Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday made it very obvious that he will leave his post, and that a new president will have to be elected. Underscoring the need for “accountability,” Gandhi told the media that he will not get involved in the election of the new president and the party has to decide. This is the clearest sign from Rahul Gandhi that he is determined to step down from the post of presidency. After the abysmal performance in the Lok Sabha election, last month he decided to step down from the position of the party chief. The Congress will have to find a new leader and move on. Dynastic control, combined with lack of accountability, has been the critics’ big grouse against the grand old party, which became loud after the party’s rout in the national elections.
For the second time in a row, the party got decimated, getting only 52 seats in the 2019 Lokh Sabha election, a marginal rise over its score of 44 in the 2014 election. What accentuated the defeat was Gandhi’s loss from Amethi, his family turf, to the BJP’s Smriti Irani. The Congress leaders should stop begging Rahul Gandhi to continue as the president. This is the time to infuse new ideas and bring in fresh leadership. Today the party is staring at the possibility of becoming irrelevant in the Indian political scenario. For democracy to survive there is need for a strong opposition. If the Congress fails to play the role of a vibrant opposition in the next five years the party will further go down into peril. By appointing feisty leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary, a four-time Lok Sabha MP from West Bengal, as the leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, the party has made a good beginning.