Who will be the next Congress President? Discordance remains

DelhiWritten By: Aditi GautamUpdated: Mar 06, 2020, 07:04 PM IST

File photo. Photograph:(PTI)

Story highlights

It's high time Congress takes a decision to end the leadership crisis

In April, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) will elect the new Congress President at the party's plenary session.

Sonia Gandhi took over as interim chief after the party's debacle in Lok Sabha elections, 2019, under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi. Although, due to her health, it's not possible for her to remain the face of the party for a long time. 

A faction of the party still wants Rahul to be back as the party chief, however, Gandhi scion has clarified that he will not take up the post again. 

Rahul Gandhi had resigned after the election results, taking responsibility for the debacle of Congress.

What went against him was his strategy of attacking the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi all the time. In fact, political pundits and a few senior Congress leaders had alerted him to refrain from launching negative campaigns against the Prime Minister.

He was highly criticised when Pakistan quoted his words to condemn the Indian government after Article 370 was scrapped. Rahul also disappointed his loyalists with his absence during important developments.

Neither he was in the country when Congress launched a campaign against the government for the economic slowdown, nor when party delegation went to President Ram Nath Kovind to hand over a memorandum.

The consensus within party leaders, backing Rahul Gandhi as the party chief is highly unlikely with prominent party leaders keen on finding an alternative to Rahul Gandhi.

On the other hand, Priyanka Gandhi was the party's face during the campaign for Uttar Pradesh assembly election in 2019 - this was her official entry into politics. She indeed proved to be a crowd-puller and was considered someone who could revive the party. 

Also, there is clamour among the party leaders for Priyanka Gandhi as Rajya Sabha MP. She has a huge following within the party and the charisma to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi with her oratory skills. Priyanka is someone who can connect with both classes and masses. 

According to party sources, Priyanka's entry into politics was delayed so far, because Sonia Gandhi did not want two power centres within the party. She wanted Rahul to be the face of Congress.

With literally no chances of Rahul Gandhi returning as the Party President, Congress has no other choice than Priyanka if they want one of the Gandhis to remain the party chief.

Meanwhile, some leaders have also suggested that CWC takes a collective decision and elect a young non-Gandhi as the Party President for strong and decisive leadership. Milind Deora had even recommended the names of Jyodiraditya Scindia and Sachin Pilot.

Party factions are still not able to express unanimous opinion on the issue, but the delay in the process is harming the party big time - Congress is losing its traditional vote banks and credibility among allies. It's high time Congress takes a decision to end the leadership crisis. The party must elect a chief who has the charisma, administrative and oratory skills to lead the country's main opposition party.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)