The Great Debate (India)
Rahul Gandhi is set to become the next Congress party chief within a few weeks, The Economic Times reported on Saturday. The report said several party leaders, including a cabinet minister, had confirmed the handover is likely in “four to eight weeks”.
The Nehru-Gandhi family political dynasty has no other equivalent in the world, combining the birthright of royalty with the tragic glamour of the Kennedy clan. A member of the family has been in charge of India for more than two-thirds of the period since independence from Britain in 1947.
But Rahul Gandhi’s apparent ascendancy, and uncertain leadership qualities, has raised questions about whether a family political dynasty is compatible with a modern democracy. In September, Reuters interviewed Congress party officials and family friends, some of whom have talked to the media for the first time. They revealed deep concerns about the future of the Gandhi dynasty.
Prime Minister-elect Manmohan Singh has said he will try and persuade Rahul Gandhi, heir apparent to the Congress party, to take on a cabinet position in the new government.
Gandhi, whose father, grandmother and great grandfather were all prime ministers, had become the most visible campaigner of Congress in the month-long election to win over Indian youth as well as millions of poor villagers.