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Rahul Gandhi: Future captain of the Congress


There is lots of chaos about Rahul Gandhi’s “leave of absence” during a key session of Parliament. Newspapers, news channels and even social media are haunting Gandhi and trending with hashtag #WhereIsRahul. Nowadays, I think media and people on social media have nothing to do. It seems they are jobless as well as issueless. There are thousands of crucial issues in India to discuss but media is searching for Mr. Gandhi and debating on where he is spending his holidays. Some are telling Bangkok, some are telling Uttarakhand. Is it a topic of discussion? He too is human being and needs rest. It was worst performance of Congress in the recent elections. People blame Rahul Gandhi for this. He is a responsible person, so he needs some time to unwind and rejuvenate. Anyway, he is going to succeed his mother Sonia Gandhi as a Congress President, who is holding that position since 1998. The stage is set for him to take over the post at a session of the All India Congress Committee in April. If Rahul Gandhi wants to take leave then why to criticise him?

Congress is party of legendary leaders and Rahul Gandhi’s absence would really not make any difference in the functioning. The party has able leaders to deal with parliamentary issues. Nowadays, Modi supporters are unnecessarily trolling on Rahul Gandhi on social media. He belongs to politically influential Nehru–Gandhi family. After obtaining degrees in international relations and development studies from the universities of Rollins and Cambridge, Gandhi worked at the Monitor Group, a management consulting firm in London, before establishing the Mumbai-based technology outsourcing firm, Backops Services Private Ltd. In 2004, Gandhi re-entered public life when he contested from and won his father’s old Lok Sabha (lower house of Indian Parliament) seat of Amethi, Uttar Pradesh. A few years later, in 2007, Gandhi was elected as the General Secretary of the Congress party, an executive post also held in the past by his father, and by his great-grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru. Amidst calls from Congress party veterans for his greater involvement in party politics and national government, Gandhi was elected Congress Vice-President in 2013. Gandhi led the INC campaign in the 2014 general election in which the INC suffered its worst electoral result in its history, winning only 44 seats compared to 206 seats won previously in the 2009 general election. This was not failure of Gandhi but there was anger against Congress created by many agitators over alleged scams. After 10 months of Government changes, no arrests have been made against any Congress leaders.

I fail to understand why media are focusing so much on one of the upcoming political leader. There are many issues which need urgent attention but they are focusing on the most irrelevant matter. Let him do whatever he wants. Let defeated Congress party refresh itself and come up after rejuvenating themselves. History repeats itself. Earlier, we have seen that whenever this grand old party had gone out of power, it returns with a bang. People are confused with BJP’s agenda and communal politics. They are already fed up with BJP led NDA government at the centre. Yet, none of the promises have been fulfilled by Modi.

Congress Party is synonymous to democracy for the voters of India. Congress is a Pan-India party which hardly ever indulges in politics of emotions. Before going on leave, Congress vice president reportedly held meetings with a Congress leaders, who endorsed his takeover of the 130-year-old party. They see Rahul Gandhi as the future captain of the Congress. They might be in awkward situation with the young leader abruptly leaving the parliament under the unconvincing “leave theory”, especially when the views of the political parties over contents of the controversial bills/ordinances are awaited. His image is dwarfed to the state of a pugilist who tends to evade the ring.

Gandhi contested the general election 2014 from his constituency Amethi and led the election campaign of the Indian National Congress. He held the Amethi seat by defeating his nearest rival, BJP’s Smriti Irani, by a reduced margin of 107,000 votes. The Congress-led electoral alliance, the UPA also had its worst ever performance in elections and won only 59 seats compared to 262 seats won previously in the 2009 general election. There have already been cacophonies regarding the question on leadership of the Congress.

In the current situation, when BJP has been defeated in Delhi elections and people feels displeasure against BJP members for their remarks, it is perfect time for Congress to regain the lost ground. Congress party wants to recover from the defeat, for that it should find a competent leader who can sail the sinking ship of party to the shore. Legendary leaders of Congress can help Rahul Gandhi to rejuvenate the party but they are selfish and think about themselves. Rahul Gandhi, the fourth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, was appointed party’s number two leader in Jaipur in 2013. As a leader, he could not do much for the party, but still he is not alone to be blamed for Congress’s fate. Let’s hope, people will accept him after some time, and he will return with new spirit.