The season of inner-party democracy is once again approaching in the Congress party, as the chatter of a new National President getting elected gathers steam. For weeks now, it was being speculated that the election for the party’s top position was due to be held, and interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi is increasingly becoming averse to the idea of serving a full term as Congress’ leader with the interim tag. So, the party has a new candidate for the Congress Presidency – Rahul Gandhi.
After beating around the bush for months now, and braving a massive storm of dissent stemming from the senior-most leaders of the party, the Congress finally seems to have concluded that Rahul Gandhi must once again take the reins of the party as National President. Needless to say, after much dilly-dallying, the Gandhi prince has agreed to the proposal – or so is being reported by the media.
According to at least two reports, sources have indicated that a meeting of ‘top leaders’ was held at Sonia Gandhi’s residence recently. In the meeting, a unanimous voice arose demanding the appointment of Rahul Gandhi as Congress President once again.
The ‘senior leaders’ who made the said demand were – K Suresh, Abdul Khaliq, Gaurav Gogoi and Digvijay Singh. The media reports said that after much insistence, Rahul Gandhi accepted the offer, remarking that whatever role the party deems fit for him; he is ready to abide by it.
Interestingly, none of the 23 senior leaders of the Congress, who had shot off a dissent letter to Sonia Gandhi asking for structural reforms in the party last year, were present during the meeting.
The meeting in which Rahul Gandhi agreed to become the Congress President once again and attended by a few family loyalists who are being called ‘senior leaders’ for inexplicable reasons. The actual senior leaders of the party were nowhere to be found, and it would not be an overstatement to say that not many of them would like the idea of Rahul Gandhi becoming Congress President again.
Essentially, Rahul Gandhi’s acceptance of the proposal of him becoming Congress President came in a meeting which was effectively his own coterie. Needless to say, this will not go down well with many leaders of the party, despite Randeep Surjewala claiming that 99.9 per cent of the party leaders and workers want to see Rahul Gandhi as their President again.
As for inner-party democracy, nothing has changed in the Congress, and one’s survival in the party is solely hinged on the ability of leaders to toe the Gandhis’ line.