June 5, 2023

This question has been on everyone’s mind in political circles ever since Rahul Gandhi declared his intent to step down as Congress president following the party’s rout in the general elections. Except for a brief, choreographed drama outside his residence to protest against his decision and resolutions by some state units, Congressmen across the country have been quiet, albeit indifferent. It must be breaking the Congress’ first family’s heart, for sure.

Withdrawing his resignation offer would expose Gandhi to more barbs. But seeing it through could be fraught with risks in terms of his family’s political relevance.

Therefore, as Rahul Gandhi returns from his week-long jaunt abroad Monday, he must begin the process to find another Manmohan Singh, who would be the modern-day incarnate of Ramayana’s Bharat who ruled in the name of Ram’s paduka(sandal) until the elder brother returned from exile — or until the next Lok Sabha election, in Gandhi’s context.

But before we discuss the impossibility of this mission, it must be stated that the entire idea of someone outside the family replacing Rahul Gandhi as Congress president is impetuous, preposterous and as hair-brained as his so-called democratisation move through internal elections in the Youth Congress and the NSUI. The huge public dislike and resentment against the politics of entitlement as nurtured through dynasties is a reality, which explains the electoral losses of Rahul Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia and several other Congress dynasts.

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