Taking his own time to recover from the political setback he suffered at the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in parliamentary elections, Congress President appears to have turned fickle-minded.
His biggest dilemma is how to face public and especially those arch rivals whom he lampooned in last few months while self-proclaiming being the prime ministerial candidate in case his party-led alliance won the parliamentary elections. His party lost miserably even losing eligibility to be leader of opposition in the lower house of Indian parliament.
Never in the history of Indian politics, a Congress party chief may have gone into self-exile like he has for being completely outwitted by his main rival.
Having exchanged uncountable barbs with the rival BJP’s PM nominee Narendra Modi, Congress president for the first time was found stooping too low to even disrespect the post of Prime Minister of India.
From calling the prime minister “Chowkidar Chor Hai” (the watchman of country is a thief) or blaming him for Rafale jet deal with France despite the latter’s clarification over it or blaming the prime minister of having robbed the country and the farmers in all respects, the Congress president forgot one fact – Modi Can Make A Comeback!
Forcing the farmers’ community to forget how much they have benefitted over the years in terms of health benefits, loans, electricity or mobile connectivity and various other scheme, Gandhi wished to be the prime minister this time. He projected himself many a times being interested in the top post saying ‘if the people want him to be so’.
Having been defeated by his another arch rival and fiery leader Smriti Irani in his favourite constituency Amethi this time, Rahul Gandhi appears to have lost face. However, he won from Wayanad constituency of Kerala.
Meanwhile, as the update, Rahul Gandhi has agreed to continue as party chief for a month.
He has, however, asked other senior leaders to choose the next Congress president in the time being.
Several party leaders have tendered their resignations in order to give him full authority to rejig the party and various positions.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has also emerged as one of the culprits reportedly in the eyes of Rahul Gandhi whom he blamed for promoting his son during general elections in place of giving preference to party’s fate.
A senior party leader Shashi Tharoor, having initially stated that he was ready to lead the party in the parliament, has made a u-turn saying Rahul Gandhi should continue as the leader.
Sheila Dikshit, the former Delhi chief minister and Congress Working Committee member, too has asked him to continue as party chief instead of falling in the trap of rival Bharatiya Janata Party.
Earlier, RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadam, an ally of Congress party, also suggested Congress president to save himself from falling into the trap of BJP.
A battery of senior leaders on Tuesday tried to meet and persuade him but he fielded his sister and General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to keep them at bay while maintaining that he doesn’t wish to continue.
Rahul Gandhi contends that since he has suffered an unexpected jolt in the parliamentary elections, his party winning just 55 in the 542 seat of Lok Sabha, the public at large has rejected him. Thus, he doesn’t feel he has right to continue as the oldest party’s chief. Congress has been ruling the country for the maximum part since independence. He now wants a non-Gandhi to lead the party.
(Disclaimer: The writer Sandeep Datta is a Delhi-based senior journalist, working with an international media organisation as Editor. Views expressed are a personal opinion.)