The success of a political party can only be ensured if the party and its leader are on the same page with almost identical ideologies and principles.
For Congress and its crown prince, Rahul Gandhi, the same is not true and is the reason behind failure of congress. Internal tensions and voices of dissent in the Congress’ corridors of power have left the party in a fragile state, almost on the brink of extinction. While it can be argued that a party must stand behind its leader for him to confidently take on the opposition, it can also be said that differing views are healthy signs in a democratic party. Somewhere down the line, a balance has to be maintained if Congress wants to survive.
Congress and the Gandhis have become synonymous. Even after 70 years of Indian independence, the country cannot ignore the contribution made by the Congress. After Sonia Gandhi, the loyal voters are hoping that Rahul Gandhi will successfully carry on the legacy and help alleviate the country.
However, Congress as a party seems to have taken two opposite positions on the leadership issue of Rahul Gandhi. The supporters believe that Rahul Gandhi will be able to reinvent Congress and bring back lost glory, but opposing members believe that he has been completely alienated from the political atmosphere, but most importantly, they see the leadership crisis as an opportunity to untie the “Gandhi knot” on Congress.
But Rahul does have some appeal and if his confidence and belief in party members is bolstered, he will only get better and stronger. Despite being relatively new to the political industry, he has been able to secure his family’s toe hold in Amethi without total support.
There is also another problem. Party members, especially veterans, are too scared to teach or advise anything to the chairperson’s son, lest they are seen as dissenters. Also, they don’t quite want him to succeed, really. Rahul is progressive and has new ideas about the future of the party. Those new-age ideas are hardly in sync with seniors who fear they will be brushed aside, as LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and others were in BJP when Narendra Modi took charge of the party and the nation.
“Team Rahul” is a bunch of young, educated and sharp Congress members and their approach is very different from what has been practiced for ages.
The proceedings of the 2014 elections clearly showcased the half-hearted efforts of the Congress party as a whole. Leaders don’t alone win elections, at least not generally. Many party members kept their traditional stint of deal making with local power brokers, instead of promoting the young India campaign. Rahul’s scripted speeches, too, looked senseless many-a-times, becoming a mocking tale as they rarely complemented the situation and place.
It will not be entirely wrong to suggest that the Rahul Gandhi India has witnessed so far has be an ill tailored image of a leader, either accidently, or deliberately. He appears to have become prey in the party of hawks, seeking power, eminence and position of their own.His underperformance is not due to any incapability or lack of support from people, but majorly because he lacked proper guidance and internal party support.
Congress must resolve its internal disputes and members must get their objectives in sync with the party leader for a successful drive in the 2019 election.