Friday 27 May 2022
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Electoral debacle may force Sonia, Rahul, Priyanka to enact resignation drama again

While Shashi Tharoor and Jaiveer Shergill have shamed the leadership following the electoral debacle in the five states, Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar believes the party will fall apart in the absence of the family

Following an electoral wipe-out of the INC in five states on 10 March, all the three members of the Nehru-Gandhi family who hold senior positions in the Indian National Congress (INC) — Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra — are set to offer their resignations at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meet to be held on 13 March. The INC has officially, however, denied that the dynasts would offer their resignations tomorrow.

The CWC will meet in Delhi to discuss the ongoing electoral debacles in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa, and Punjab. At the meet, the CWC may pitch advancing the internal elections that are slated to be held in September this year.

The development follows the INC’s dismal performance in the recently concluded assembly elections in five states, with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) toppling the INC government in Punjab, which was one of the last few states remaining under its rule.

In Uttar Pradesh, where Vadra was heading the INC’s electoral campaign, the INC managed to get just two out of 403 seats and only 2.4% of the votes.

The INC’s poor performance in the 2022 polls has revived criticism against the members of the Nehru-Gandhi family and a need for an overhaul of the party’s leadership.

Among those who spoke out openly are senior INC leaders Shashi Tharoor and Jaiveer Shergill. However, Congress chief DK Shivakumar believes that the party will fall apart in the absence of the Gandhi family. He said, “Without the Gandhi family, the Congress party cannot stay united. They are key for the unity of the Congress party… It is impossible for the Congress to survive without the Gandhi family.”

Editor’s note: In the recent past (2019), Rahul Gandhi had resigned from the post of party president and an ailing, aged Sonia Gandhi has been at the helm as interim president of the party since then. While this gave rise to the rebel group that the party pejoratively refers to as G23, which raises the issue of the absence of internal democracy in the INC time and again, Rahul Gandhi occupying the top office of the organisation or otherwise has not changed the party’s fortunes. In the distant past, when PV Narasimha Rao helmed the party, it disintegrated towards the end, with a faction led by ND Tiwari and another led by GK Moopanar breaking away and forming their respective political parties Tiwari Congress and Tamil Maanila Congress. In between in 2004, Sonia Gandhi had staged the drama of abdication after the post-poll UPA unseated the NDA government and she was naturally expected to lead the administration. But India and the world witnessed for 10 years thereafter that the INC-led UPA regime’s real head was Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh was merely a glorified proxy. If Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra resign tomorrow, it will be a meaningless exercise, as the party that cannot do without them will continue to be either really or virtually steered by the dynasty.

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