Priyanka Alone Can Not Revive Congress


Just days ahead of UP assembly elections, speculations of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s ascendance within the party is gaining momentum. So far, the Gandhi scion has delimited role to the family seats (Rae Barelli & Amethi) only. But amid growing urgency of revival, Congress high command is getting impatient with every passing hour.

The party which was once recognized as the pillar of Indian democracy lost its grip in 2014. Scam after scam in UPA-2 deluded its credibility among the masses, leading to the worst defeat it ever faced since independence.

Will Priyanka’s ascendance make any difference? As speculations are rife that she might contest 2019 elections from her mother’s seat because of her deteriorating health, Congress is definitely eyeing on the second coming.

Since 2014, Congress has been undergoing a leadership crisis. Party’s Vice-President Rahul Gandhi hasn’t been able to live up to its expectations. Despite having all the operational commands in her mother’s absence Rahul was unable to put a strong fight against Prime Minister Modi’s BJP.

As a matter of fact, BJP under Modi’s leadership has been rigorously promoting the idea of ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’ (A nation without Congress) from day one. Whereas, Rahul’s non-political attitude, unawareness about key issues, poor oratory skills and moreover his non-serious image within the media are the prime reasons behind Congress’s fall in the past 31 months.

With Priyanka, who pertains excellent social and political skills, Congress hopes to regain its lost virtue. Adding to this, it will be right moment for Priyanka’s escalation within the party as she is being credited for sealing the deal with SP ahead of the UP polls, she outmanoeuvered months of BJP’s preparation in one stroke. Now just days ahead, the Modi led BJP which lacks a local face has to come out with a new strategy.

But road to Delhi will not be that easy for Mrs. Vadra as well. As she also has to bear the brunt of her husband Robert Vadra’s tainted image. Vadra’s alleged illicit involvement in land deals might not work in Priyanka’s favour as opposition is always ready to corner her. This makes it compulsory for her to come out clean as her personal life might jeopardize her political ambitions.

Meanwhile, it’s high time for the party to rise beyond dynasty politics. For party patrons, its necessary to go back to their roots in short to start from the scratch. They have to be more approachable now than ever. They have to reach people and regain the lost trust. They have to start cashing both small and big opportunities unlike the demonetisation bid where they failed even to make people understand their own point of view.

Congress as a party has to realise that no single person can change its fate. It can only be attained through collective efforts. Even Modi on his own didn’t change the political landscape of this country in 2014. It was a team effort which involved several stake holders with years of preparation. So, if Congress is eyeing for the second coming in 2019 it shouldn’t rely only on Priyanka as the credit for 2014 debacle goes to everyone within the party.

Rahul Pandey is a TV journalist. Twitter: @Rahul_Waitforit

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