Lok Sabha Elections: As June 4 Result Day Nears, All Eyes on What Rahul Gandhi’s Future Will Be – News18

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (Image: X/ANI)

Those who know Rahul Gandhi say that even if his party fails, he will not give up his conviction that his style and campaign was right.

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The long stretched Lok Sabha election 2024 is finally coming to a close. While much has been written about the ‘400 paar’ narrative and how this is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan to take on the opposition, the question to be asked here is what about Rahul Gandhi. How is this poll different for him than 2019?

The answer is not much, as in both the cases the Congress’s campaign has been about Rahul Gandhi. The difference is that in 2019, Rahul Gandhi was the president of the party. He had both the power and the responsibility. Now, he has the power minus the responsibility. He is not the Congress President, Mallikarjun Kharge is. One has the power, the other the responsibility.

In 2019, when results poured and it was clear that the Congress had lost, the Rafale and ‘chowkidar chor hai’ pitch of Rahul Gandhi had failed. It was made clear by Rahul Gandhi that while he had limited support from his party on ‘chowkidar chor hai’ campaign, he was convinced that he should shoulder responsibility and resign, which he did.

But while he detached himself from the party post, the party could not. Congress leaders realised and felt that with party MP Sonia Gandhi unwilling to continue for long, it was imperative that Rahul Gandhi be brought back. The problmen was that Rahul was clear that he would not contest the presidential polls. But the leaders who derived their power and strength from Rahul Gandhi, knew that they had to make him the power centre. That’s why despite Kharge being the party President, it’s Rahul who has the last word.

Rahul Gandhi’s campaign became the party’s campaign. Caste census, samvidhaan, accusing the Prime Minister of making the rich richer – all this became the Congress line.

The big question now is – What if the Congress doesn’t do well? This is despite the fact that the INDIA bloc is confident of a win. But if Congress doesn’t do well, what will happen to the Rahul Gandhi factor? Since Rahul has no post, there’ll be no stepping down this time, but he has the power. That’s where the issue lies. Will he and his supporters accept that Rahul Gandhi’s line has failed to gain traction yet again? Will he walk away or will the Congress have to rethink its leadership plans and style?

After the 2019 poll results, the G23 was born. Over time, it was either co-opted, some left and some were silenced. But now, if the Congress does not perform well, there could be resurgence of G 23, may be in an even fiercer form.

But those who know Rahul Gandhi say that even if his party fails, he will not give up his conviction that his style and campaign was right. The larger question is – how many of his people will stay back? And will Rahul Gandhi want to pack his bags? All eyes will be on the answers to these big questions post June 4, when the results of General Elections are out.

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