Gandhi is undertaking a ‘yatra’ from Kanyakumari to Kashmir to shore up the sagging fortune of the Congress. Congressmen need to put their acts together to sustain Rahul’s enthusiasm rather than fritter away their energy in internecine squabbles.
New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s ongoing “Bharat Jodo” 150-day pan-India march is bound to complicate the election of the party president with near certain clamor from the rank and file to install him on the top post all over again. Much as Rahul has proclaimed that none from the Gandhi family will become party president, he may be forced to bow down before popular pressure. Already senior leaders like P Chidambaram, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ajay Maken, among others, have said Rahul Gandhi is the natural choice for the top post.
In his latest pronouncements, Rahul Gandhi has told the media in response to questions that he has already given his views on party president’s election and declined to be categorical. This is being interpreted by loyalists that he may not be averse to agreeing for the top job, after all.
Going by reports, Rahul is drawing good crowds in his yatra and the party is likely to gain by this exercise in the run up to some state elections leading up to the parliamentary polls in 2024. It is no one’s claim that the Congress will emerge as an alternative to the ruling BJP in the next Lok Sabha polls. But the party’s graph may begin to look up in terms of increased vote share. It is not insignificant that the top BJP leadership primarily attacks the Congress party and the family leadership. In other words, even the BJP considers Congress as its main rival.
In a country where the youths dominate by virtue of their demographic strength, they are bound to drive the party fortunes too. Rahul Gandhi fits the bill even though he has crossed 50. Primarily, it is the BJP which began a tirade against him and the first family with no less than the Prime Minister constantly attacking Congress for its “pariwarvaad”. Some in the Congress party, particularly the disgruntled, joined the hush-hush campaign against Rahul. The now-defunct G-23 was the result of this group. There was a time when Rahul showed results — victory in three assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in 2018, for example. But the Congress under him failed to pass muster in 2019 parliamentary polls. Criticism grew against Rahul since then. It was unfair to Rahul, though. He led the attack from the front during the election campaign. It is the other party leaders, specially the senior ones, who let him down by not matching his zeal and enthusiasm for whatever reasons.
What needs to be understood is that politics in the country has undergone a sea change. Time has come for Modi and company just as there was time for Congress and the Gandhi family. The wheel of politics has turned full circle. The Congress and others have to wait. No leader from any party, Congress or others, will be able to turn the tide for some time. Blaming Rahul Gandhi is, therefore, meaningless.
Rahul will, however, act like a glue to keep the Congress together till its time comes back again. No one can say when it will come but it will, for sure. There are a large number of supporters of the Congress’ idea of India across the country. The idea never dies. It is good for the party that Rahul Gandhi is undertaking a ‘yatra’ from Kanyakumari to Kashmir to shore up the sagging fortune of the Congress. Congressmen need to put their acts together to sustain Rahul’s enthusiasm rather than fritter away their energy in internecine squabbles. Feud over the election process to elect the party president is unnecessary. Congress has hardly seen any internal democracy. In many ways, this has been its strength. Seeking to change it now is the result of loss of power to which most leaders are not accustomed to.