The Great Debate (India)

Rahul Gandhi next Congress chief?


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”.

After Rahul takes over, Sonia Gandhi will restrict her role to giving broad directions to the party and government, the report added.

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.

from India Insight:

Women wield power in election wrangling

With the wrangling for allies in earnest ahead of election results due Saturday, women leaders hold an inordinate amount of power in deciding who will form the new Indian government.

Women leaders have always had a role in the rough and tumble of Indian politics, from Sarojini Naidu and Annie Besant in the independence struggle to Indira Gandhi, the second woman in the world to become prime minister.