As it happens, the Congress' Ashwani Kumarism too is not limited to just one person. It denotes a culture of brazenness in the UPA government and the Congress. Nine years in power have given rise to not just chronic and wilful wrongdoing but also a belief that senior ministers can get away with anything: subjective decision-making, cronyism, bullying and hectoring allegedly independent institutions and organising prime ministerial cover-ups.

The Congress will insist this description is overstated. Even so, it cannot escape the fact that perceptions have been formed in the public mind. In 2014, it will have to fight the idea that it spent the previous five years doing nothing more than underhand deal-making. Read More