Comments on: Euphoria over Rahul Gandhi’s new role may be short-lived Perspectives on South Asian politics Thu, 02 Jun 2016 08:03:22 +0000 hourly 1 By: nayakan88 Wed, 23 Jan 2013 13:27:12 +0000 You are right that the Congress has an uphill journey in the 2014 elections. The only uncertainty is that the opposition BJP seems to be somewhat in disarray with a lot of infighting. This could, quite unpredictably, tilt the scales if the problems within the BJP are not resolved soon.

On the Congress’ side, Rahul Gandhi himself is probably the biggest liability for the party. The party rules dynastically; so even when Manmohan Singh was supposedly the PM, it was clear that he was taking regular orders from his boss, party president Sonia Gandhi. It was always clear that the stage was being set for the heir apparent, Rahul.

This would be fine if Mr. Gandhi had some achievements to his credit. Unfortunately, he has failed in every electoral test that he has faced since he joined the party in 2004 – a string of disastrous defeats – in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat are his most glaring failures. In addition, he took it upon himself to reinvent the party and its youth wing, and has come up woefully short.

Even these shortcomings are not as great as the appearance of a person totally devoid of ideas. On matters of national importance, such as the Anna Hazare anti-corruption agitation of August-September 2011 and the rape of the young girl in New Delhi in December 2012, Mr. Gandhi had almost nothing to say. This is not the profile of a leader, even a minor one, let alone the leader of a national party and the projected future leader of the country. Mr. Gandhi therefore faces a huge credibility gap.

Even the acceptance speech he made is disingenuous, for in it he talks as though he were an outsider, in pointing out the flaws in the system and in his government, yet he himself was a key member of the government; his mother was and is the president of the party; and even before his coronation, Congress party workers were falling over themselves to fulfill his slightest wish. So if things are not well in the state of the Congress and the country, he has himself to blame.

I have written a humorous article that talks about this credibility gap as it might apply to a corporate situation. Readers might find it entertaining: