Congress on the horns of a Dilemma

Congress Dilemma – everyone know there is a problem but no one has solution

After Congress debacle in 5 states, the blame game has begun again.

Sonia Gandhi, the long time ” interim President ” has sacked the Party heads of the 5 states where Congress was routed out, including Punjab it has recently ruled.

While she blames them, the infamous G 23, with Sibal as spokesperson wants the Gandhi family out.

he quipped sarcastically.

” Then why don’t you contest for the post of Party President and win the seat?” Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan CM retorts.

The latest to join the G 23 group after being a fence sitter for long is Shashi Tharoor, known and admired more for his command over the English language than skill at leadership.

The G 23 group is to meet over dinner at old timer Gulab Nabi Azad’s place to confabulate on their plan of action in the near future.

Congress on the horns of a Dilemma

Sadly for them, despite being well known ‘ elitist ‘ politicians, tha rank and file of not only the INC but people at large view them as nothing but Mice fleeing from a sinking ship. Except for a few amongst them, they do not have the following to win even a Vidhan Sabha seat to become a state MLA! But they do together have a Nuisance Value and destructive power that they seem eager to use ( buoyed by unseen forces?)

The writing is on the wall though. The grand old party does need a shake up but paradoxically it cannot do it without the Gandhis. Without a Gandhi at the helm, the party will splinter and sink into oblivion in no time.

Remember when Sonia Gandhi had refused to take the reins and chose to be in grieving for seven years after her husband Rajiv Gandhi was brutally assassinated on 21st May 1991? Congress became the largest party in Parliament riding on the shock waves of his death….though one phase of elections was over by then. Since Sonia, his widow refused to relent, and her children were both very young, Narsimha Rao became the PM by CWC consensus. He did a fair job of ruling for 5 years, yet lacking the charisma of a popular country wide face ( like the Nehru- Gandhis were, and are) the Congress got a drubbing at the next general elections held in 1996. The country saw a lot of political instability and chaos and we had to go in for re elections in 1998. Vajapayee became the PM, but of a coalition.

But somewhere in that chaos lie the seeds for the future of the Congress party and India as well.

Just as the Bharatiya Janata Party realized that it needed to learn the skill of getting along with other, smaller parties, Congress needs to learn it now. Sonia Gandhi’s skills at knitting a coalition are legend, but she’s old and not in the best of health now. The question is therefore ‘ who among her two children Rahul or Priyanka, will show this capability?’ It’s a foregone conclusion that one of the two will have to become Congress President sooner rather than later.

In a way the choice is clear. When he stepped down as President Rahul made it clear that he will not grace the position again. Yet he is seen as more of a power source within the party than his younger sibling. He has shown leadership qualities and worked hard during the pandemic but will he be willing to step up again? And is he capable of it? His public image is still ambivalent and he is known to disappear from the public scene every now and then! At least that’s the buzz created by opposition and news channels too.

So will it be Priyanka? Can she live down the Vadra name?

She will have to be the Captain of the ship in these turbulent times to keep the Congress ship afloat. She may not have shown results but she did show the ability to work hard in UP, holding the largest number of rallies.It is said that she was so popular personally that even BJP workers wanted to meet her and talk with her.

That brings us to her most useful quality – she definitely has the gift of the gab and a strong command over spoken Hindi. ( She attributes it to Amitabh Bachan’s mother Teji who was close to Mrs Gandhi when Priyanka was growing up.)

Further, if a United opposition has to take on Modi led BJP Congress will have to lead it but as one among equals. If it’s not to break, it will have to learn to bend!

.. By Sunita Mudliyar – Executive Editor