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The Congress Files on misdeeds and sins


An introduction to “The Congress Files”  (Kindle edition available. Link:


My book “The Congress Files” is a collection of 14 articles on the misdeeds and sins of the Congress party. Please first look at the table set out below.

The above table summarises the political journey of two rivals since 1984, when the Congress was 100 years old, and the BJP was just a ‘baby’ (founded on April 6, 1980). In the 1984 general election, the Congress reached the peak of its electoral success since the first general election in 1952, and the BJP just started its journey. The outstanding performance of the Congress in the 1984 general election was due to the sympathy wave following the assassination of Mrs Indira Gandhi.

Within five years, the Congress leadership (Rajeev Gandhi) had frittered away the grand success. The decline started in 1989, if not always in the number of seats won, definitely in the percentage of votes polled, indicating a gradual decline in the party’s popularity, which reached its nadir in 2014, followed by marginal improvement in 2019.

The history of the decline of the Congress is also the history of the rise of the BJP. In 2014, the Congress won less than 11% of the seats it had captured 30 years ago, in 1984. The share of votes polled declined from 46.86% to 19.31%. During the same period, the number of seats won by the BJP increased 141 times, and the vote share increased from 7.74% to 31%, although not steadily. In the next general election, the number of seats won by the BJP increased to 303, and the vote share jumped to 37.7%. Of course, there was a marginal increase in the vote share and the number of seats won by the Congress also.

Why did the performance of the Congress decline and that of the BJP increase beyond anyone’s expectation?

Congress suffers from some inherent weaknesses for historical reasons. When Indra Gandhi had firmly established herself in the saddle, she converted the party into her family fiefdom. Barring a brief interregnum of Lal Bahadur Shastri’s rule, for all practical purposes, she succeeded her father, Jawaharlal Nehru. She was succeeded by her son, Rajiv Gandhi. Again, after a brief interregnum, Sonia Gandhi unceremoniously removed the then Congress President Sitaram Kesri and usurped the party.

The family has owned and controlled the party since March 1998. (The present Congress President, Mallikarjun Khargeas, is nothing more than a nominee of the family.) Sonia Gandhi’s successor is Rahul Gandhi. Though he does not hold any official position in the party, everyone in the party treats him as the supreme leader whose decisions are final. He is the permanent prime ministerial candidate of the party. Sonia and her successor believe they own the party as their private limited company and take public support for granted.

Once a party has become a family fiefdom or a family-owned private limited company, it is not obligated to work for the country. The Congress or Congress-led governments are required only to serve the family’s interests.

Once a party has become a family fiefdom and people’s support is taken for granted, the organisation and the foot soldiers need not be paid attention.

These weaknesses are responsible for the gradual decline. The Congress was lucky that no strong party replaced it for a long period. That also contributed to the organisation’s neglect.

Its main rival, the BJP, was quickly trying to catch it. In the 1998 general election, both parties had an almost equal share of votes polled. That should have alerted Congress, but it continued to work in its way. After that, the Congress formed government twice –in 2004 and 2009 – but never without mobilising massive support of diverse political parties, which formed what is known as the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)

The sudden downfall of the Congress in 2014 is generally attributed to the arrival of a strong BJP leader, Narendra Modi, at the centre stage. However, the Modi factor alone was not responsible for the Congress’s miserable performance. The poor quality of its leadership and the growing disenchantment of the people contributed a lot.

It is in this background that I decided to present “The Congress Files”. The 14 articles are based on three sources: my personal experience in the government of India, information provided by first-hand or second-hand reliable sources, and information available in the public domain. Some articles under the same or different titles are available on my website

The first article, “Congress and corruption,” traces the rise of corruption since 1947-48. However, the focus is on how Prime Minister Indra Gandhi patronised corruption. I have first-hand experience because, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, I was the Income-tax Officer of the Prime Minister and other VIPs of the country.



The second article, “Morarji Desai law unto Himself,” is about an arrogant Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister who did not know how the government functioned. In 1969, I had to incur his wrath, but he could not harm me because I had taken the correct legal decisions.

