Rahul Gandhi’s fate
Rahul Gandhi is facing a litmus test in Kerala. Since the crushing defeat in the 2019 general election, it is for the first time that the Gandhi scion is taking so much interest in an Assembly poll. During campaigning, he went on a surprise fishing trip along with 20-odd fishermen in Kollam, apart from teaching self-defence techniques to girls at St. Teresa’s College in Ernakulam. He is mingling with elderly women and children in a passionate manner and talking about his pet project NYAY, which promises INR. 6000 to families living below the poverty line (BPL). Rahul is also visiting religious places belonging to various faiths to strengthen his secular credentials. He has visited the state five times since the announcement of the poll date. Rahul even took the help of his sister Priyanka to woo the electorate.
The Wayanad MP expressed confidence that his party would certainly win 62 seats out of 140 seats in Kerala Assembly and the party was engaged in a tough battle in 20 other constituencies. Since November last, Rahul has been making plans to win these tough seats to bring back the party in power in the state. This is why he effected major changes in the candidate’s list; brought new faces in place of the old guards to achieve victory. Rahul spent more time campaigning in constituencies where the Congress is facing a stiff challenge. The Congress circle is hopeful that the vigorous and meticulously planned campaign by Rahul Gandhi will maintain the state’s tradition of not bringing the incumbent party back to power for two successive terms. The former Congress president was so focused on Kerala that he campaigned only for two days in both Assam and Tamil Nadu and did not visit West Bengal thus far.
Why is Rahul Gandhi giving so much attention to Kerala and ignoring states like Assam and West Bengal? Congress party’s internal bickering is the reason behind Rahul’s new found love for Kerala. With no chance to win back West Bengal and facing a formidable BJP in Assam, Rahul is banking solely on Kerala to end his losing streak. So that he can file his nomination for the post of the Congress president in the forthcoming organisational poll without a major hitch. The election is slated to be held in June. If Rahul can win back Kerala, he will not face any serious challenge to becoming the party’s president for the second time. Otherwise, in all certainty, Rahul’s second attempt to occupy the party’s top post will face a number of hurdles. This is why a victory in Kerala is so important for Rahul Gandhi. By keeping the rebel leaders out of the party’s star campaigners’ list, Rahul has already made his intentions clear that the days of old-timers are over in the party. He wants to depend more on young leaders to regain the lost glory of the party. Thus, on May 2 next, along with other leaders like Mamata Banerjee, M. K. Stalin, Pinarai Vijayan, Rahul Gandhi’s political fate will also be decided.