The only question is whether Rahul Gandhi is Congress’s strength or its weakness? There would hardly be any person in the country who would have no opinion on this question. It can be said that this is the biggest question that divides the country politically. There is a long story of how this happened, the essence of which is that the BJP has made a discourse on the strength of its campaign system that the politics of the country has become two-polar, one pole of which is Narendra Modi and the other is Rahul Gandhi. This is the reason that whenever there is talk of an alternative to Narendra Modi in the country, the first question is whether to make Rahul in his place? In the petition-fake surveys conducted by the media groups of the country every second-third day, they also tell the results of the survey by keeping the face of Rahul as compared to Modi. The result is known to all, but the figures are sometimes made up and down. Like the latest data is that Modi is the choice of 52 percent of the people, then Rahul is of nine percent!
This campaign of BJP has now been caught by the Aam Aadmi Party as well. The Aam Aadmi Party also has a committed media, which may not support the BJP vs AAP, but when it comes to Congress, goes ahead and supports AAP’s agenda. So, the narrative of Rahul Gandhi’s weakness which BJP used to run earlier is now run by the Aam Aadmi Party too. Recently, Arvind Kejriwal participated in the ‘Town Hall’ program sponsored by a media group, in which he was asked if he was weakening the Congress, his sarcastic answer was ‘Why will I weaken the Congress, is Rahul Gandhi less? ‘? This is the same thing as BJP leaders have been saying for the last eight years. Many BJP leaders have said many times that the star campaigner for it is Rahul Gandhi because Congress loses wherever Rahul Gandhi goes to campaign.
On one hand it is the propaganda of BJP and Aam Aadmi Party that Rahul Gandhi is enough to weaken the Congress and destroy it, on the other hand the leaders of the Congress party are adamant to make him the President of the party again. Half a dozen state committees have passed a resolution that Rahul Gandhi should become the president of Congress. Think what a difference! Are the leaders of the Congress party not understanding what is being said by the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party? Or are they knowingly insisting on making Rahul the president for some specific purpose? Or do they sincerely believe that whatever is being said by the BJP and AAP is a propaganda? Then there is a need to objectively assess whether Rahul is Congress’s strength or weakness?
First, assess whether there are reasons why he is being called a weakness of the Congress or a weak leader? There are two grounds for this conclusion. First, in the last eight years, the Congress has lost two Lok Sabha elections and 39 out of 49 assembly elections. The second premise is that since the Congress is losing the election, one leader after the other is leaving the Congress. Both these are hard facts so they cannot be questioned. But from this both the opposition parties and the leaders who have left the Congress are drawing conclusions at their own convenience. The question is, Sonia Gandhi was the full-time President of Congress during the tenure of two UPA governments and Rahul Gandhi became the Vice President in 2013, then why is the blame of failure put on her? The reality is that no one could stop Narendra Modi in the way it was in 2014 and after that it was difficult day by day to stop him because of the kind of politics done by Narendra Modi’s government and Modi-Amit Shah-led BJP. He is going. It is not that only Congress is failing in front of BJP, parties of big and seasoned regional leaders are also failing.
The second important thing is that any leader is only as good as his party. A leader is as strong as his party. LK Advani was called Iron Man. They were called small chieftains. In the history of 97 years of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, no volunteer like him was born. A leader who has organized better than him hardly happened in any other party. Narendra Modi himself has said that Advani is different from the rest of the country’s leaders in the sense that he has produced leaders under himself. The entire leadership of BJP has been prepared by him. But he could not become the Prime Minister. The BJP had contested the 2009 elections by making him a contender for the post of Prime Minister and its seats were reduced from 138 to 116. Congress won the election for the second time in a row and its seats increased from 145 to 206. The Congress continued to win elections from north to south till the time the party was under the command of Advani-Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari, before Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s departure and the beginning of the Modi-Shah era. Congress was in government in 14 states. But even then no one campaigned for Advani, Rajnath or Gadkari like Rahul did.
What has been overlooked is the fact that Rahul Gandhi contested the Lok Sabha election for the first time in 2004 and the Congress returned to power in the same year after eight years of exile. Then Congress fought the 2009 elections under Rahul’s indirect command and returned to power again with more seats. During that time between 2004 and 2014, Congress won elections in all the states from Kerala to Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to Maharashtra, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand. But the credit for that is not given to Rahul Gandhi. It has been 18 years for Rahul Gandhi in politics but his first 10 years are not counted in this, when Congress was winning and Rahul was preparing new leadership by putting forward young leaders in the party. Now the question is, those whom Rahul carried forward left the party, then what is the fault of Rahul in this? In the last four years, the Congress government was formed in five big states- Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, out of which the BJP snatched three governments on the basis of ‘Saam, Daam, Dand, Bhed’, then what is the fault of Rahul in this?
It needs to be kept in mind that merely losing an election does not make a leader weak and does not become a cause of weakness for the party. No one would have known this better than the leaders of Bharatiya Jana Sangh and Bharatiya Janata Party because no other party would have lost more elections than them. Yet they call their leaders great and call Rahul Gandhi ‘Pappu’. This is hippocracy, which Congress leaders are understanding. They are knowing the strength of Rahul ideologically and his strength to stand against the BJP government, so they are insisting on making him the president.