At long last, the Congress party appears to be moving with the times. A party that has been helmed by the Jawaharlal Nehru clan since independence, barring the years when PV Narasimha Rao and Sitaram Kesri called the shots, it has always been a family-run party.
It is ironic that the coronation of Rahul Gandhi, slated tentatively for November 9, is happening around the time the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is plotting a Congress-mukt Bharat. The heir-apparent will take over as the party chief from his mother at a particularly critical time. The big question now is whether he will be able to weed out deadwood and infuse winning dynamism.
The party leadership ought to come up with vibrant and redrawn strategies and agendas, newer ideas and rebrand its image so that it can break free from the cesspool it has remained stagnant in. Perhaps, they can capitalise on the dramatic gains achieved in the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha by-election where it unseated a BJP nominee.
In today’s politics, nothing much can be gained from disruptions caused in Parliament. While it is essential that adverse issues should be opposed tooth and nail, Rahul Gandhi should demonstrate a political maturity that helps strike a balance as a measure of his leadership skills.
Till date what one saw of him was as a leader who went to the people as part of electioneering. Once, he is catapulted to the driver’s seat, he will have to prove his managerial abilities that could keep the flock together and also bring about a sea-change in the mindset of the people vis-à-vis Congress party.
Of his own accord, Rahul has nothing worth the name to write about and most certainly not about any significant strides since the time NDA rode to power at the Centre. Moreover, he faces an experienced opponent, who enjoys a larger-than-life image. What’s more, the BJP has, more or less, discarded all old warhorses.
Reports suggest that Rahul is set to usher in a new order whereby the younger lot may replace stalwarts, who are short on ideas to reinvigorate the party prospects. Struggling to find relevance in the current political landscape, the party hopes to gain lost ground ahead of the 2019 General Elections with the intended organisational overhaul. In keeping with this image makeover, there is a proposal to revamp several State units, including the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC).
In hindsight, the TPCC is ridden with internal dissensions. Even if a few from the old guard are accommodated in the AICC, the chances of putting an end to the one-upmanship ego trips remain rather bleak. In luring Revanth Reddy into its fold, the party may get the services of a proven orator, who understands the pulse of the people.
But whether the party rank and file will be willing to take the diktats of a disgruntled Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader remains the million-dollar question. How Rahul Gandhi will resolve these tricky questions will be a test of the political acumen of the Congress party mascot.