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Ahmed Patel's victory - a turning point in Indian politics
The general election of 2014 constituted a 'turning point' in Indian politics and the victory of Congress party in the recent Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat could be the next defining moment if the thinkers in India's oldest party still survive or exist.

Ahmed Patel, a person who had mastered the art of back-stage politics so far, could become the harbinger of positivity, balance and hope for Congress party and the nation. Patel's re-entry into Rajya Sabha is a virtual Waterloo for Amit Shah & Co.

It is also a double omelette on the face of RSS turn-coat and ex-Congressman Shankarsinh Vaghela, who had recently quit from all party posts, announcing that he hadn't voted for the party candidate as he "wasn't going to win".

The fence sitters or turn-coats can't always save the situation as it was proved yesterday with the victory of Ahmad Patel. The RSS/BJP conglomerate ultimately failed somewhere is tactics and now they would knock the doors of the court.

I believe that the magical wand of Modi would turn into a scrunched up flute if Congress recalls the politics of Jawaharlal Nehru in deeds and words.

However, the party must realise that leadership of Rahul Gandhi would take it no where except 'aghyatwas'. People like young Scindia, Tharoor, Pilot and many more dynamic individuals should come forward, take up the reins and Rahul should accept the new leadership. Old fossils like ex-Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh must be sent to Congress' marg darshak mandal.

As Jairam Ramesh, the senior Congress Party leader said the other day that there should be "a collective effort" by party leaders to "overcome" the challenges it faced from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.

Ramesh also said that business as usual approach will not work against Modi and Shah and advocated for flexibility in approach to make Congress relevant. He said that the Congress had faced "electoral crisis" from 1996 to 2004 when it was out of power. The party had also faced "electoral crisis" in 1977 when it lost the elections held soon after the emergency.

"But today, I would say that the Congress is facing an existential crisis. It is not an electoral crisis. The party really is in deep crisis."

He said it was wrong for the Congress party to think that anti-incumbency will work automatically against the Modi-led government in the states being ruled by the BJP in the elections. He said the Congress party must also recognise that India has changed.

"Old slogans don't work, old formulas don't work, and old mantras don't work. India has changed, the Congress party has to change," he said. "The sultanate has gone, but we behave as if we are sultans still."

However, where Jairam again went wrong was on the flogging of the dead horse – the insistence on Rahul's leadership. It has failed in past and it won't work in future. The former union minister hoped that party vice-president Rahul Gandhi would end the uncertainty over his taking over as the Congress president to make the party ready for crucial electoral battles in key states in 2018 and the Lok Sabha polls scheduled a year later. "I think in all probability, Rahul Gandhi will take charge (as Congress president) before the end of 2017." No, Rahul must take the back seat!

I realise that Narendra Modi brand is still acceptable and his optics still eye-catching but he can't defy the law of nature – a paper boat can't float for long. How long the empty slogans and conscripted cultural nationalism would substitute the real bread?

People may forgive Nitish Kumar for his perpetual game of shifting loyalties but how can they forget what he had said on June 20, 2013: "The question before us is: will the constitutional vision triumph or will we surrender to the ideology of division and polarisation? If the other vision succeeds, the country will disintegrate and the idea of India will collapse. India cannot be destroyed: we will not allow it to be destroyed."

Nitish had once said that that he would disappear into the bowels of Earth but not engage with Modi. In the annals of history, he would be a bench mark of speedy journey from secular absolutism to political opportunism. He must have been the beacon for those Congress MLAs of Gujarat who had defected to the BJP. The 2 of formula 44 have done what beggars description from a cornucopia of politics without ethics.

Indian can choose to forget about the recovery of black money, slip out of the mirage of Rs 1,50,000 for every Indian, crores of new opportunities for employment every year and a corruption free society but what about the dismal record of NDA on economy: the devastating consequences of demonetisation that are haunting all over for smaller enterprise even now, the falling farm sector, the troubles on borders and the gundagardi of gau rakshaks.

Are we not tired of our private and now government TV channels, that have morphed the opposition to useless parasites and activities and ads of Ramdev, Modi, Amit Shah and Amitabh Bachchan are forced to run into our staple diet? Are we not fed up of mere slogans and no sops?

"Few people would have expected Hitler to become the monster that he was in 1932."

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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