Rahul Gandhi taking charge as Congress president will infuse fresh energy in the party cadre, but his success in the 2019 Lok Sabha election will depend on how far he succeeds in bringing the non-NDA political ranks together.
It is quite a fall in the Congress party’s fortunes within a span of just a few years, five years to be precise – even till 2011, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi were at the centre stage of the Indian political landscape, and looked quite invincible.
From there, facing a situation when even the likely elevation of Rahul Gandhi as president of the Congress party is receiving muted coverage would be hard to digest for the party that was in power for 10 years till May 2014.
This is what politics is all about, but writing off Congress party or Rahul Gandhi would be a mistake by the NDA government led by prime minister Narendra Modi – they should not forget 2004.
It is true that Rahul Gandhi has failed to enthuse even staunch Congress party workers and the party has only seen downward movement since he has started influencing decisions – but at times, it is the anti-incumbency or alliance politics that reign supreme in the elections – Congress party may appear weak in state elections, it would be bad political thinking if its might is ignored in the Lok Sabha polls.
So, the Congress Working Committee members requesting Rahul Gandhi to take charge as president ahead of the UP assembly elections could prove to be a turning point.
Though his success would depend on how far he can bring the anti-BJP political ranks together, taking over the charge from his mother, in itself, will surely infuse some energy in the party cadre.
His allegations and jibes on the PM Modi dispensation – Suit Boot ki Sarkar and that of being an intolerant government – though limited, have gained traction already.
Even though it is advantage PM Modi at present in terms of public perception, things can change quickly once 2019 Lok Sabha poll starts coming closer.
In this backdrop, Rahul Gandhi chairing the CWC meeting for the first time on Monday is an event that needs to be watched closely instead of terming it an insignificant one – the NDA government, especially PM Modi, must be prepared for a more vociferous Rahul Gandhi going ahead.
How far that changes the political landscape of the country would be interesting to watch.