Congress hopes to benefit from change of guard, analysts sceptical

Political analyst Prof Sandeep Shastri looks at it only as a temporary move to keep the party together and help it deal with the existing challenges.

Published: 12th August 2019 10:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th August 2019 11:21 AM   |  A+A-

Congress flag

Congress flag used for representational purposes (Photo | Naveen Kumar, EPS)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: With the change of guard at the top, Congress leaders in the state hope it will arrest the grand old party’s downward spiral and augment its strengths to take on the BJP in the assembly elections to be held in the next few months, in various states. Political analysts, however, are sceptical of any drastic change.

After its humiliating defeat at the recent Lok Sabha polls and Rahul Gandhi’s decision to step down owning moral responsibility for it, the party was hurtling towards a major crisis, and its cadre was totally demoralised. Sonia Gandhi’s return may help boost the morale and bring together various factions within the Congress, but at the same time, the party will be opening itself to further criticism from its political opponents.

“It is an excellent move. Sonia Gandhi is the longest-serving and most successful Congress president,” former Karnataka Chief Minister M Veerappa Moily told The New Indian Express.

“At a time when BJP wants to weaken Congress, this step would arrest disintegration and also revive the party. She will choose the right persons at the right time for the right job,” said Moily.

Political analyst Prof Sandeep Shastri looks at it only as a temporary move to keep the party together and help it deal with the existing challenges. “In the long run, the party may choose a permanent president, who possibly hails from outside the dynasty. It is clear that the party could not have a consensus on non-Nehru-Gandhi family leader,” he said.

“There is nothing new in the change. They have just maintained status quo,” said political analyst Mahadev Prakash. “It can help Congress maintain its current status, but revival of the party is difficult and may take a long time.” According to him, total overhauling of the organisations is required at the Central and state level to revive the party. Strong regional leaders should be given more prominence at the national level, he added.

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