• Tue. Jun 6th, 2023

Kharge or Tharoor! Who is the next king of 137 years old political party of India !

The election to the post of President of Congress party is rather unusual given its tradition. Albeit in the aftermath of its ignominious performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha election and Rahul Gandhi’s leadership failure, this election within the party was more than overdue and preordained. So the entire nation watched with curiosity that it’s more than 9000 strong members finally voted for electing a new Congress President. Prima facie it was a healthy sign although section of its leadership quipped for consensus candidate. However in the event of inevitable contest,party’s interim President Sonia Gandhi maintained her neutral stance and from Priyanka Vadra, Senior Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh and others cast their votes.

Party leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor were in the fray for the top position of the party.The counting of votes is scheduled be done on 19th instant and the results will be declared the same day. Although time has changed remarkably from the days of Congress hegemony in national politics and party’s increasing loss of fate even at the state level or in important cow belt politics, this election has a hype and propensity to impact Indian politics. Ideologically of course Congress has a universal appeal because it is not only India’s grand old party but it is a centrist party capable to save the country at a time of dangerous polarization and chauvinism we are facing today.

Nevertheless some Questions remain:

1) Is Tharoor a man of organization?
He is a great orator no doubt but organization needs pragmatic management and guts to handle lots of issues for which experience is more important.

2) So does it leverage Mallikarjun Kharge’s advantage over Tharoor? But Kharghe’s disadvantages are his age and pro-Gandhi stance. In fact, he is perceived to be a proxy candidate of the Gandhi family. So, can he usher in veritable change to reinvigorate Congress politics by adding to its popularity or will he be a docile yesman of Soniaji?

3) there is every possibility that even after the victory of Kharge, the real reign of backseat control will be in the hands of Gandhi family because there cannot be any comparison between Rahul Gandhi on one hand and Tharoor or Kharghe on the other. So this election in that sense is nothing but a grand show without any bright prospect for Congress.

4) However, we can’t gloss over the aspect that this election has tremendous significance to inject new enthusiasm, energy and new ideas which can replenish and renew its vast organization and surely that is to come from leadership position like President or party chief. Although no one can predict what exactly would be the future of Congress party, yet there is a sensation that if Congress can succeed to acquire strength through new network, and new innovative ideas to connect with grassroots, and if it is able to get rid of dynastic politics, then the pale clouds of crisis will not only be removed out of its head but it might unfurl a new chapter of Indian politics with sweeping inspiration and development idiom for the countrymen.

(The article is solely the opinion of the authors. The views expressed here are solely personal and not in any way connected to any organisation or any political party ).

Dr. Gouri Sankar Nag

Author: Dr. Gouri Sankar Nag ( Professor & Head, Department of Political Science, Sidho-Kanho-Birsha University, Purulia,)

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