President Who Is Not Attached To Gandhi Family Likely To Form Revived Congress

Symbol asserts underlying message and unity

The Congress party will soon be shattering a consensus that has been held for the past 24 years. Everyone in the Congress Party knows that only Gandhi can head the party. In the coming days, the Indian National Congress will elect its first non-Gandhi president since 1998.

In order to keep the party together, only Gandhi can serve as president, and the chaotic Rao-Kesari years are used as evidence. Despite the Congress party’s overwhelming electoral loss since 2014, there has been no credible call inside the party for a leader other than Gandhi to assume the presidency.

The true reason everyone is looking for a Gandhi is that the party’s middle ranks are so bitterly split that no one wants to see someone from that group promoted to the party leader. As such, the Gandhis can serve as a third-party mediator between conflicting goals.

It’s important to note that the second tier does not actually own the party. There is no one willing to serve the party without expecting anything in return. Rather than focusing on gaining seats, they are working hard to ensure that one of their rivals inside the party loses his.

No one seems to be pointing out that our group isn’t doing its part. The ultimate responsibility for any negative outcomes rests squarely on the shoulders of Rahul Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi learned firsthand during his brief presidency of the Congress how thorny its crown can be. So, he’s basically urging these leaders to demonstrate their abilities.

So far, Rahul Gandhi’s detractors, who are hardly known for their neutrality, have failed to recognise how much of a leap of faith it is for him to desire a president who is not a Gandhi.

People are worried that it will be a puppet, but they fail to see that even the most obedient of puppets may develop a sense of independence once given the reins of control. Narasimha Rao and Sitaram Kesari were also formerly considered ‘faithful’ to the Gandhis.

And does the BJP head make decisions without talking to Narendra Modi and Amit Shah? All this discussion about puppets is a form of premature judgement, as it does not give the new president (or the Gandhis) a fair go.

Those who have always cried “dynasty” will have to admit that it is a major issue for the family to have non-Gandhi in the top position. In India, how many political parties are headed by someone who is not related to the party’s founder? From Bengal to Maharashtra, Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the dynasts never give up power, not even to a “puppet” inside their own political party who is not a blood relative. Those who have been calling for an end to dynasty politics will likely applaud Rahul Gandhi’s decision to do so.

Some have criticised Rahul Gandhi, notably within the BJP, for being a “entitled prince” who relies on his family name rather than popular support. He represents a party that pulls in approximately 12 crore votes even in a terrible election, so this was always an unjust criticism. These votes may not be enough to win, but they do show that there is widespread backing for the main opposition party, which is, yep, headed by a family.

However, Rahul Gandhi is altering this trend by not only appointing a non-Gandhi president but also undertaking a 150-day padayatra to reassert his authority as a representative of the people. In other words, the party will be led by a non-Gandhi president, while Rahul Gandhi will serve as the party’s public face and rally support independently of his family name.

The BJP has a similar dual strategy, with Narendra Modi serving as the party’s public face and Amit Shah and Devendra Advani in charge of internal affairs.

The outcome of this new approach is anyone’s guess. Success won’t happen overnight even if everything goes perfectly. It will take some time, especially with the BJP’s current power. There is, however, no room for doubt that this new recipe will alter the celebration.

One thing is certain, though: this method will produce a new Congress. What we know as the Congress party will evolve. It has been a gradual and often difficult process to see the old guard giving way to the young. However, for the sake of argument, let us concede that a change in the Congress party’s internal operations and public image is now occurring. There will soon be a new Congress to satisfy those who have wished for the party to evolve, adjust, and modernise.