In a thought process that continuously revolves around one family, Congress’ thinking begins at the Gandhi family and ends at the Gandhi family. This turns into reality again, as months after the drama, it seems that Rahul Gandhi is ready to return as the Congress President in 2021. In a meeting hosted by the Gandhi family, the dissenting members of the Congress have been subdued, paving the way for some more ‘yes manship’.
Yesterday, a five-hour meeting took place on the lawns of 10, Janpath, hosted by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, in an attempt to woo the so-called rebels. It saw the presence of the G-23 group of dissenters including, Anand Sharma, Manish Tewari, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Shashi Tharoor, Prithviraj Chavan, and Bhupinder Hooda.
In an attempt to gain popularity and consensus for the inevitable, Rahul Gandhi reportedly told the dissenters at the meeting that he is willing to take feedback, and respects the seniors in the party. He also brought in an emotional angle by saying that many of the seniors were colleagues of his father, Rajiv Gandhi.
According to sources, Rahul Gandhi said that he was ready to take on any responsibility the party wants him to take. An attendee of the meeting said, “He (Rahul Gandhi) said the issue isn’t whether he becomes President or someone else does, the issue is that the organisation needs rebuilding. And he is willing to put in the effort to do that. He said whatever responsibility the party wants him to take to achieve that, he is willing to do it.”
After decades of Sonia Gandhi’s presidency, the heir had been appointed as the party president in December 2017. However, after Congress’ massive electoral failure at the hands of BJP, in the Lok Sabha elections, wherein they could not even garner 10% of the seats, Rahul Gandhi had stepped down as the President in a face-saving exercise. In an expected move, Rahul’s mother Sonia Gandhi has been on the helm since then. Now it seems that the scion is once again ready to take on the reign.
Further indicating the return of subjugation and submission, Rahul Gandhi’s comment on his readiness to “work for the party as all desire”, was greeted by applause on all fronts. It seems that all the dissenters required was, a little attention from Gandhis and the moment they get it, all is well in paradise.
In August, a dissent letter seeking radical changes in the Congress party, particularly in the leadership had been written by 23 Congress leaders. The letter, apparently written by people wanting reform, had sought for “sweeping changes” in the party. The letter had called for “full time and effective leadership”, which was both “visible” and “active” in the field.
Those “sweeping changes” have now gone for a toss. On the eve of the meeting, chief Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala stated that “Congress workers will choose a person best suited for the post (of the president). 99.9% of the party workers and I believe Rahul Gandhi should be elected president.”
To see that the dissenting leaders who wrote the letter against the leadership are no longer dissenting is disappointing. It was perceived that the letter will lead to a radical reform within the Congress, enabling them to present a worthy opponent to the BJP. However, it seems that they have given in, and with that, dies the little hope of Congress freeing itself from the clutches of the Gandhi family.