Congress needs to get its house in order

To lead opposition against Modi in 2024

Yash pal Ralhan, Jalandhar
As India gears up for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress party, the main opposition entity with an all-India footprint, is being advised to first set its house in order before leading the joint Opposition front against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda issued a fresh advisory to the Congress party, urging it to address its internal flaws before joining hands with other parties to form a united front against the BJP. While this may sound like sound advice, it is unlikely that the Congress leadership, which is still dominated by the Gandhi family, will pay any heed to it.
The issue with the Congress party is not new. As A.K. Antony, a senior Congress leader, pointed out a few months ago, the party needs to pay attention to the sentiments of the Hindu community, as it is often perceived to be pro-Muslim. However, the Congress party has been reluctant to accept any mistakes and take corrective measures.
The recent defamation case against Rahul Gandhi, where the Congress president failed to follow up on the matter despite having a battery of top lawyers, is a case in point. Moreover, the leadership crisis in the Congress party is evident from the fact that senior leaders, including President Mallikarjun Kharge, have little ability to influence decision-making at the highest level.
While the Congress party has a plethora of experienced politicians, the Gandhi family continues to be the final authority, disregarding any well-intentioned advice from within or outside the party. The party’s internal structure is in shambles, and it cannot be expected to rise above itself and correct its organizational flaws without a drastic change in approach.
If the Congress party fails to set its own house in order, the opposition camp is bound to be a divided house, jeopardizing its chances of presenting a united front against the BJP. The opposition may manage to stitch together a facade of unity, but it may not be able to form a firm stand on who should be the prime ministerial face of the opposition front, with multiple claimants to the position from different parties.
As the legal case against Rahul Gandhi continues to unfold, it will be interesting to see how the Congress party responds and whether it will take any corrective measures to rectify its organizational flaws. However, until such changes are made, it is unlikely that the Congress party can lead the joint opposition front against the BJP in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The Congress party needs to prioritize its internal issues and rectify its organizational flaws if it wants to lead the opposition front against the BJP in 2024. The Gandhi family must heed well-intentioned advice and give senior leaders more autonomy to influence decision-making. Otherwise, the opposition camp is bound to be a divided house, leading to a victory for the BJP in the forthcoming elections.

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