Status quoist Congress votes to ‘elect’ non-Gandhi chief; Tharoor makes mark


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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, October 16: Except for extraordinary development, Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge will take the baton of the party leadership from the working president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday. While Kharge will keep the chair warm for former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Thiruvananthpuram Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor has marked his arrival with a spirited campaign even for a losing cause.

Kharge and Tharoor campaigned for the Congress president election, canvassing for support among the constituents of the electoral college of over 9000 delegates from Pradesh Congress Committees. The Congress delegates don’t need to be told whom to vote, for they know well under the circumstances in which Kharge came in the fray that he’s the choice of 10, Janpath, the seats of power of Gandhis.

Neither Tharoor nor Kharge is a mass leader. Tharoor is well-known to win the Thiruvananthpuram Lok Sabha seat with a tacit understanding with the CPI (M). Kharge’s writ doesn’t run even in his home state Karnataka. But Tharoor has energy to back him to charge up his supporters, and a growing appeal among the urbane youth to set a new narrative for the ever ebbing Congress, which is sliding furiously to a state of an electoral irrelevance.

But Kharge has a special talent that keeps him going, as he has silenced the G23, the group of dissidents in Congress, with his Dalit background. His caste is the greatest shield that Congress high command has armed themselves to fend off the growing clamour for the Gandhis to step back from the day to day affairs of the party. Kharge’s caste also keeps the BJP guarded, for the saffron outfit cannot launch personal attack on him. Kharge, thus, is a clever choice of the Gandhis, as he’s a staunch Gandhi loyalist, and also a status quoist at the core.

Internal democracy on the lines of the politics seen in the US and the UK hasn’t yet arrived in India to the disadvantage of Tharoor. Yet, he has got a start to build a base in the party to become an alternative voice for a scenario when the Rahul Gandhi 4.0 project, relaunch, again fails, as the G23 by then would turn into an avalanche. Status quoism is the biggest roadblock against Congress to come up with a narrative that could resonate with the people in the country. Congress may just have brought a few years to shield the status quo.

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1 thought on “Status quoist Congress votes to ‘elect’ non-Gandhi chief; Tharoor makes mark

  1. Very well written political coverage with choice of the words used to describe the current scenario of INC with new chief.
    We need to wait and watch what success comes to Congress in upcoming elections – whether new chief really pose any challenge to BJP.

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