Congress heading to party electionstext_fields
The Congress Working Committee, which met on Sunday, decided to hold the election for the president of the Indian National Congress on October 17, putting an end to uncertainties. With this, the stage is being set for a democratic election for the post of president, which has been vested with Sonia and Rahul Gandhis for more than two decades. Anyone who knows the history of the Congress or the loyalty inside it towards the Gandhi family may not be surprised by this election announcement or its outcome. At the same time, it will be interesting if a reluctant Rahul Gandhi, who still remains the hurdle before the continuous insistence of blind Gandhi family devotees to take over the post of president, continues to stand against it.
Political circles are curiously observing whether the coming elections will strengthen the party or weaken it with infighting and division when the Congress, which is moving forward with a nominal captain, is caught in a storm. The announcement has arrived, opening up the opportunity for anyone to compete. The Congress has also claimed that it is the party that finds office-bearers through a completely democratic process in the country. It is noteworthy that the election announcement comes after senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad left the party, alleging that the era of consultation and democracy in the party had ended. The last presidential election in Congress was held in November 2000. This will end the era of Sonia, who was the party president for the longest time since 1998, except for two years when Rahul Gandhi heldthe position.
Even after the election announcement, senior leaders continue their eulogy for Rahul. They have started the campaign 'If it is Congress, then Rahul is President'. Rahul, who stepped down after the electoral debacle in 2019, was repeatedly pressured by senior leaders, but he did not agree with anyone from the Gandhi family taking over the leadership. On the 5th of this month, when senior leaders came and met him, Rahul's response was, 'this is not the party I should lead'. The reaction also contained anger at the failure of efforts to reform the party since he assumed the post of AICC General Secretary in 2006.
Congress must be the only party in the country that continues to run with 1970s leaders. Ghulam Nabi, Ashok Gehlot, Digvijay Singh, Kamal Nath, Ambika Soni and others who have left have come to the Congress leadership during Sanjay Gandhi's time. The move Rahul made was to save the party from these people who were not content even after being in the leadership for more than five decades. However, the senior leadership resisted it in unison. They even blocked the reform programs of Youth Congress, NSU, Seva Dal and Mahila Congress. The senior leaders, who were not ready to give way or change, complained of the immaturity of the young Gandhi when these seniors silenced Rahul. It was this tussle between old leadership and new blood that eventually led to the G-23 and the departure of leaders. But the party did not reach the level of split that resulted from the electoral defeats of 1967, '77, '96, 98-99. Congress does not even have the capacity to split today. Maybe that is why Ghulam Nabi came out in search of fortune after the name of Ashok Gehlot came up for the post of president following Ahmad Patel's resignation. A frustrated Rahul, on the other hand, is content with the merit of his statements and campaign techniques, letting Congress lose. All this has given added energy to the BJP, which is getting set to go beyond itssecond term to complete the casting of India in its disintegration agenda.
The first step for Congress to rescue itself is for Rahul Gandhi to assume the presidency completely or to step aside and leave the president who wins the election completely independent. But the name of an old warhorse, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, is being heard from outside as the presidential candidate. The reason is none other than the experience of the independent presidency of Narasimha Rao and Sitaram Kesari, and by that tradition Gehlot is suitable for the Gandhi family to keep under remote control. The G-23 has already fired its salvo at this move. They are also doubting how democratic the election will be, pointing to the credibility of the voter list. The Congress, under the leadership of Rahul, is making huge preparations for the 'Bharat Jodo' journey, with the call to unite the country step by step. The crucial question is whether the organizational polls that come in the meantime will unite the party and take it forward strongly or it will strengthen the BJP by leading it to splinter.