A LETTER by over twenty senior Congress leaders to the interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi has plunged the party into a deep crisis. It is learnt now that Sonia Gandhi is set to resign to pave the way for the election of a non-Gandhi president. But the letter has split Congress down the middle with Gandhi family supporters and opponents at loggerheads with each other. Among the Gandhi family supporters, however, are incumbent chief ministers like Amarinder Singh, Bupesh Baghel and Ashok Gehlot. However, the letter marks a break from the passivity of the last six years with the party apparently seeming to have resigned to its current lot. But it won’t also be easy to elect a non-Gandhi president. And the party has its own reasons for this: a Gandhi not being at the helm will run the risk of breaking the party up. Also, in the present circumstances, Congress doesn’t boost of many a mass leader -albeit, there are many senior politicians who can be worthy successors to Gandhi. Gandhi’s term at the helm has shown that he is not just up to the task.
The situation is not any better among other parties. The country’s secular opposition is in tatters and fighting over scraps. There is no major pan-India leader to take on the overarching persona of Modi. While Rahul Gandhi and many others look like minions, the likes of Mamta Banerjee and Mayawati who once showed signs of shaping up into credible rivals have too paled into significance. The caste based parties in Uttar Pradesh who were only hope to stop Modi’s juggernaut have bitten the dust. And they are unlikely to recover from the beating they have taken in polls after polls.
It is now clear that the Modi wave remains alive and kicking. After a few reverses here and there over the past six years, Modi’s appeal has only grown stronger. He is now certain to win many more Assembly polls, more so, the upcoming election in West Bengal unless Congress and wider opposition gets its act right. If no credible opposition emerges from the shadows in the near future, a prospect which looks bleak.
The deft blend of ideology and the grassroots organization under Modi’s charismatic leadership is expected to help the BJP triumph in future polls. While the opposition is reeling from the defeat over the past some years the BJP is busy setting up its base in the states where it lacks the presence. With some pushback brewing within its ranks, there is hope that Congress can set its house right by electing a full-time leader who is able to take on the might of Modi. This alone can get it back in reckoning.
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