The third article is about Sunday Gandhi’s Maruti car project. Part of what I have written is in public knowledge, but a tragic part is now known only to me. I learnt from the primary sources that the then Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Dr D. R. Gadgil, a renowned economist, was unceremoniously shown the door for opposing Sanjay Gandhi’s car project. The treatment given to the old man in fragile health stressed him so much that he died of a heart attack in the running train while returning from Delhi to Pune after being forced to resign from the Planning Commission. The Maruti project had taken a precious life.

The fourth article proves Indra Gandhi’s lack of understanding of the economic issues. She ignored my objective advice and accepted a project from Denmark that proved costly to the country.

The fifth article is about the mysteries of Indian politics. Soon after Indira Gandhi’s assassination, the assassins had surrendered and were sitting unarmed. A few armed paramilitary men entered the room and started shooting indiscriminately, killing two assassins and seriously injuring the third one. A genocide followed the assassination. Thousands of innocent Sikhs were killed for no fault of theirs. To date, nobody knows who ordered the paramilitary men to kill the assassins and who ordered the massacre of Sikhs. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no enquiry into these murders.



In the next article, I have proved that Rajiv Gandhi was appointed the Prime Minister after Indira Gandhi’s assassination in an unconstitutional manner. The President and all the top Congress leaders acted in utter violation of the norms of the Parliamentary democracy.

Based on my personal experience, the seventh article describes the bizarre ideas of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who had no knowledge of his own subject.

The eighth article, “Gandhis’ deadly deal with Mrs Thatcher”, is based partly on my experience as a project appraiser and partly on research. It is about how Rajiv Gandhi succumbed to the pressure of British Prime Minister Mrs Thatcher and accepted the deadly gift of 21 Westland Helicopters. These helicopters were neither needed nor safe. Even as a gift, the helicopters were a financial liability to the country. The helicopters killed ten persons in two crashes and had to be grounded. The deal also cost Mrs Thatcher her job because she had used funds for the supply of helicopters without authorisation. Rajiv Gandhi proved that he was an incompetent and heartless Prime Minister.

The ninth article is about how successive Congress governments—the Narasimha Rao government and the UPA government, controlled by Sonia Gandhi—wanted to hand over the strategy Siachen to Pakistan. But for the firm stand taken by General V. K. Singh, Siachen would have gone to Pakistan.

The tenth article, based on my personal experience as a project appraisal in the Planning Commission and as joint Secretary in the Department of Programme Implementation, is about the weak and incompetent Dr Manmohan Singh, whom many ignorant people rate as a great economist.

The eleventh article covers the period of the UPA rules when there were two centres of power, one de jure, headed by a Prime Minister nominated by Sonia Gandhi and the other, de facto, headed by Sonia Gandhi herself, who wanted to assert her authority over the Prime Minister.

The twelfth article is again about the period of the UPA rule when, in order to prove her authority, Sonia Gandhi entered into an MOU with the Chinese government. The MOU was signed by Rahul Gandhi, the Congress general secretary, and Xi Jinping, the vice premier of China and member of the politburo of the Chinese Communist Party. This was the first time in world history that a political party of one country signed an vi

MOU with the government of another party for so-called mutual consultations.

The thirteenth article is about how Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and their cohort acquired properties of the Associate Journals Ltd (publishers of the National Herald) worth several hundred crores of rupees by paying just a pittance. But for the intervention of the Enforcement Directorate, the properties of the party members would have become the family properties.

In the last article, I tried to assess the past, present, and future of the Congress party, which has been committing misdeeds and sins against the country’s interests. My own assessment is that one day, the party will die or disintegrate, but that day will not come very soon. For several years, the number of seats held by the party in the Lok Sabha may fluctuate between 40 and 50. The chances of disintegration will come when the ownership is passed on to the next generation.

Devendra Narain

Devendra Narain

Hello, my name is Devendra Narain. I live in Gurugram, Haryana, India. I write serious blogs as well as satires on challenges before us.

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