Dr. Singh said that to prevent any division within the party, the Congress will fight the 2014 elections while projecting Rahul Gandhi as their leader, however, he will fail to make an impact when he will be up Narendra Modi. “The Congress will fight the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in the leadership of Rahul Gandhi. But against Modi Rahul will fail to make an impact,” added Dr. Singh.
Prior to the Gujarat election results, the state witnessed vigorous campaigning. Addressing an election rally in Gujarat's Saurashtra region ahead of the first phase of the polling Congress president Sonia Gandhi had tried to attack Modi and his record of governance. However, defying all the charges, Modi is set to clinch an overwhelming victory. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, too, came to Gujarat for campaigning. But he also failed to create a favorable wave for his party. It only shows that the people of Gujarat did not buy the claims of Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi. The failure of the Gandhis in Gujarat will certainly create worries within the party as it was all set to project junior Gandhi as the face of the party well before the 2014 elections. Modi's loss would have made the path easier for the Congress, but now it may have to re-think its strategies.
If the BJP again comes to power, as trends project, on the back of Modi's strong showing - on a national level, the BJP's victory might give a push to anti-incumbency sentiment against the ruling UPA-II coalition government led by the Congress. The Congress will have to take into consideration the fact that pre-election and post-election alliances with Modi as the leader in the 2014 general elections will be an eventuality that it needs to prepare for - not just as a party but also as an alliance that has a consensus PM candidate.
With Modi again triumphing in his own election in Gujarat - he has created enough political space for himself to be considered as a contender as a leading pan-Indian leader. But is there consensus for Rahul Gandhi as a national leader within Congress and its alliance partners? Is the nation prepared to see the inexperienced Rahul Gandhi as the country's prime minister? Does the Congress have a strategy to counter BJP when the country's biggest opposition party comes down strongly on the Congress on corruption allegations? Modi's win, and BJP's impending good show in Gujarat will make the Congress ask these questions?
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