Another Climbdown By The CongressIt seems that Congress has become habituated to climbdowns and capitulations. Even as people were trying to forget its total capitulation in Karnataka to a party that won less than half the seats than the Congress comes the latest climbdown from the Rahul as PM line flaunted after the CWC meeting to a more amenable we are open line after protests by several opposition parties.
By Sunil Garodia
Buoyed perhaps by better than expected showing in Punjab, Gujarat and Karnataka and ground reports of huge anti-incumbency against the ruling BJP in poll-bound states Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, as also the new-found confidence and spring-in-the-steps of its president, the CWC rushed into making a declaration it has been forced to clarify and amend.
That Rahul Gandhi is not the automatic choice to lead the so-called federal or united opposition front is clear from the fact that several opposition leaders, mainly West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress, see themselves as serious contenders. The Congress should have gauged the mood of other leaders before rushing to project Rahul as PM.
The Congress must realize that it all depends on numbers. The last time around both the AIADMK and the TMC were within striking distance of the number of seats won by the Congress. If the TMC improves upon its tally in 2019, which is most likely given the state of the BJP in Bengal, and if the Congress does not improve upon its own, then it will be under severe pressure to yield the top spot to Mamata. Hence, instead of focusing on making Rahul the PM, the party must focus on winning at least 100 seats in 2019. Only then will Rahul be a serious contender in case the opposition combine trumps the NDA.