Real Aim of Rahul Gandhi’s Letter: Make Old Guard Quit CWC
Operative part comes at the end: “It is a habit in India that the powerful cling to power, no one sacrifices power.”
The Quint DAILY
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It is final. Rahul Gandhi will no longer be the president of the Congress party. In a public letter, he announced his decision to quit. Gandhi has empowered a select committee within the Congress Working Committee to elect a new president. In his letter he also laid down the challenges before the Congress party as well as the larger ideological battle that is underway in the country.
However, the real story behind the letter is Gandhi’s aim to get the Congress’ Old Guard to shed power.
The operative part comes right at the end of Gandhi’s letter:
“To those who support the Congress ideology, especially our dedicated and beloved karyakarta, I have absolute faith have absolute faith in our future and the utmost love for you. It is a habit in India that the powerful cling to power, no one sacrifices power. But we will not defeat our opponents without sacrificing the desire for power and fighting a deeper ideological battle”.
This is a direct attack on the Old Guard, which is being seen as unwilling to shed power. And at the root of the Old Guard’s power lies the Congress Working Committee.
“Several functionaries have resigned from their positions. But nothing can fundamentally change in the party if leaders in the CWC aren’t willing to concede power. This is the single biggest obstacle to a complete overhaul of the party,” said a source who has worked closely with Rahul Gandhi.
The CWC has 55 members, 19 of whom are above 70 years of age and several others are in their 60s.
A Congress secretary, says that there was no option but for Rahul Gandhi to quit.
“The resignation of younger party functionaries was not just to pressurise Rahul ji to stay on but also to push the senior leaders to relinquish their positions. But that did not happen and they stuck on. Now even he (Gandhi) has quit. Let’s see if this has any effect on them (Old Guard).
Members of Rahul Gandhi’s team say that he was always open in taking responsibility for the defeat but got upset with the manner in which senior party leaders tried to escape blame by deflecting attention to others.
“Certain senior leaders planted stories in the media diverting the blame to the Congress president’s office or the data team. This was nothing but an attempt but to hide their own failures,” said an individual who works with Rahul Gandhi’s office.
A Complete Overhaul?
What Rahul Gandhi wants in the party is a complete restructuring of the party. His idea is not very different from the Kamaraj Plan, which involves the resignation of every major functionary, paving way for the complete overhaul of the party.
The only difference here is that Rahul Gandhi’s resignation is also part of the restructuring, unlike the Kamaraj Plan of 1963 which kept Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru immune.
On being asked if this is Kamaraj Plan with a twist, the party secretary said, “Yes obviously the aim is the same as the Kamaraj Plan. But that was when the Congress was in power at the Centre and replacing the Prime Minister wasn’t a sensible option. The present restructuring isn’t possible unless top party functionaries quit. Rahul Gandhi had to resign in order to make others quit as well”.
According to the Congress constitution, the senior most General Secretary will officiate until the CWC chooses a provisional president. The provisional president will then officiate until the new president is elected by party delegates from across the country.
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