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The Rahul Gandhis

Assembly Elections in Uttar Pradesh has started after some hard campaigning by political parties in the country's most populous and politically significant State. Everyone is aware of the fact that in order to come to power at the Centre, the State of UP is vital and therefore every political party is giving its best shot to win in the crucial elections now underway. What is noticeable is that unlike in the past, this time the Congress party is in the forefront challenging regional powerhouses, the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP). Off course the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is also very much there to retain power. There is no doubt that the new found enthusiasm of the Congress in UP, a State which it dominated in its glorious past, is as a result of the effort put in by Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi. Clearly the young Gandhi is on a mission to revive the party in UP and it is reported that he has already hit a century of public meetings across the state. Gandhi has been criss-crossing the state ever since he kicked off the party campaign for the crucial assembly elections from Phulpur, Allahabad, on November 14, the birth anniversary of his great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru who represented the constituency thrice. There are two things that come to mind in relation to Rahul Gandhi’s mission in UP. Firstly, it is true that Rahul Gandhi is indeed “obsessed with UP” as he had commented when asked about his political future and becoming the country’s Prime Minister. And he is right when he states that his obsession is not to become PM but to obviously win the election in UP. Not only that his extensive campaigning has galvanised the party but Rahul Gandhi is clearly aware of bringing back the fortunes of his Congress party to the politically significant State of UP. In fact to his credit, the Congress was able to return to power at the Centre because of the crucial seats that the party was able to win from UP during the last Lok Sabha elections.
This brings us to the second rationale that of Rahul Gandhi’s quest for political leadership. All of us are aware that to be born into the Nehru-Gandhi family has its own share of pitfalls. And the young Gandhi seems to be very conscious of the so called dynastic and the negative politics associated with him being an heir of the Nehru-Gandhi family. Rahul wants to prove a point that he can actually do it by his own merit and reach the top without having to gatecrash just because he his a Gandhi. Let us admit that Rahul is not the usual run of the mill politician obsessed with power. If he wanted the post of PM was there for the taking. There was even suggestion from within the Congress party that he be inducted into the Union Cabinet. Going by whatever we have seen of Rahul in the last over five years, he wants to first learn and train himself up. Slowly but surely he is covering much ground and Rahul seems to be very much aware that his time will come even if it means to be PM. But he will not take it in a platter. He wants to earn it and prove a point that he has worked for it and deserves it. Rahul Gandhi definitely has a future in Indian politics. We need similar young leaders across political parties who are not power crazy but obsessed with people’s aspiration and who can listen to the voice of the people. People and not power should be the touchstone of this new politics.

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