Rahul Gandhi spoke at a news conference in Amritsar last month. Somewhat predictably newspapers and TV channels covering the event focused on his comments on the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 and his defense against being called a rookie by a seasoned political rival.
They ignored the context of his visit — to review preparations for the local youth Congress elections, being conducted with greater involvement of party workers at the grass-roots level. It’s a practice he apparently wants to replicate across other states.
If Gandhi is serious about it and succeeds in doing so, it will further the cause of internal party democracy, which is a major blind spot in the working of our democracy.
The Constitution ensures that we elect our representatives but does not specify how political parties should choose the candidates — it’s a decision that does not involve citizens.