Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Rahul Gandhi’s TINA factor


 08 August 2018

          Congress party has made it clear that the primary task is to defeat Narendra Modi-Amit Shah led Bhartiya Janata Party in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the issue of prime ministership will be decided after the poll outcome. A strategic understanding with like-minded political parties is underway awaiting the formal announcement of a federal alliance anytime soon. The Congress has indicated that it is willing to accept any opposition candidate as Prime Minister provided he/she has no links to Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh.

          There is no denial of the fact that removal of the BJP government must be the only agenda for the united opposition and each constituent of the federal front must sacrifice its political interest to the maximum to achieve this goal. It must reflect honestly in the seat sharing formula, in poll coordination and when it comes to claiming for the leadership of the government. Failing in any one area will not only defeat the collective mission of the opposition parties, but will push the nation into such a regressive dark tunnel that coming generations will not be able to see any light for decades to come.

          Therefore, an opposition that is duty-bound to realise its historical responsibility, will have to choose its leadership with utmost care if people of India give their mandate in favour of a federal front government. I strongly feel that “There Is No Alternative” than Rahul Gandhi to lead a united-opposition rule after general elections. TINA factor of Rahul has certain fundamental strengths which would be harder to ignore in the summers of 2019.

          One, whatever is the political climate; Rahul’s party is in a position to emerge as the single largest political group among federal front partners. It is bound to create a strong perception that the opportunity to lead the coalition government naturally goes to the leader of the Congress party. Thus, Rahul Gandhi becomes the natural choice to replace Narendra Modi.

          Two, Congress’ efforts to bring opposition together have enhanced its goodwill and credibility. Rahul has been very mature in dealing with the leaders of the opposition parties during all these months and has created a very positive space in people’s minds. In last few months, he has changed the public view about Modi’s TINA factor and now electorate see Rahul as a strong alternative to Narendra Modi. Poll outcome of 2019 will put a stamp on this as BJP is not in a position to get even 50 seats out of 168 in three states—Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra, if the alliance of the opposition parties takes a proper shape.

          Three, Rahul has born with a destiny that is so intricately woven into the Indian consciousness. If more than a billion people watch Narendra Modi’s every step, more than a billion people watch Rahil Gandhi’s every step too. RSS-BJP waste not a single minute to remind us about the ‘family rule’ of six decades. But it also reminds us that Rahul is born into a family that is an unalienable part of the history of the Indian nation. He and his party is tested and tried. After the completion of five years of Modi-era, only 9 months of that remain, the comparison of Modi-Rahul will give Rahul a clear edge in electorates’ minds.

          Four, I see a clear indication of people separating facts from perception. They have realized that a popular narrative had been built around Rahul Gandhi by RSS-BJP adopting vicious designs. There was a time when there were hardly any takers of the line that India needs a leader like Rahul. Then came the time when people realized that India certainly does not need a leader like Narendra Modi, but he was given the benefit of TINA factor. They would say, fine, Modi proved a wrong choice, but who else is there? That time is over now. India now thinks that there are leaders who can replace Modi and they are outside BJP too.

          Five, Rahul is not a reluctant politician as RSS-BJP wants us to believe. Detachment from the power-hunger should not be seen as reluctance from holding responsibilities. Rahul has proved that he has the ability to stand up with his people and at the same time stand up against his own people and lead them in the right direction. I have seen his efforts within the Congress party during last one decade and can say that he is not a reluctant leader. The best media hoax of all times was that Rahul has no leadership qualities. Contrary to this, he is a better leader than Narendra Modi as he is full of compassion, sensitivity and good heartedness.

          After five years of ruining economy, international relations and social harmony, India now needs a Prime Minister who can restore people’s faith with the collective wisdom of like-minded leaderships. India now needs a Prime Minister whose leadership is felt brotherly. India does not need a ‘Company-Bahadur’ to run its affairs. India needs a companion to take it further.

          There is no dearth of capable faces in the opposition to replace Narendra Modi. From Sharad Pawar to Chandra Babu Naidu to Mamta Banerjee to Mayawati, there are equally able personalities who can run this country in a certainly far-far better way than is being run after May 2014. Rahul Gandhi is also one such person. In my opinion, he is better positioned to utilize the collective wisdom of experienced leaders in running a government after 2019 elections. He is and will be more accommodative for new ideas, sentiments and aspirations in a federal coalition. At the same time he is better equipped to respond to regional, national and international challenges we face at the moment.

          At a time when Narendra Modi has lost his ‘TINA’, Rahul Gandhi’s ‘TINA’ factor is a great relief while India struggles for its democracy. As a leader Rahul has the attributes of truth, confidence, work ethic and good sense—the things we badly need after Modi-era passes away.

(Author is the CEO & Editor of News Views India
and a national office bearer of the Congress party.)

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