At a time when the Congress party is at its lowest ever, it needs reforms within and a leader to show to the world. A leader who is not Rahul Gandhi. Think about it: If ever Congress wins the elections (no chance in 2019 so let’s assume 2024), who will be its Prime Ministerial candidate?
Recently, a petition was initiated on Change.org by some fans of Shashi Tharoor requesting Congress party to make him its PM candidate for 2019. Shashi, being the suave and sweet person he generally is, politely declined and asked Tharoorians (if that’s a word) to withdraw any such petition.
There’s no doubt that Shashi Tharoor will make a good leader or political reformer. But the issue here is the revival of Congress. Will he be able to rebuild the INC and win back the lost seats for it? I’d certainly say No.
As much as I want Tharoor to take charge of the party, I cannot ignore the reality that he has a mass appeal limited only to the youth and intellectual class, who do not decide the results of an election.
For him to bring reform and change, he would need support from his party members too, which he lacks. He affiliates himself with the party ideology but has a mind of his own and evidently does not agree with a lot of his party stands.
For a successful and relatable Prime Ministerial candidate, one has to be a Hindi-speaking, North Indian with mass appeal among the poor and farmer class. Tharoor is a South Indian speaking, foreign educated, broke Hindi dialect guy having no connections with the grass roots level. I’d again like to repeat that Tharoor would make a splendid Prime Minister but he cannot make Congress win the elections.
For a successful and relatable Prime Ministerial candidate, one has to be a Hindi-speaking North Indian with mass appeal among the poor and farmer class
Another issue that needs to be addressed is the circumstances under which his wife died and his alleged affair with a Pakistani journalist. As far as the voters are concerned, there’s no doubt that criminal charges against a politician doesn’t move them, since we see a big number of MPs and MLAs with criminal charges against them, sitting in the Parliament and State Assemblies respectively. More so, with Yogi becoming CM and Modi becoming PM even after having serious charges on them, my argument gains further strength.
Now comes another leader-cum-celebrity who can save the Congress from falling inside an active volcano: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (Let’s forget Vadra for a while).
Hindi speaking: Check.
Gandhi lineage: Check.
No controversies: Check.
Resembles Indira Gandhi: Check.
The biggest advantage Priyanka has is her looks. She resembles her grandmother Indira Gandhi.
Those of you who are thinking “so what?” do not know the power of marketing. Or perhaps the stature, image and audacity Indira Gandhi used to have and still has. She was bigger than all the Prime Ministers after her combined.
She wasn’t elected just once or twice but four times, even after the dark period of Emergency. People considered her mother. And it’s not that she never did something good for the country. She did. Lots. But it is a known fact that she attempted to destroy Democracy, Constitution, Judiciary and the system. But the Indian mass has time and again proved that the misdeeds of a politician doesn’t matter to them for long.
Coming back to Priyanka, she is not a politician or a leader or a Modi. But what she is, is the grand-daughter of Indira Nehru Gandhi.
She might or might not have good public speaking skills but as long as she drapes that saree around her and looks like her grandmother, the public will fall for her apparent authority, just like it fell for Indira’s
Priyanka’s biggest liability is her husband Robert Vadra, the guy who everyone loves to hate. Vadra made it to the news in the rule of UPA-2 government. But we are over it. Even the media is done with each and every scam/misappropriation by him. To get rid of this liability, Congress would need to handle media better, just like the BJP does. If it succeeds in this effort, I don’t think Vadra would be a speed breaker in Priyanka’s travel to the throne.
Before the Congress does anything new, it needs to get one thing done right: Show RaGa the exit door. It’s either him out or everything is ruined.
It’s either him out or everything IS ruined
Juxtaposing both the leaders, I can confidently say that Congress needs Priyanka for winning elections and Tharoor for delivering on the expectations.
So to conclude, what the Congress party requires is the face of Priyanka and the intellect of Tharoor or in simpler words, perhaps, Congress President Priyanka and Prime Minister Tharoor.