If at all there is a distant possibility of a Congress revival, it would be in case there is no Rahul Gandhi at the helm, for he is hardly the harbinger of hope for a party that is clearly in ICU. He is also not a strategic fit to the cause of resurrection. Reduced to a handful of States, with chances of declining still in the coming years, Congress’ fingers must be tightly crossed.
It is expected that President Sonia Gandhi would hand over the reins to her ungainly son. For long now, he has been bungling in his speeches and campaigns in election-bound States. But he exposed his flaws pretty much convincingly at the 2014 Lok Sabha elections defeat speech itself, where he was all smiles at the microphone, in stark contrast to a sombre mother.
It was in bad taste when he was seen returning cocky smiles to media personnel while Sonia Gandhi was delivering quite a sincere acceptance of a dreadful loss. Congress can now barely be considered as contenders for the politics, or rather, the game of thrones. Apparently, it’s Kaput!
There are voices down the corridors of Congress floors that reflect sentiments of surrender to a reality. That only a Gandhi scion is to be accepted at the top. Many top leaders have expressed their displeasure at the impending prospect of Rahul Gandhi becoming the next president. But there is no revolution coming… these are only voices down the corridors. At the Congress meet, when the final decision is to be made, they will all end up saying ‘aye’ to Rahul.
And that’s good news for BJP. If the leader of Congress is weak and without much aptitude for politics, how can they be challengers again?
An ABP-Nielsen survey done in January this year reveals what most of us have already been aware of. The survey finds that 32 percent respondents think of Narendra Modi as the best Prime Minister of India after Independence, followed by Indira Gandhi at 23 percent and Atal Bihari Vajpayee at 21 percent. Only nine percent have voted in favour of Jawaharlal Nehru.
While we must take into account the obvious generation bias that these polls suffer from, it’s still staggering that in terms of popularity, Modi seems to have eclipsed some of India’s tallest leaders since Independence. Pitted against such an adversary, Rahul stands no chance.
The Congress needs to do a ‘Chintan shivir’.