oppn parties Rahul Insists On Quitting, But Does The Congress Have A Choice?

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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Rahul Insists On Quitting, But Does The Congress Have A Choice?

By Linus Garg

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.
The Congress Working Committee (CWC) has met. Rahul Gandhi has offered to resign. The CWC has refused to accept his resignation. Most members said that the party needs him at this hour. But Rahul has insisted that he wants to actually quit. Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra tried to persuade him to change his mind. But he was adamant. He said that it is not necessary for the party to have a member of the Gandhi family at the top.

Rahul Gandhi and the Congress are in a dilemma. If Rahul doesn’t quit, he is called shameless. If he quits, there will be cries that he shied away from fighting Modi. If the party doesn’t accept his resignation, it will be accused of pandering to dynastic politics. If it does accept it, it will not be able to reach a consensus on who will be the next president.

Accepting 100% responsibility for the party’s debacle in the elections, Rahul Gandhi is reported to have told the CWC that "We have to continue our fight. I am and will remain a disciplined soldier of the Congress and continue to fight fearlessly. But I do not want to remain the party president. It is not necessary that the president should be from Gandhi family".

But the 51 other wise men and women who form the CWC are aware that seniority, egos and personality clashes have prevented the Congress from having anyone but a Gandhi at the top for most part of its existence after the 1970’s. They know that even if the person appointed is handpicked by the Gandhi’s, other leaders will work to undermine his position. They also know that it would be a disaster is times like this when the BJP has a brute majority in Parliament. They fear that the party will disintegrate if anyone but a Gandhi holds it together.

Hence, despite Rahul’s earnest insistence, the CWC is unlikely to let him go. They cannot have Sonia as president due to her health issues. Priyanka Vadra is very new to active politics and despite acceptance among the workers, she might not find favour with a few senior leaders. Also, her appointment will trigger a fresh round of charge from the BJP about Congress relying on dynastic politics. Manmohan Singh is unlikely to accept the post due to his advancing years. No other leader will be universally accepted, both by other leaders and by party workers. Hence, one feels that Rahul Gandhi will continue to lead the party for now.