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Age Debate: From prince to king

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Nov 23, 2017, 2:09 am IST
Updated : Nov 23, 2017, 5:52 am IST

Rahul Gandhi’s elevation will galvanise the Congress ahead of the 2019 elections.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi at the Congress Working Committee meeting at 10, Janpath in New Delhi. (Photo: PT)
 Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi at the Congress Working Committee meeting at 10, Janpath in New Delhi. (Photo: PT)

There’s a new energy in our cadres
Ashish Dua

The moment for which millions of Congress workers have been waiting has finally arrived. Rahul Gandhi will be becoming Congress president next month. It is for all to see that Mr Gandhi has been making interventions all along, be it in his constituency, in the party or when the United Progressive Alliance was in power.

He has been a part and parcel of the Congress family leading the party. Now his officially taking charge will further motivate Congress cadres to go amongst the people and campaign for the removal of this anti-people government.

The decision has rattled the Bharatiya Janata Party and its affiliates — that is why they have started targeting Mr Gandhi. The strange part is that there is a huge propaganda being carried out by saffronites that there will be no difference when Mr Gandhi takes over.

If, according to the BJP, Mr Gandhi is not going to make any difference, then why are they constantly speaking about him? The fact is now the BJP is scared.

Since this government has come to power in 2014, Mr Gandhi has been raising pertinent issues that are uncomfortable to the government.

The “suit boot ki sarkar” was a fine example that made the government wake up to the issues of the poor, farmers and downtrodden.

Mr Gandhi has visited remote areas to be with tribals, farmers who are under heavy debt and others. Three months back a tragedy occurred in Gorakhpur, which both the Central and state governments wanted to brush under the carpet.

The death of young children and newborn was of unimaginable proportions. The Prime Minister did not go there. It was the Congress vice-president who visited the place.

In the last couple of months it has become a habit of the BJP to keep saying that Mr Gandhi raises issues that are irrelevant. I would like to ask that if the issues are irrelevant, why does the government have to field a battery of Union ministers and senior BJP leaders to counter him? This happened after the address of Mr Gandhi in Berkeley.

The government is on the backfoot because of the questions being raised by Mr Gandhi. That is precisely the reason it has deferred the Winter Session of Parliament. We have questions and they need to be answered. Instead of empty rhetoric and election gimmickry, this government has completely failed on all fronts.

The Congress now has a young leader who is at the helm. There is no going back. The 2019 battle is still some time away and the Congress under Mr Gandhi will make our presence felt in each and every election.

There is a new energy in our cadres, which is evident from the fact that in our internal elections almost all the state units passed unanimous resolutions to make Mr Gandhi president of the party. Once Mr Gandhi is firmly at the helm, there will be a major surge amongst cadres, and the impact will be there for all to see.
The writer is an AICC member

He has proved to be a source of comic relief
Devang Dave

The Indian National Congress and sympathisers expect Rahul Gandhi to wave a magic wand and change the fortunes of the tumbling Congress.

However, Mr Gandhi had been entrusted with this task almost over a decade ago, and we all know how that has worked in the favour of the Congress. From being the largest ruling political party in India to struggling to be the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Mr Gandhi’s vice-captaincy and campaigning has already driven the Congress beyond despair. I wonder what will be the state of India’s oldest political outfit once Mr Gandhi assumes the party presidency.

Agreed, Mr Gandhi is trying hard to sound funny via his speeches and tweets (thanks to Pidi), but does it really amount to anything significant? In fact, his improving sense of humour is giving stiff competition to stand-up comedians like Kapil Sharma and Bharti, instead of giving sleepless nights to his political rivals.

Isn’t it time the Indian National Congress admits that there are much better leaders in the Congress than Mr Gandhi, who to be brutally honest, is a byproduct of dynasty politics without merit — a fact that has been agreed to by Mr Gandhi himself during his recent trip to the United States.

Mr Gandhi has failed to make any positive impact on the Indian National Congress. To say the least, he has proved to be a source of comic relief for Indians. His speeches and ideologies still reek of the inundated Congress philosophy that has not done the nation any good in the past 60 years.

The way the Gujarat election and campaign strategy has been spearheaded by Mr Gandhi just goes to show the Congress, even under new leadership, still believes in the age-old caste-based politics by pleasing select set groups and dividing religious sects and communities.

His sudden interest and frequent trips to Gujarat temples have gone to prove that the Congress will remember and please a “religion” as they choose and as per their convenience and need. Moreover, his constant selfies with the public go to highlight his desperation to seek public opinion and favour rather than a genuine interest in the well-being of people.

And his rising proximity with the controversial Patidar leader — Hardik Patel — highlights that the Congress is still relying on tried and tested, but immoral methods of using the political plank to woo voters and communities, only to disregard them later!

I wonder how Mr Gandhi’s elevation will galvanise the Congress. If anything, it will only better the meteoric rise of the BJP. Mr Gandhi’s elevation will in fact prove to be the final nail in the coffin of the Congress Party’s floundering hopes.

The nation is wise and has already risen above “cheap political” tricks and has given their unanimous thumbs-up to development over mere false propaganda and division politics. The time for “divide and rule” is long gone in our country.

I do hope that Mr Gandhi remains in the Congress for years to come. After all, we do need a comic-breather during pressure situations in Indian politics.

The writer is national in-charge of the BJP youth wing

Tags: rahul gandhi, winter session, hardik patel