New Delhi: The political move of TMC chief Mamata Banerjee has added to the problems of the Congress. The Bengal Chief Minister seems to be working on the agenda of the Sangh which is aimed at isolating the Gandhi family in politics.

The Congress is already on the sidelines after facing a series of electoral defeats over the last few years, with no possibility of the party’s come-back in sight. Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi’s insistence on promoting her son Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has caused damage to the party. Both of them are not ready to do full-time politics. Nor are they apparently ready to understand the mood of the nation. Rahul Gandhi went to the extent of ignoring his own party leaders. When Sonia Gandhi took control of the party in 1999, the Congress was faction-ridden. But she never ignored any faction. She appointed advisors who had a good understanding of politics. But Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra did not learn anything from their mother.

On the contrary, Rahul Gandhi was surrounded by leaders who did not have even the basic knowledge of politics. Fighting began between the old guards and young leaders. Rahul Gandhi was under the impression that votes came to the party in the name of the Gandhis. So he continued to ignore seniors. On the contrary, Sonia Gandhi had people like V. George, R.K. Dhawan, Ahmed Patel, Madhavrao Scindia, Ambika Soni, N.D. Tiwari, Arjun Singh, Digvijaya Singh, Ashok Gehlot, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Amarinder Singh, Rajesh Pilot, Kapil Sibal, Kamal Nath, Anand Sharma, P. Chidambaram, Natwar Singh, Sheila Dikshit and Balram Jakhar. Sonia Gandhi used to strike a balance while working with these heavyweights. She used to consult all of them. But Rahul did not do that. Most of these leaders are in Congress, but they cannot say anything. Even if someone speaks his mind out, he is branded as a disgruntled leader.

Rahul Gandhi’s politics was beyond comprehension. He avoided any kind of responsibility during the 10 years of UPA rule. But he tried to intervene in the functioning of the government. He tore an ordinance, creating a bad impression about the then PM Manmohan Singh. The party badly lost the Lok Sabha polls in 2014. Rahul Gandhi was targeted for the defeat. He took over the party charge in 2017 and started working in his own way, ignoring the seniors. He pushed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to the political forefront. She also sidelined experienced leaders and is now struggling in UP where even smaller parties are not ready to ally with the Congress.

In fact, on the basis of past few instances an impression was created that any non-Congress government cannot complete its full term. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were under the impression that the BJP-led government would not last long. It will not get a majority due to the politics based on caste and religion. As a result, Rahul Gandhi did not change his strategy and the party was weakened. But the BJP got a massive mandate in 2019, and PM Modi emerged as a much stronger leader. Congress lost in the states ruled by it. After the defeat, Rahul Gandhi resigned as party chief so as to avoid being blamed for the loss. His move put the party into further crisis. But Rahul Gandhi continued to intervene in the party. That the Congress charge will be given to a non-Gandhi family leader turned out to be false propaganda. Sonia Gandhi took the charge again as an interim president, but Rahul Gandhi continues to run the party. Most of his decisions turned out to be wrong. Next year’s state polls may weaken Congress all the more as apart from BJP, the entire opposition is also trying to see that it gets defeated.

Rahul Gandhi may be analysing that the Congress could win in 2029 if it could not succeed in the 2024 electoral test. But what he is forgetting is that the AAP is working hard to expand its footprints nationwide.

Mamata Banerjee is putting in place another UPA. The tag Gandhi does not hold that much force. PM Modi is already a charismatic leader among the youth and others.