Though Rahul Gandhi resigned by taking all the blame for the humiliating failure in the Lok Sabha polls 2019, he has blamed the other seniors in the party by saying “I stood completely alone” in his resignation letter.
New Delhi: It is good that Rahul Gandhi has stuck to his decision to resign as the Congress party president. Having offered to quit in the immediate aftermath of the mauling his party suffered in the general elections, if he had continued to linger on, in the face of some expected theatrics by a section of the Congress party, it would have been a travesty.
But while announcing his resignation through a formal letter, Rahul Gandhi seems to have taken responsibility for the Congress party's dismal failure in the election by, well, implicitly blaming others.
"I personally fought the prime minister, the RSS and the institutions they have captured with all my being. I fought because I love India. At times, I stood completely alone and I am extremely proud of it," Rahul said in the letter.
By saying that he stood alone, is Rahul not accusing others in the party of not backing him up? Essentially, he is saying that the party lost because the party members did not support him adequately. Pray how this is owning responsibility for the defeat?
If anything, Rahul is surreptitiously distancing himself from the loss by clambering up on the moral high ground of verbal sophistry.
Of course, Rahul does not stop with leading his party colleagues down the garden path. He, rather disingenuously, chooses to further pin the blame of Congress's debacle on the misuse of institutions and money power. There were certainly instances in which the Election Commission could have been faulted, but to throw the entire loss at its doors is rather silly and reflects a mindset that steadfastly refuses to see the larger reality.
The BJP secured an unprecedented mandate for itself because Narendra Modi's brand of welfarism and nationalism held tremendous appeal among a vast cross-section of the electorate. One can question that welfarism and nationalism, but what is an irrefutable fact is that the larger public of this country believe in Modi's ideas and plans.
The opposition parties, especially the Congress, should have come up with a believable counter-campaign. Instead, the Congress clung on to outmoded ideologies (shaped up by what a few liberals say on social media platforms) that most people of this country are frankly fed up with.
Also, the Congress, in most states, is a disgruntled and disorganised outfit. Its organisational fitness is a major problem. Inner-party wrangling and the state leadership at loggerheads with the party high command are all issues that need to be urgently sorted out.
Rather than focusing on these germane issues, Rahul, in a desire to paint himself as a martyr, is quite typically barking up the wrong tree. These kinds of diagnosis are neither going to help him nor the party.
If anything, Rahul's letter and his general approach, does not provide much hope on his leadership qualities. In that sense, it is good that he is leaving that job to someone else.
But as a senior member of the party, he should not be seen as someone running away from it all as he has no stomach for a fight. He must make clear what he intends to do in the party and what role he has envisaged for himself. More importantly, he must not try and operate from behind the scenes, reducing whoever becomes the president of the party to a mere puppet. That would be deceitful and hurt the Congress even more.
All in all, Rahul by resigning has done the right thing. But everything surrounding his resignation seems wrong.
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Last Updated Jul 5, 2019, 6:06 PM IST