A new-look Cong tougher task for Rahul
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While the impact of Rahul Gandhi's first direct intervention in the Cabinet reshuffle exercise will be realised in coming weeks and months, the young Congress general secretary, who is set to formally assume No 2 role in the party shortly, has more daunting challenges to take on as he sets out to revamp the organisation. While he could do his democratisation experiment in the Youth Congress and NSUI, he is set to face stiff resistance were he to make such bold moves in the parent party.
Can he depart from his party's age-old fixation with castes and communities? Say, for instance, desperate to wean the Jat community away from the BJP in Rajasthan, the Congress appointed Jat leaders on all important party posts from the chief of PCC to Seva Dal. Jats, however, have shown no signs of shifting their loyalty as the Congress goes downhill. The Congress had made similar attempts in Uttar Pradesh where the PCC chief, Congress Legislature Party leader and Youth Congress chief, among other important office-bearers, were all Brahmins. But the gambit failed to pay off in the Assembly elections. Similar is the case in most other states.
Can Rahul leave aside considerations such as these which have impeded the party's decision-making? Nothing can, for instance, explain why the Bihar PCC chief who resigned in 2010 after the party's debacle in the Assembly elections has not been replaced yet. Jharkhand PCC chief Pradeep Balmuchu, on the other hand, was rewarded with a Rajya Sabha berth despite losing his own seat.
Another challenge facing Rahul would be changing the status quoist approach. For instance, Mukul Wasnik, who resigned from the Cabinet to work for the party, has been AICC general secretary in charge of Rajasthan for over eight years. Can Rahul axe Wasnik, a Dalit leader who has been a staunch family loyalist?
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