Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has often taken a position different to that of the party and has got the image of ‘Congressi with a difference’. When a majority of the Congress-governed states were shying away from inclusion in PM-KISAN scheme of Modi government, Singh was among the leaders who worked hard to enroll the maximum number of eligible farmers as beneficiary. He sensed the ‘Nationalist’ surge across the country and often took centre-right stance on most issues rather than taking a traditional leftward turn of Congress party.
However, when it came showing unflinching loyalty to the first family of Congress party, his stance remains the same. “Priyanka would be a perfect choice to take over the party reins but it would all depend on the Congress Working Committee, which alone is authorised to take a decision in the matter,” said Singh. “She has the intelligence and instinct to understand and relate to the needs of the nation,” added the CM of Punjab.
The Congress leaders who seem the most reformist and could take the ailing Congress party forward remain loyal to Nehru-Gandhi family when it comes to changing of leadership at top brass.
A day before, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that Priyanka Gandhi would make an excellent choice for Congress president as she has ‘natural charisma’. Amarinder Singh agreed with Tharoor and tweeted Priyanka Gandhi is an excellent choice for the next party president who would enjoy all-round support. Agree with Shashi Tharoor that her natural charisma would galvanise and rally the workers and voters alike. Hope the CWC decides on it soon.”
The problem with Congress party is that the leadership is not ready to accept the simple fact that young and aspirational India wants to get rid of dynastic politics. Sonia Gandhi was party president for almost two decades from 1998 to 2017. Rahul Gandhi, whom the media and left-liberal establishment tried to launch before every election since he joined politics in the early 2000s, was appointed to the post in 2017. He was given the charge to save the dying Congress party but he proved to be the last nail in the coffin. The party could not win even 10 percent seats in the 2019 general election and finally, the prince resigned.
The state leaders of the Congress party are second or third-generation politicians. From Jyotiraditya Scindia to Sachin Pilot, Gaurav Gogoi and Sushmita Dev, the most prominent faces of the Congress are dynasts.
The last general election was the worst for dynastic politics. Most prominent dynasts like Rahul Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia whose families have a political history of four to five generations lost the traditional bastions of the party. Other prominent political families which lost the power base in last general election are Badals of Akali Dal, Mufti’s of Jammu & Kashmir, Yadavs of Samajwadi Party, Yadav’s of RJD, Pawar’s of NCP and many other dynasties across North, South, Central and Western India.
So, there is a piece of clear evidence that aspirational India judges the people on merit and not on dynasties. The senior leaders like Amarinder Singh and Tharoor must look for someone outside the ‘first family’ if they wish revival of Congress party.