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nucleus

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On 11th December Rahul Gandhi will take over the cudgels of the 132 year old Congress Party officially in his hands as its full fledged Chief continuing the hierarchical responsibility once started by his great grandfather Pt Moti lal Nehru, now he being the 6th generational head of the largest oposition party of the largest democracy of the world. His mother Sonia Gandhi who commanded the party for nineteen long years will thus pass on the baton to him under extremely challenging time when it has the strength of merely 44 MPs in Lok Sabha and power in few negligible states.

The Shehzada of Congress party as being labelled by the BJP and anti Congress NDA would be elected unanimously as no one in the Congress has either guts to challenge the Nehru Gandhi family scion nor the capacity as a mass leader to do so. The ruling BJP and its leaders at the helm of affairs as usual have branded him as a product of dynasty born with the silver spoon with no backgound of socio political struggle which the Congress have just shrugged off with umpteen examples of sons of political leaders and ministers and CMs in BJP having been elevated to senior positions in the party and government. While leaders and protagonists of Rahul Gandhi are extremely jubilant over their mentor’s crowning as the party president, one should not forget that the future path of the Congress and the youthful leader is too challenging and full of thorns and umpteen obstacles, particularly keeping in view the 2019 elections and the environment of saffronisation all around.

Rahul’s biggest challenge after assuming the national presidentship of the pre independent party would be to revive and revitalise the sagging morale of Congress workers and leaders at state, district and block levels by restructuring it overwhelmningly. Today, the Bhartiya Janata party’s direct or indirect saffron outfits like the RSS, Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the frontal organisations like ABVP, Yuva Morcha and hidden saffron outfits have badly and profusely percolated at the grassroot and ground level in every state of the country who loose no chance to exploit political capital out of religious issues and issues of faith like Ram Temple so on and so forth. The Congress that has been continuously losing the centre and various states after its horrible defeat in 2014 is devoid of a well knit organisation at the decentralised level nationally as used to be the case earlier.

After joining active politics about a decade ago the Congress vice president had undoubtedly tried hard to revamp, revitalise and strengthen the main party and its frontal organisations like NSUI, SEWA DAL and Youth Congress but during the rampant Modi wave all his past efforts have proved to be futile and the situation has now come to square one. You can gauge the poor and weak conditions of the Congress’s organisational structure that during the last three to four years of Modi rule the Congress party and its frontal organisations have not been able to organise impressive number of demonstrations, sit in or gheraos on pivotal issues like demonetisation, inflation, GST and issues of women security at the national level.

This unambiguously speaks of the fact that the Congress Party needs a complete overhaul and re vitalisation at all levels right from the blocks to districts to states and the centre. I think everybody knows that for the last four years or so its only Rahul Gandhi who is single handedly taking on the prime minister Narendra Modi and the entire top brass of the ruling party inside as well as outside the parliament on various issues such as inflation, demonetisation, GST, unemployment etc and had been touring the various states of the country despite the fact that the party lost in the last lok Sabha coming down to merely 44 seats’ tally and losing every state where Congress was in power. But the Gandhi family scion has not relented and is still vociferous and highly mobile in Gujarat elections as well and being successful to rope in the Dalit leader Alpesh Thakur, OBC leaderJignesh and the most popular and powerful Patidar supremo Hardik Patel thus compelling the mighty Narendra Modi and his entire central government concentrate in Gujarat fearing the power of Rahul’s jaggernaut.

What happens in Gujarat is a different story but if we see the results of the 2014 national elections, the Congress got 18% votes nationally where as the BJP a whopping 38% with rest of the votes going to the UPA partners or the NDA and SP, BSP, the left etc. Therefore, if Rahul Gandhi really is serious about the outcome of the 2019 national elections he will have to become a credible nucleus of the minus BJP opposition and would have to take everybody into good humour and confidence as united vote percentage would be the only best alternative to credibly counter the increasing Modi and majority polarisation effect, failing which 2019 would again go into the BJP led NDA’s favour as apart from development plant Modi and his party would in all probability use the Ram Mandir issue to turn the tide in their favour nationally, as construction of Ram temple is their biggest priority apart from other issues.

It may be recalled that Sonia Gandhi had successfully formed a seat adjustment alliance with all the non BJP opposition parties and had achieved an absolute majority. Rahul needs to dwell on this particular aspect as today he has been successful in establishing himself as the credible leader of the opposition in and outside parliament and his dashing streak to take on prime minister Narendra Modi in Gujarat has compelled the political analysts come to the final conclusion that he is the best bet as a formidable leader of the opposition who can unite the anti BJP forces to counter effectively the increasing Modi charisma and even turn the tide in 2019. But unless the Congress party resurrects itself from top to bottom and equates itself with the actions and stamina of the vastly influensive BJP under the youthful Rahul, thinking of turning the tide in the next general election would still be a nightmare? What do you say frinds?
SUNIL NEGI