Clearly, the Congress party is moving backwards. The century-old party has no inclination of becoming a mass based party rather than remaining a party dominated by a particular family. This is why the party has once again gone back to Sonia Gandhi as its president instead of picking someone from outside the family. To justify the decision, it was said that the party would find itself nearing oblivion if someone from outside the Gandhi-Nehru family leads the Congress. When a party indulges in such thought, its bleak future can easily be predicted.
It was known to all even after resigning from the post of Congress’ president, Rahul Gandhi would not allow the reins of the Congress going to the hands of someone outside his family. When he resisted the attempt to elevate his sister Priyanka to party’s top post, Rahu’s choice as the next Congress president was known. It is now being said that for the love of her adopted country, Sonia has agreed to fill the void created by her son’s resignation, but it is not true. Like all occasions in the past, this time too, Sonia is in the top post just to hide the failures of her son and to keep the reins of the party within the family.
While the game plan of the Gandhi’s were known to every Congressmen, it is astonishing that none stood up and said that Congress should come out of the grip of a single family and rebuild itself from scratch as it did many times in the past. But, quite sadly, in today’s Congress there is no such leader. Everyone keeps on shuttling between Congress headquarters and Rahul’s bunglow at Thuglak Lane to plead before him to continue even after steering the party to one of its most mammoth defeats in recent times. Instead of urging Rahul to reconsider his decision, it would have been better for the party if the said leaders vowed to bring back the party without being solely dependent on the Gandhi family. These leaders wasted a golden chance of reversing the trend which is virtually the main cause of its downfall. Since mid-60’s, during the time of the late Indira Gandhi, another member of Gandhi-Nehru family, the Congress has stopped giving prominence to any leaders who had grass root supports. Rather, the party is full of leaders who can’t win a single seat without the blessings of the said family. This culture flourished in the Congress as Indira Gandhi performed her role as a vote-catcher to near perfection. Indira’s untimely death propelled her son the late Rajiv Gandhi to power. Rajiv was never really tested as vote-catcher. After the demise of Rajiv, Sonia took over. Her report card is mixed. Not on the sole strength of her party, but Sonia managed to keep the Congress in power for 10 years, during 2004 to 2014.
Moreover the longer the Congress remained in power, the more the party becoming anaemic, in want of leaders with substance. One can easily figure that today there is not a single leader in the Congress who is the product of long political struggle. From top to bottom, the so called Congress leaders are the products of nepotism, manipulation and palace loyalties. If this trend continues, Narendra Modi’s dream of ‘Congress-mukt’ Bharat will be realised sooner than later.