Ahmed Patel's win: When Congress oldies scored over newbies!
After repeated setbacks, the Congress Party seems to have gotten a new lease of life with Ahmed Patel's recent victory in the Rajya Sabha elections. Patel's win also seems to have brought out differences between the old guard and the younger members in the Rahul Gandhi camp within the party. Tensions have been evident over the past few days. What could happen now?
First things first, Patel wins fifth term in the RS
In a dramatic election, violation of rules by two rebel Congress MLAs helped the opposition party save face in Gujarat. The chances of Ahmed Patel, Sonia Gandhi's political secretary, were undeniably altered after former Congress chief whip in Gujarat assembly Balwantsinh Rajput defected to BJP. But with 44 votes, he managed to defeat Rajput who had just 38 votes.
Why is this important?
Known for his behind-the-scene manoeuvres, Ahmed Patel beat schemes laid by the Modi-Shah duo including mass defection, receiving credit for how he gave the party a much needed shot in the arm. In comparison, Rahul Gandhi, who is waiting for his elevation as Congress chief seems to be floundering and committing tactical errors for the party.
Patel's victory revives fissures between old guard and Rahul's camp
While differences of opinion between Rahul and Patel are well-known, Rahul noticeably didn't congratulate Patel on social media, though he did congratulate Vice President-elect Venkaiah Naidu, leading many to speculate on growing fissures between the two groups. As also seen in Punjab with Cap. Amarinder Singh becoming the CM, the old-generation can seemingly get things done. This puts Rahul in a rather dubious state!
Will Congress become an organization with two bosses?
Commenting on the old generation-new generation conflict within the Congress Party, former Union Minister and nine-time MP Kamal Nath notes, the party's decisions will continue to fall in between two stools, while also noting "no organization can have two bosses".
Patel's win has demonstrated that the party needs its older generation's brains more than ever. Even Rahul Gandhi privately acknowledges this. Two parallel power poles would continue to exist within the party representing the younger and older generation, this could lead to a rebellion in the worst case. It needs to be seen if the party can successfully find middle ground and move forward.