Generation shift to generation shifting: Why is the young brigade discontent with Congress
New Delhi, June 10: Jitin Prasada is the latest from the Congress to join the BJP. This is the second jolt that the Congress received after Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the Congress and joined the BJP.
Following Prasada's exit, the social media was flooded with questions when the next to move into the BJP would be Milind Deora and Sachin Pilot. The questions were obvious as the Deora and Pilot are having their own share of problems with the Congress. When Rahul Gandhi took over as the party president, it was expected that he would promote the younger generation of leaders. It was meant to be a generation shift in the party, but with the old guard sitting tight, it has become a case of generations shifting.
OneIndia caught up Dr. Sandeep Shastri, one of India's leading psephologist to discuss, what is going wrong in the Congress with each passing day.
When Rahul Gandhi led the party, everyone thought that the younger brigade would get prominence and there would be a generation shift says Dr. Shastri. These young leaders were emerging in their respective states and they have their own vote banks. Leaders like Scindia, Pilot, Prasada and Deora were the generation of leaders. Pilot was made in charge of the party in Rajasthan, while in the case of Madhya Pradesh it was Scindia says Dr. Shastri.
However once the Congress won in the two states, we saw that the old guard continued to hold sway.
This result was followed by the Lok Sabha election debacle in 2019, following which Rahul Gandhi stepped down, he further added.
There was bound to be discontentment among the young leaders when they were not given positions as had been promised. Both are clear signals that the old guard which has the ear of the party were given more prominence. For many in the old guard, the route to power was their proximity to the top leadership, Dr. Shastri points out.
It is clear that the old guard is threatened by the young guard. Not giving importance to the younger leaders and the resignation of Rahul Gandhi was a clear sign that the younger generation was deliberately being undercut and politically humiliated. The emergence of a certain section under Ghulam Nabi Azad against the leadership was another reflection of the power struggle within the party, he further added.
It appears to me as though the Congress has not got over the 2014 defeat. Their attitude is that since they are in the Opposition, power will automatically come back to them, Dr. Shastri adds. I do not see a chance of a revival unless the party gets its house in order, resolves all issues and allows state leaders to call the shots in the party. In its current state, I don't see the Congress being a match for the BJP, he points out.
Is the Congress ready for a post dynasty leadership? If they do will they be able to keep the party united, asks Dr. Shastri. They are not giving space to the state level leaders to emerge. For the sake of unity, they are holding on to the dynasty. But the dynasty is not able to win the party elections says, Dr. Shastri.