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Will Mallikarjun Kharge shed the tag of being a Gandhi family puppet?

by | Oct 19, 2022 | India

Mallikarjun Kharge is new Congress president after defeating Shashi Tharoor

New Delhi, October 19 : The main challenge for new Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge will be to shed the image of being a rubber stamp of the Gandhi family.
The political rivals of the Congress have already claimed that the incoming chief would be remote controlled by the Gandhis.
Many in the Congress believe that a “puppet” president would not be able to establish control over the organisation or bring about the much-needed changes in the party and the status quo will persist.
The big question is whether the Gandhi family would continue to be the high command or the new head would wield those powers.
Sonia Gandhi will undoubtedly continue to be the patron of the Congress with Rahul Gandhi as its driving force and Priyanka Gandhi a key office bearer. Navigating these power centres to establish his writ on the party will be a tough challenge.
It may be recalled that the buzz of the installation of KC Venugopal as the dummy Congress president in August 2020 had led to the emergence of the group of dissenters, known as G-23. Some of the G-23 leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal, have since quit the Congress.
Halting the growing attrition rate will be another tough task for Kharge given that a large number of leaders are feeling frustrated in the Congress following a series of electoral setbacks in states and nationally since 2014, and are easy pickings for other parties.
It would also be interesting to see if the new president reaches out to those who have left the Congress over the years and tries to bring them back to the party fold.
Apart from dismantling all the walls that the managers or so-called strategists had erected between the leadership and workers from time to time, the other important tasks for the new president would be to accommodate some of the veterans and the side-lined ones in the decision-making.
It is imperative for the leadership to communicate directly with the cadre for the party’s revival to make it fighting fit and match the powerful machinery of the ruling BJP.


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