Congress Party is among the oldest and most prominent parties in India. It has been in power for majority of the period after India gained Independence in 1947 and most people feel that “they know how to rule and run a country”. It has produced great leaders of the likes of M. Gandhi. J.L. Nehru, S. Patel, S.C. Bose, M. Azad etc. However, sadly, the party has become the fiefdom of Nehru-Gandhi family (post independence) and is today the most undemocratic party in world’s largest democracy – India.
Nehru, Indira, Rajiv all of them have been PM of the country (been in power for 37 years, 56% of the period post Independence). The family has also suffered at the hands of extremists with both Indira and Rajiv killed by terrorists. Post Rajiv’s assassination in 1991 family lost control of the party as Sonia (Madam) was recuperating from her husband’s death and had two young children to take care of. She was not ostensibly interested in party politics.
After much persuasion from party (which was used to a Nehru-Gandhi scion at the helm of its affairs; exhibiting lack of leadership in a century old party), Madam became party president in 1998. The party won general elections in 2004 under Madam and she was tipped to become the PM. Finally she made MMS the PM (taking a moral high) and herself assumed the role of Chairperson of UPA, creating two power centers in Govt. Essentially having power without any accountability and responsibility. This I feel has been one of the major factors for poor performance of UPA I and II.
Now time has come to pass on the baton to another family member, Madam chose Rahul (Baba) over Priyanka (Baby), despite the fact that Baby is more popular and is considered the natural heir because of her similarities to grandma Indira. However, the ladka won over the ladki (typical Indian mentality) and Baba is now tipped to be the successor.
Part II will contain Congress Poll Preparations and Part III Congress Prospects.