Opposition camp upbeat over poll outcome, but leadership issue continues to haunt Congress

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 23, 2019 Published on December 23, 2019

Will he deliver? A file photo of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressing a rally in NewDelhi. The party is still struggling on leadership front when elections to Delhi and Bihar are not very far

The victory of the JMM-Congress-RJD combine in Jharkhand is yet another morale booster for the Opposition camp, which is on the streets waging a battle against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed National Registry of Citizens.

The inability of the BJP to form an alliance in Maharashtra and the fact that the saffron party had to form an alliance in Haryana to retain power had also enthused the Opposition camp in the recent past.

Passive involvement

However, the Congress is finding it difficult to take the centre-stage of politics as an alternative to the BJP. The party is just a “passive supporter” of the protests against the CAA and NRC. Opposition leaders such as Sitaram Yechury, Mamata Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav were seen on the ground, while former Congress president Rahul Gandhi was criticised for going out of the country when the protests were rocking the country in the last few days. The party held a silent protest at Rajghat here on Monday against the CAA and NRC.

A senior Congress leader said Rahul Gandhi will have to take the mantle of Congress president from his mother Sonia Gandhi sooner or later. “Sonia Gandhi took up the post again as a temporary arrangement. Rahul Gandhi will come back as the Congress president very soon,” a senior Congressman said.

In Haryana, where the party was in a direct fight with the BJP, the Congress could improve the prospects compared to the 2014 elections, it could not block the BJP from forming the Government. The Congress took the decision to support and join Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra after several days of consultations among the top brass. In Jharkhand, too, the entire political battle was led by JMM and its leader Shibu Soren, while the Congress just played the role of the junior partner in the State.

The party has formed several panels to revive itself and frame policies on the issues that come up for political debate. But on the question of leadership, the Congress is still struggling particularly when elections to States such as Delhi and Bihar are not very far.

Published on December 23, 2019
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