Lull before the Storm


By Sunil Dang

I am surmising if the lull engulfing 24 Akbar Road has got to do something with a rearguard blitz on the cards? Given the tremendoustransformation blues that the grand old party may have to endure in the process, I would not be surprised if the Rahul camp would let most of the old guard fade into oblivion & keep few as Party guides without teeth to bite. Some may even risk venturing into parallel careers. Whether or not such adventures would work in the future is anybody’s guess?

Are we then actually witnessing a Kamraj Plan at work behind the scenes? The sense that one gets is that leaders who are a part of Rahul Gandhi’s team are gearing up for the necessary churn. Would there be any doubt left in anyone’s mind after Rahul’s continued insistence on his resignation? The message may be clear if not loud. Shape up or shape out. And when none of the old guard has followed suit & resigned, that more or less conveys the lack of seriousness & commitment they have towards the party. Is Rahul testing waters his way?

Speculation may be rife that most of the old veterans or General Secretaries won’t find a place in his team. Maybe Rahul would like to have absolute say in all the appointments and restructuring of CWC that would have to done afresh. There has been a long-standing debate in the Congress that Rahul Gandhi should be given the command of the party and the organization should be restructured according to the Kamaraj Plan. Why would he otherwise be made to stand responsible for all the ills plaguing the party & take all the brickbats & flak for most of the debacles & poll reverses? There cannot be a more convenient & drab thinking than the one on the anvil. It is time that congress leaders resign like what Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha has done & let Rahul go about recasting the party afresh.

All the senior functionaries, stalwarts & pensioners must get down to brass tacks and devote all their energy to the revitalization of the party. I wonder why the veterans would not see the writing on the wall. Maybe the consensus can be arrived where the party is sort of divided into two parts. One consisting of the old & experienced guard that can advise the more pro-active generals who would be on the forefront & effectively countering the competitive political narrative that keeps building up.

Maybe a close knit team of 4-5 young brigade MPs with fire in their bellies & zeal in their mission can be attached to Rahul? Maybe Congress can create its own version of a Margdarshak Mandal & assign specific responsibility to its members. In all likelihood, I can clearly see the emergence of a Priyanka, Scindia, Deora, Maken, Pilot, Surjewala, Gogoi, Jitendra& their ilk taking center stage in coming days. Others may be deputed to reinvigorate the state units & asked to develop mass contact programs in right earnest.

While I am hoping that this sort of understanding based on our view & coverage of all political dispensations for decades holds good in future times, it shouldn’t be shocking to see some kind of a compromise & consensus being arrived at that restores some of the old guard prestige & its sycophant conduct whilst ceding some authority & control to Rahul & his camp. Regardless, the party will not maintain status quo under any pressure. It is natural for the bruises & cuts to take longer to heal & it may take even longer for the Party to come out of its hurt & angst.