The Indian National Congress is a party that is – as explained in the cover story of this issue of VoN – one at odds with itself. The election to its president post would not have been easy, that we knew, but the chaos that the build-up to the process generated was beyond anybody’s dream.
The drama that ensued, especially with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot throwing his hat in the ring, was unbelievable. If the ‘revolt’ of 92 Gehlot-faithful MLAs staged – even submitting a mass ‘resignation letter’ on plain paper – is to be considered as normal democratic procedure, as top spokespersons of the party have been talking about, then that chaotic ‘democracy’ is not what the party wants, building up to the 2024 general elections. Gehlot was rebuked by Sonia and Gehlot even apologised in public. The MLAs said that in the absence of Gehlot, the next CM – if Gehlot had to leave his post – would be chosen by the MLAs themselves. This has never been the norm in Indian politics. Rahul Gandhi’s friend Sachin Pilot seems to have lost all power in the party.
Rahul steadfastly refused to take up the gauntlet, but continued with his Bharat Jodo Yatra which, it must be said, has been very successful so far. It has to be seen where his mileage stays when he moves north of the country, where the BJP has its main bastion.
We expected a more civilised turn of events. When Gehlot approached Rahul for consent, Rahul just reminded him about the one man one post decision. Enough said.
Meanwhile, Sashi Tharoor has been left in the lurch. The only gain for this erudite statesman is that he may have a better command over Hindi now. He was learning it quickly.
We will wait to see how much control Sonia has on Kharge, the man who should win.