Sonia had earlier changed the dynamics of sinking Congress in 1998
After serving the Congress for 19 years as President and bringing the party to Power twice, Sonia Gandhi has once again become Interim Congress President. She is taking over the party at a time when the ship is about to sink. We will find answers if Sonia Gandhi can change the dynamics of the Sinking Congress or not?
Former President Rahul Gandhi resigned from his post and took the responsibility for a humiliating defeat in the 17th Lok Sabha Election. The post was vacant for more than 3 months and CWC (Congress Working Committee) now has decided to bank on the experience and tested leadership of Sonia Gandhi.
Once Sonia was considered a misfit in the Congress family, established herself as the longest-serving President of the 134 year-old-party. She credits her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi for her achievements. She has said that under the leadership of Indira Gandhi, she learnt the intricacies of politics. There were voices in the past which opposed and questioned the appointment of Sonia Gandhi as the President. But her strategies and glorious results gave all the answers. The 72-year old politician steered the party to new avenues of success and glory during her tenure.
Sonia changed the dynamics of congress when she was made the Congress President in 1998
When she became the President of Congress in 1998, the party was facing a tough time. INC was in power in just four states. She took the charge when other senior leaders stepped down and changed the dynamics of Congress.
During her tenure from 1998 to 2017, Congress gradually got majority in most of the states and also won the General Election twice in 2004 and in 2009. Sonia is also credited for rights-based developmental and welfare schemes like MNREGA, Food Security Bill, Right to Information and more. When Atal Bihari Vajpayee led BJP along with its allies formed the government in 1998, Sonia was chosen as the Leader of the opposition for 5 years till 2004.
Rahul Gandhi earlier wanted to have a new face for the post of Congress President who is outside the Gandhi family. The decision to bring back Sonia might not bode well politically with the Wayanad MP. Rahul during the CWC meeting on Saturday was asked to sit on the throne again, but he remained adamant on not continuing as the Party Chief.
Sonia has a tough challenge ahead
The longest-serving Congress President is known for spring surprises. She will have to act as a binding force for the opposition. Her main work will be focused on forging unity and inosculate the scattered Congress. Sonia will have to work as the glue which sticks the party workers to the appointed chief of the specific region across the country. She will also look to remodel the party structure starting from ground level and reaching to the party chief.
At the time when Congress has started losing faith, the new interim President will also look to help the Party Workers psychologically. She will have to make them believe in the party’s ideology and escalate that Congress can win too.
Sonia has to rewrite the story of 1998 when her party was in shambles and she led it to victory in 2004. The same situation is popping up again as many leaders are leaving the party and joining BJP. Congress faced a massive jolt in Karnataka when it lost the Trust Vote and also the power in the state. It was touted as the strategic loss of Congress after13 MLAs resigned from their party last month.
Sonia surprised everyone by not taking the highest office in the country and chose Dr.Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister in the first term of UPA government. In recent times too, she had taken a back seat citing medical reasons. Her return to the power is a signal to Congress MPs to corner BJP in parliament who are aggressively passing new bills without Congress’s go ahead.
Silence is touted as the sharpest weapon of Sonia as she speaks little but wields enormous power within the Party. In cotton saris, she reminds of her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi who used to address rallies in cotton saris throughout her life.
Sonia in her previous stint brought like-minded parties together in UPA-I and UPA-II
Sonia in her previous stint brought like-minded parties together in UPA-I and UPA-II to form the government in consecutive two terms in 2004 and 2009. It is the best example of her ability to bring non-BJP forces to come together.
It is a great achievement of Sonia that she braved tremendous odds to earn her a place in Indian politics. She conquered the limitation of language coming from a foreign country and won the hearts of people despite improper Hindi.
After Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in May in 1991, Sonia refused to join politics but repeated cajoling by Congress leaders made her take the membership of Congress in 1997. She was first elected as MP from the Amethi in 1999 but moved to Raebareli in 2004 to make way for her son Rahul Gandhi.
She sacrificed the post of Prime Minister which was called a political masterstroke but she continued to wield power in the party as the chairman of the UPA by leading strategy inside and outside the houses.
She introduced the concept of the National Advisory Council (NAC) which monitored the moves of PMO and made a periodic recommendation to the government. The opposition called NAC as a “dual power centre”.
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