At a time when Congress party has been reduced to a minority & when it ought to look for a strong decisive leadership, comes the news that Sonia Gandhi will remain as the Interim President of the grand old party and the new party president will most likely be elected within the next 6 months.
Now, to the outsider, it may look like the Congress party leaders took 7 hours to pacify Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul & daughter Priyanka to maintain status quo, however isn’t it an open secret that the Gandhis are reluctant to pass on the baton?
What’s the proof you ask? Well, for the last 22 years, there has been no Non-Gandhi President in the party, Congress even tried to give Sonia a break and elevated Rahul to the highest post, however, the prodigal son failed to rise both literally and metaphorically for the party, and in turn further jeopardised his family’s ‘birth right’ to Congress leadership.
A stale political plot
At every Congress Working Committee meet, the script that plays out is almost the same. The meet begins, and a miffed Sonia says she doesn’t want to preside over the party. Few leaders (today Manmohan Singh) oppose.
The leaders look to Rahul (who shrugs responsibility) and then of course, Congress leaders pledge their allegiance to Sonia Gandhi and then a statement comes out saying how the Gandhis have once again (albeit reluctantly) chosen to resume their post, for the welfare of the nation of course.
Sonia Gandhi said,"Organisational issues are always addressed & process of constitution & reconstitution is continuous one". She said she doesn't hold any ill will or any other thought of any other nature against any colleague as she treats them as part of the family: R Surjewala https://t.co/XeZBrqtMUf— ANI (@ANI) August 24, 2020
A short lived drama
Now this perfect script would have played out today as well, had it not been for an interesting development. One of the most loyal Congress leaders Kapil Sibal tweeted and hit out at Rahul Gandhi.
Kapil tweeted and I quote,”Rahul Gandhi says “we are colluding with BJP”. Succeeded in Rajasthan High Court defending the Congress Party. Defending party in Manipur to bring down BJP Govt. Last 30 years have never made a statement in favour of BJP on any issue. Yet “we are colluding with the BJP”!” Unquote
Kapil Sibal was fuming over the source based news reports that suggested that Rahul lashed out at 23 Senior Congress leaders who had written a letter to Sonia, seeking an overhaul in the party.
Rahul Gandhi, during CWC meeting, says the letter (to Sonia Gandhi about party leadership) was written at a time when Congress government in Rajasthan was facing a crisis, the right place to discuss what was written in the letter was CWC meeting and not the media: Sources https://t.co/w47zre3MfE— ANI (@ANI) August 24, 2020
Once Kapil tweeted, Congress immediately went into damage control mode and in fact, in less than two hours, Sibal withdrew the tweet, claiming the Gandhi Scion denied the quotes that were attributed to him.
Was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that he never said what was attributed to him .— Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) August 24, 2020
I therefore withdraw my tweet .
Source based information are usually delivered by party insiders to journalists, so it is unclear why the information was first leaked and then taken back.
A ghost of its political past
Congress has failed to adapt and align itself with the political geography of our country (at least since 2014).
With the party’s political clout ending, can the grand old party revive itself or will it turn into a ghost of her glorious past?