The Hush Post: Rahul Gandhi has some big shoes to fill December 16 onwards. The posts of Congress president have been held by Mahatma Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose, Abul Kalam Azad, Rajendra Prasad, Vallabhai Patel, Madan Mohan Malviya, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Dadabhai Naoroji, Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee, Annie Besant in the distant past. Come December 16, Rahul Gandhi is all set to be anointed as the next Indian National Congress president – the sixth from the family after Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru and Motilal Nehru. The charge of the top position would be handed over to him by Sonia Gandhi.
The party, which once held sway over the entire country, has its governments in just five states and in Puducherry.
The announcement is likely to be done tomorrow since it happens to be the last date of withdrawal of nomination.
The Congress’ Central Election Authority chairman Mullapally Ramachandran, and CEA members Madhusudan Mistry and Bhubaneswar Kalita will announce that Gandhi’s was the only nomination for the top job tomorrow.
The Congress has been losing state after state since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with the exception of Punjab.
Gandhi’s elevation would come two days ahead of the counting of votes for the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly poll. Results of Gujarat, in particular, but also Himachal will determine the task ahead for Rahul Gandhi. While the Himachal campaign was largely managed by its state CM Virbhadra Singh, Gujarat’s results would be more crucial for the Gandhi’s new innings. Also in a clever move, he has partly taken the soft Hindutva line by making temple visits in Gujarat and also proclaimed to be a “Shiv bhakt.”
The deadline given by the Election Commission for conclusion of the organisational elections in the Congress expires on December 31.
Organisational elections in the Congress were due in 2015. The party constitution provides for elections to be held every five years. The last such polls were held in 2010.