Congress, the Grand Old Party of India, is down and also seems out. A defeated army can still make a comeback if it has the resources to do so. However the Congress cupboard is bare and it seems unlikely that they can marshal their forces to make a comprehensive comeback. A look at the shortages that they are facing…
1. Shortage of Presidential candidates: Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi all had stalwarts who were good candidates for the leadership of the party. Even Sonia Gandhi had Madhavrao Scindia and Rajesh Pilot initially in the first few years of her political career.
However this is the first time that the Congress has such a weak heir apparent in the form of Rahul Gandhi and so few people to challenge him. Everyone agrees that Rahul is unfit for the post of Congress President.
But who will replace him? There is not even one person who can stand up to him. Pappu may be a pygmy, but he is still the tallest leader in the party. In fact forget Presidential candidates, the Congress has a shortage of good leaders even at the State level.
2. Shortage of ideas: In 1947 it was the idea of Independence. In 1967 it was the idea of Indira who also launched Garibi Hatao and “secularism” (a word she also included into the Preamble of the Constitution). When Rajiv came, he was the bright knight in shining armour who would take India into the Space Age.
Even Manmohan Singh in 2009 seemed an educated honest politician who would transform India through things like nuclear power plants. But today the Congress is running around like a headless chicken with no ideas.
Their spouting things like “secularism” and “socialism” has fallen flat. Their caste card has been beaten comprehensively. When they talk of development, nobody believes them. The Congress has no ideas at the top, no ideas to revive the party and no ideas for the voters.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi during an election rally.