Lately Indian Politics is seeing the emergence of many young political leaders into the National Scene with Rahul Gandhi the son of Former Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi taking the lead in it. Such a trend is not doubt a welcome development in Indian politics at least now India can hope to have some dynamism in its political scene based on some vision for social and economic development.
Coming of Rahul Gandhi into the center stage of Indian politics should also be viewed in such a context. Leaving aside the hype created by the Congress party of making Rahul Gandhi as the projected 2009 Prime Ministerial candidate one can at least hope a better and wider vision from the high profile technosavy western returned Mr. Gandhi for the Congress party as well as for India
Rahul Gandhi’s projection by the Congress Party as its 2009 Prime Ministerial Candidate is somewhat far fetched as Mr. Gandhi in relation to Indian Politics is still a toddler he has to learn a lot about the complexities of the Indian political system and this can come only through some hard earned grass root level experience and by a long innings in Indian politics. However it is a welcome sign that Mr. Gandhi has finally taken the hard plunge
But then a lot depends on how Mr. Gandhi carries himself in the coming years in the Indian political scene. Now that Mr. Gandhi is gradually taking the center stage of the Congress party’s politics a lot of responsibility depends on his shoulder .Whether the Congress party can deliver in the 2009 parliamentary election under his leadership is a big question which only the results of 2009 will tell. Taking a look into the recent Uttar Pradesh state assembly election in which Mr. Gandhi had taken a lead role such an expectations seems to be a Herculean task for Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Gandhi should be aware of it.
The Congress party is in a very weak wicket in the main states of the Hindi heartland of India. Its position is pathetic in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan which gives more then 150 seats in the Indian parliament. Mr. Gandhi has to toil a lot in all these states if the congress has to gain a respectable position in all these states. In the states of Jharkhand, Himchal, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir the party faces a lot of dissidence and Mr. Gandhi has to overcome this if the Congress party needs to do well in all these states. In the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala the party needs to work a lot to attain a respectable position In the state of Maharashtra the party has to finish once for all its problems with its alliance partner NCP if the party wants to perform well there. Now that Mr. Gandhi has come into the center stage of the party he needs to keep the above factors in mind.
In the state of West Bengal the party should tie up with the TMC of Mamta Banerjee if it wants to do well .Only then it can take the Communist head on in that state. In the North East India too the party should choose its alliance wherever it is weak. Mr. Gandhi also should keep in mind that India is in a era of collation politics as such the Congress under his guidance should be broad minded enough to give seats to its alliance partners looking into the ground realities well.
It would be advisable for Mr. Gandhi to be realist and judge the ground realities well and not get carried away by the hype of the party members. Mr. Gandhi should himself judge the ground realities well for which he should travel to the nook and corner of the country. Mix and interact with the poor and illiterate masses of the far flung areas and get the pulse of the people. Its time for him to know the ground realties well if he has to mature as a hard baked rough and tough politician of future India. Its time for him to come out of his marble palace and his AC car and discard the lap top and speak the language of the masses.
Rahul Gandhi should also keep in mind that 2009 is the real test for him and he has to deliver handsomely for his party if he has to sustain himself in Indian politics. He should keep in mind that 2009 is the semi final round for him and not the final round He should not dream about the post of Prime Minister Ship in 2009 .If he delivers in 2009 then there is no stopping of him becoming the Prime Minster of India in 2014 if the Congress party wins the election then. It is this reality which Mr. Gandhi should keep in mind.
Dr. Suvrokamal Dutta
The writer is renowned Foreign Affairs and Economic Expert and a Political Critic, Chairman Global Council for Peace and Convenor Debating India.
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