The victory celebrations haven’t even ended and the Congress workers are already looking at Rahul Gandhi to replicate the magic he worked in UP in half a dozen other states. They want Rahul to power their dream of an imminent future where the Congress, which considers coalitions a compulsion, can form a government on its own.
Rahul is likely to take cognisance of fact that the BJP, despite the drubbing, has consolidated in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat, opened its account in West Bengal, done well in Jharkhand and even partially revived itself in Uttar Pradesh.
The partymen have also noticed the rise of regional parties like Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Orissa and the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) of Nitish Kumar in Bihar, where elections are due in 20 months.
That Rahul’s go-it-alone policy is gaining popularity was evident at the Congress Working Committee meeting in New Delhi on Sunday. Party leader in charge of Uttar Pradesh, Digvijay Singh, and Bihar leader Ashok Ram called for a “no truck” policy with the Samajwadi Party and the Rashtirya Janata Dal so that the Congress is free to strengthen itself in the two states.
Unless the Amethi MP is inducted into the Union Cabinet, which Manmohan Singh is keen on doing, Rahul considers his primary responsibility in the party is to revive and strengthen the Congress where it is weak by bringing in youths and empowering them.
“Whatever we are doing in Youth Congress, we want to organize it in the coming days… We need an organization of young people and that is going to be built over the next two, three or five years,” he said in Sultanpur shortly after the results started coming out. “My job is to try and empower youngsters in this country and I will continue to do my job.”
Rahul’s young leader move has also paid dividends. Several youngsters, like Jitendra Singh (Alwar), Meenakshi Natarajan (Mandsaur) and Ravneet Singh Bittu (Anandpur Sahib), fielded by him won hands down. Over the next few months Rahul would implement the plan to groom a new generation of young leaders with an eye on winning big in future.