New Delhi: Undoubtedly, the downfall of the Congress has become unstoppable. With the infighting becoming greater day by day, the grand old party is devoid of any power to put up challenge to the government of the day. With Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra doing nothing except attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi through Twitter, the Central government continues to rise on the popularity graph. As a result, the Congress is grappling with fight between old guards and young Turks. Congress insiders believe that there are several issues on which the Modi government can be cornered. But the crisis-ridden Congress has miserably failed to cash in on them. Congress leaders have been sitting idle since the party’s defeat in 2019. Rahul Gandhi is sticking to social media just to target PM Modi. On the other hand, Priyanka Vadra is directing her attack on UP Chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
In addition to this, Rahul Gandhi has started interview series. He interacts in English with one economist or the other. But nobody bothers to find out whether the party is benefitted by it. Rahul Gandhi resigned on 3 July last year. But what he did thereafter is known to none. He was conspicuous only by his anti-Modi rants. Given what has been happening in the party since the second Lok Sabha defeat, veterans of the party are rightly blaming Rahul Gandhi for the Congress being in a mess. However, nobody is coming out with direct attack on Rahul Gandhi. Nobody dares to call a spade a spade in the Congress when it comes to finding fault with the Gandhi family.
Rahul Gandhi got the reins of the Congress as a result of dynastic politics. The party got into power soon after he entered the politics on 2004. Other youth from political families also got the opportunity to enjoy power. Many of them enjoyed power because of being close to Rahul Gandhi. This resulted in fighting in the party. Those who got something by dint of struggle were averse to young leaders being given top position just because they were from political families close to Gandhi.
Rahul Gandhi made the first mistake by not heeding this during UPA I. When UPA II came to power, these youth brigade got more ambitious. Rahul Gandhi had also become vice president of the Congress. The youth brigade started efforts to get Rahul appointed president. They also started campaign to see that old guards are sidelined. Rahul played in their hands. He started appointing leaders close to him as PCC chiefs. Rahul Gandhi had taken control of the Congress without being president in 2014. But his team of young leaders flopped. Congress saw a massive defeat in 2014 and again in 2019. In a bid to save Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi put blame on Manmohan Singh.
After 2014 defeat, A.K. Antony in his report pointed out that pro-minority image harmed the Congress more than anything else. Narendra Modi had emerged as a strong leader whose popularity was at peak. But the Congress didn’t bother to mend its ways. Old versus young continued to weaken the Congress. Congress performed miserably in all the states where Rahul Gandhi’s team members were PCC chiefs. This embarrassed Rahul Gandhi a lot. In a bid to save their positions, the young leaders blamed old guards for the defeat. They turned into a bunch of yes-man of Rahul Gandhi. Meanwhile, Priyanka Gandhi got active. Rahul’s decisions proved to be wrong one after another. Congress defeat in Uttar Pradesh polls was one of the glaring examples of Rahul’s decisions going awry. Somehow, Rahul realised the importance of old guards. That’s why he didn’t tinker with the team Sonia when he became Congress president in December 2017. He gave importance to oldies like Kamal Nath, Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel in 2018 state elections and that went in favour of the Congress. Rahul Gandhi could not assess the situation and again depended on young brigade in 2019 polls. Rahul Gandhi lost Amethi and his young team got defeated. Rahul Gandhi didn’t form any committee to find out the reason for debacle.
Rahul Gandhi stepped down as president to divert attention from his wrong decisions. Despite stepping down as top boss, Rahul Gandhi kept controlling the Congress. The members of youth brigade started deserting him. Leaders like Ashok Tanwar and Jyotiraditya Scindia left the party. Sachin Pilot is also a rebel now trying to destabilise the government in Rajasthan. Rahul seems to be helpless. The Congress former chief is not able to feel the pulse of the nation. He isn’t ready to jettison the strategy to attack PM Modi. The attack should be issue based. But he is not ready to go by this advice.