Can Rahul Gandhi revive Congress?



Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi has finally stepped into the limelight. His appointment as Congress’ vice president moved many Congressmen to tears, especially when he made an emotional pitch at the AICC conclave on January 20 and declared his love for the people of the country and his party.

The usually quiet Rahul spoke at length in his coronation speech and expressed his desire to transform the system. Since it is official now that Rahul will lead Congress in General Elections 2014, the crown price of the Grand Old Party touched issues like corruption, flawed ticket distribution in his maiden speech as vice president of the party. He talked of respecting leaders at all levels. He seemed to be hell-bent upon bringing transformation in the party, which earned him a comparison with US President Barack Obama, who walked the way to the White House with a promise to bring change.

His words may have got a big round of applause from the party members, but it was his personal remarks about his grandmother Indira Gandhi and father Rajiv Gandhi that helped him earn plaudits.

"I saw my father (Rajiv Gandhi) crying for the first time, but on the same day I saw him address the nation. There I saw a gleam of hope," he recalled when his grandmother was assassinated by two of her bodyguards in 1984.

Eight years into politics now, Rahul is no more a novice. He knows the game by now.

"Last night everyone congratulated me," the emotional Rahul said. "But last night, my mother came to my room. She sat with me and she cried. She cried because she can see that power can be a poison. And she can see it because she is not attached to it. Don't chase power for the attributes of power, but use it to empower the world."

That was indeed impressive.

He also acknowledged the existence of the problems in the party, but it remains to be seen whether he will walk the talk, or can he lead the ruling party at a time when the country is facing innumerable problems.

His speech may have boosted morale of the party workers, who want to see him elevated to the prime ministerial post. In General Elections 2014, Rahul may be pitted against BJP strongman Narendra Modi, who is known for his tough decision-making.

Rahul’s speech lacked details of how he wanted to bring change and what is his vision for India.

His past record does not conform with his emotional and idealistic speech in Jaipur. His strategies in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have failed to do any wonders for the party. His silence or late statements on major issues say scams, terrorism, women’s safety have further raised a question mark on his will to change anything on ground.