Get it right Digvijay ji, 2-power centres are Cong's future

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New Delhi, March 26: Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh has recently remarked that the 'two power-centres' model which has been practised by the Congress since 2004 has not worked well and suggested that the future leader of the party, Rahul Gandhi, should not outsource the job of the prime minister in case the Congress reaches a position to form the government again.

What suddenly made Singh realise that dual power centres don't work? He, however, made a contradictory statement saying Congress president Sonia Gandhi did not interfere in the functioning of the Manmohan Singh government. If indeed that is the case, then how come there are dual power centres?

Is Digvijay indirectly endorsing Rahul as PM?

Singh, who loves to speak, actually reiterated the prominence of the dynasty by endorsing the family's leadership at the helm. He did not say directly that Rahul Gandhi should be the next prime minister but in a way backed the former by saying whoever becomes the prime minister should have the authority to function.

This confusion in the Congress is not something new. The gradual erosion of the Gandhis has put the party leaders a worried lot but the point is no matter how much they desire a return to the days of Indira or Rajiv Gandhi, the reality in the country's politics has undergone a sea-change and the traditional leadership has not succeeded to keep pace with the changing momentum.

Sonia Gandhi's preference for dual power-centre model had its reasons

Sonia Gandhi's preference for a dual power-centre model was not an experiment which she had leisurely undertaken. In 1998, when the party was in a disarray, she had reluctantly shed her housewife tag and entered politics to revive it which was once led by her mother-in-law and husband. But Sonia Gandhi was never a natural politician and learnt the key lessons while in office. She had understood that the party over-crowded with 'yes-men' and was also not very certain of leading the pack single-handedly amid strong chaos and opposition.

She instead chose a man who was not known to be a petty politician to lead the country after the Congress got a chance to form the government. The preference was also shaped by similar economic ideologies of liberal and inclusive growth.

Sonia Gandhi's preference for Manmohan Singh as the prime minister could face potential threat if leader like Madhavrao Scindia was alive but his premature death ensured that the partnership was not broken.

Not right to say duality model hasn't worked

It will be unfair to see that the model didn't work at all. The first UPA government had functioned well and its initiatives had helped it to earn a second term in office. It was only in the last two-and-half-years that the Sonia-Manmohan partnership failed to rise on the occasion.

But it was not surprising for neither of these leaders are hardcore politicians who could manipulate issues. Lack of political innovation in the UPA's ranks and over-dependence on the bureaucracy gradually weakened the regime towards the end of its decade-old rule.

Model isn't defective, the point is how we manage it

The model can not be dubbed defective if those running it can not accomplish the task properly. Indian politics has seen enough of such instances where politicians (starting from the Mahatma) expected to be office-holders did not accept any formal position.

In the days of the Mahatma, his position as a friend and philosopher to Jawaharlal Nehru, who was the prime minister of the day, was a perfect model of duality for the political capacity of both the personalities were beyond questioning. Nobody would have questioned Nehru as a yes-man of Gandhi.

In case of Bal Thackeray, he chose not to become any office-holder when the Shiv Sena came to power in Maharashtra because he preferred the royal task of making and unmaking the king.

In case of Sonia Gandhi, it was a honest realisation of one's own limitation.

But is Rahul Gandhi capable of turning things and revisit the days of a sole power centre model? Digvijay Singh should try to learn that aspect before anything else. A dual model shouldn't be scrapped just because it has two power-centres.

Given the decline in the authority of the Centre and the prime minister's office, duality of power centre is perhaps the future of Indian politics unless a leader like Narendra Modi who believes in strong individualistic leadership takes charge.

What if Rahul Gandhi fails as PM?

What if Rahul Gandhi doesn't succeed to deliver as the PM in case he becomes one in the near future? We have seen how Mamata Banerjee has failed as an administrator in West Bengal. It perhaps would have been better if she had chosen another leader to take over as the chief minister with herself acting in a supporting role.

Leaders like Digvijaya Singh still live in the past and think a strong individualist leader like Indira Gandhi will take charge some day. It will be better for them if they learn to live with the reality and accept that the Gandhis have been weakened considerably to lead things only by themselves.

Dual power centre is the future of the Congress as long as the Gandhis don't fade into oblivion. It is not for nothing that Prime Minister Singh went on the offensive against the Opposition in the parliament recently.

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