’s remarks are complicated. As the PM’s spokesperson, he’s distanced from the political powerhouse of Sonia Gandhi, the real puller of Congress party strings but privy to the opinions of ruling policymakers.
Indeed, one argument says there’s nothing inherently scandalous in his words. Winning elections is the raison d’etre of political parties and “status-quoist, pragmatic” – perhaps not the exact words party chiefs would use – aligns with the party’s goal of poverty alleviation and social development.