The tale of two photos: In 2 years, Rahul Gandhi’s bravura becomes his embarrassment

Political observers always believed that Old guards not allowing fresh blood to take charge as one of its major stumbling blocks but Rahul Gandhi’s leadership has always been in question.

Written by July 12, 2020 23:09

New Delhi: For some years now, Congress has been caught up in Old Guard vs Young Turks battle. While the senior Congressmen continue to hold sway in the party and remain reluctant to allow the youngsters like Rahul and company to be at the helm of party affairs, the latter have made their frustration clear at party forums and outside.

But, today the bigger leadership crisis is not just with the party but also the person who is the face of it. Below two images (tweeted by Rahul Gandhi) and subsequent developments pose serious question mark on Rahul’s credibility as effective leader and as someone who can take on the mighty BJP.

In 2018, Congress party was successful in halting the Modi juggernaut by snatching two states from BJP clutches – Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The victory was seen as Congress resurrection and hailed as Rahul Gandhi’s beginning of victory march.

Rahul-Gandhi-Sachin-And-Ashok-1

The Congress won the two states but huge infighting was going on within the Congress unit of both states, apparently between the elders and Rahul’s close aides. Despite the infighting and rebellion within, the party managed to pacify the sulking members and chose to hand over power to old turks – Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan and Kamal Nath in Madhya Pradesh.

Two photos which leave Rahul red-faced

Rahul even tweeted two photographs, posing as an unifying force between two generation of leaders. But, little did Rahul knew at that time, that this will come to haunt him in a big way in just 2 years time.

Before government formation in Madhya Pradesh, Rahul tweeted photo with Scindia and Kamalnath by his side and wrote, “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”

Scindia was hurt and felt betrayed by the Congress leadership for not being adequately rewarded for the hard work he put in to revive Congress in the state. He waited for the party to take corrective action but when things didn’t move, he quit the grand old party and joined BJP.

Another photo which lays bare the bickering and internal strife in Congress party is this – Rahul, Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot all depicting the ‘United Colours of Rajasthan’.

But , the fact is that Rajasthan government has been under immense strain ever since its formation. Despite Sachin Pilot elevated to Deputy CM post, his supporters and many of party cadres believe that he hasn’t been given his due by the party high command. The simmering discontent today reached such a level that 30 MLAs showing allegiance to Sachin Pilot have refused to work under Ashok Gehlot government, technically pushing it into minority.

Rajasthan government is facing its worst crisis and if not handled tactfully by high command, the party may incur huge losses.

These are troubling times for Gehlot government but the question arises why the problem was allowed to fester for such long time? Why couldn’t Rahul Gandhi manage to convince Pilot, his young brigade member, to not resort to rebellion?

‘When will we wake up?’, asks Kapil Sibal amid Rajasthan crisis

Even senior party member Kapil Sibal took note of the looming crisis and today tweeted, Worried for our party. Will we wake up only after the horses have bolted from our stables.

Political observers always believed that Old guards not allowing fresh blood to take charge as one of its major stumbling blocks but Rahul Gandhi’s leadership has always been in question. The latest political turmoil in Rajasthan exposes further his ability to take along his close aides.