Congress Party's vice president Rahul Gandhi (the sixth member of the Nehru-Gandhi family) is set to take over as the party’s President from his mother (now the mother figure of Congress) Sonia Gandhi who has steered the party for the past two decades.After being proposed by current Congress Chief and former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi has filed the nomination for the post of party president, paving the way for his much-awaited elevation, democratically.
I don't know why people are debating if Rahul's elevation is democratic or undemocratic? They are forced to make this arrangement (election) because of the regulations of EC. There is absolutely no doubt that the present version of Congress is a family proprietorship, and Rahul is the heir apparent. The most relevant point is that Rahul will head INC, and after years of waiting, both the Congress and the opposition (especially the BJP) are delighted. It is time for celebrations, in both camps!
Let us analyze, who will have the last laugh.
I think the timing is based on the gamble that Congress will improve in Gujarat (the Modi bastion) and won't be wiped out in Himachal and they have high hopes to retain Karnataka, the next crucial assembly election.
Congress party is in a catch-22 situation. With the dynasty, it is difficult to win elections because of a Gandhi fatigue. Without the Gandhi family, it is difficult to hold the party together. This family is the only glue that binds the congressmen which still has an all-India appeal. Things wouldn't have been this dire for the Congress party if even one person dared to lead from the front.
If senior leaders like Pranab Mukherjee and Manmohan Singh, after retiring from high chairs like President and Prime Minister of India can bow down to a good for nothing dynast, imagine the plight of other minions. The problem with the dynasty slaves is that they have no aspirations, no ego, no shame. They elbow each other to lead, but no one leads. Not a single one.
After losing power at the Centre and in almost all major states, another reason for seeking urgent change is that the party is struggling to raise money. Also, the Congressmen are frightened at the rapid festering of the party, wish to see some change in direction. They assume that the party will die very soon unless something dramatic is not done. The best they could do is to elevate Rahul as president, despite severe electoral failures and a deep erosion in credibility, a change projecting the collective IQ vacuum.
It is evident that Sonia Gandhi will be the power behind the throne. Personally, I don’t see Priyanka coming into politics because one can’t have two power centers. She can't even make the impact which she could have made ten years ago.
The Congress is at its lowest point, but Politics changes every day. At the moment, there are six small states governed by Congress except for Punjab and Karnataka. If they can form governments in two to three more states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh it will make a difference, and Rahul’s stature will grow.
Analysis of the political history tells that you can't predict the future of the politics. Congress is a very unpredictable party, and it has a history of bouncing back. Every time Congress lost power, soon they came back and stayed long. For instance, in 1977 ruling INC lost nearly 200 seats. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi both lost their seats. They came back in 1980. They lost in 1989, they came back in 1991. They lost in 1998, they came back in 2004.
People may be fed-up with the dynasty politics but not the party itself. There are still pockets of influence of the party, and that keeps manifesting from time to time. Anti-incumbency is a big leveler, and it doesn't spare anyone. If Narendra Modi led BJP fails to satisfy the expectations of its new voters, and if a new leader can ensure the Indian citizens that he or she will lead India towards glory, he will be the one elected. But we are talking about Rahul Gandhi and the fact is Rahul has suffered a terrible beating in all important state polls since he was elevated as VP and the Congress has been reduced to a rump since he became an active campaigner.
Congress is an old party with a broad organizational network, but it is riding on the back of corrupt regional parties like RJD, SP, DMK, NCP, etc. and it has reduced itself to a junior party in each coalition. And here is a leader who has failed to win over even fellow opposition parties and leaders.
CPM leader Sitaram Yechury without hesitation declared last month that Rahul Gandhi cannot take the opposition parties along if he becomes Congress party president. “The united opposition will break if Rahul takes over,” said the virulent opponent of the BJP.
On the one hand, there is ruthless BJP with a well-oiled party machinery whose only job during elections is to deliver large numbers of people to vote for the lotus symbol. "It is a machine built with only one objective in mind. Seize political power and hold on to it," writes Prashant Jha in his book, 'How BJP Wins.'
On the other hand, Rahul and his party men have no such killer instinct. Rahul's style of politics is a shoot-and-scoot approach that he learned from Arvind Kejriwal. Instead of building the party ground up, he is busy spouting one-liners and attacking PM Modi without any overarching philosophy. He can say anything, from GST to Rafale to Nano plant, but few hold him accountable.
No ground work, zero organizational skills, cadre support that lacks motivation are some features of Rahul Gandhi's non-serious politics, which he may realize one, but it may be too late. By then. India would have moved on definitely.
Although it must be added that Rahul is a lucky politician, and for any capable leader, he must be the most enviable person. He doesn’t have to prove his ability to win elections, doesn’t have to show his grasp of policy or demonstrate his skill in tough negotiations with opposition politicians.Yet the Congress and Lutyens’ intellectual cabal cheered for him to desperately succeed and believe that he is the man to beat PM Narendra Modi. Congress' elitist bias is another problem that does not let it stop the 'Chaiwala' jab. And Modi won't stop milking the issue dry.
Apart from other traits, Rahul is also an indisputable king of gaffes. Why would a pan India political party's president in waiting call himself a 'Shiv-Bhakt,' followed by a fawning courtier declare that he is a twice-born ‘janeu-dhari’ Hindu? To create political capital?
Oh, Rahul- You should have consulted your mother to understand the official party stand. Else, why would Kapil Sibal want hearing of the Ram Janam Bhoomi (RJB) case to be deferred post-2019 General Elections? If RJB is peacefully resolved how will Congress spread poison?
As the country and its people are reinventing themselves, educationally, economically, socially, technologically - politicians and parties have to keep reinventing themselves. If Congress wants to resurrect it needs introspection, something they never do. They are busy playing caste politics and promising 80s style freebies hoping to lure young voters.
Instead of bringing the structural and organizational changes, weeding out corrupt and ineffective leaders and strengthening state leaders, taking a clue from Punjab, Congress thrives on coterie politics.The selection of issues by Rahul is also plaguing the party. The anti-national sloganeering by JNU students, stalling the Parliament, questioning the credentials of Army, etc., have not gone down well with the people. The result - Congress is not only perceived corrupt but also anti-national.
On the other hand, Mr. Modi's popularity is at an all-time high and BJP is surely benefitting from it. Only the regional parties are in a position to challenge the BJP in their respective states.
When one is on a losing spree, there’s nothing that one can indeed hold onto. The official handle of Congress making crude jokes on the humble background of the PM shows that Congress that worships privilege and dynasty is showing its contempt for the working class. The think tank is so morally bankrupt & devoid of ideas that it seems, they have lost humanity, legitimacy, responsibility & integrity along with losing elections.
Mani Shankar Aiyar rightly invoked Mughals in Rahul's coronation. For all we know, Rahul could very well be the Bahadur Shah Zafar of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and the final seal on Congress-Mukt-Bharat.