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Why Rahul Gandhi was not elevated as Congress President: Because of his failure to convince regional parties about his leadership ability
Sonia Gandhi created history after being given extension for one more year as the party president. This happened on September 8 when Congress Working Committee expressed its faith in her leadership. With this she also has become the only Congress leader to lead the party continuously for 18 years in its history of 130 years.

With the extension given to Sonia Gandhi, all speculations, rumours around Rahul Gandhi becoming party president this year are now things of the past. Since last one year speculations were rife that Rahul Gandhi would be made Congress President paving way for Sonia Gandhi's retirement from the active politics.

Somehow Rahul's elevation is delayed. However, all the Congress members are asked to report Rahul Gandhi directly. That means despite Sonia Gandhi remaining president of the Congress, Rahul Gandhi will virtually control party affairs.

Experts have different views on delay in Rahul's elevation. Some think that upcoming Bihar polls may be the biggest reason of this delay. Some feel that veteran Congress leaders have still not accepted Rahul Gandhi for this top most post. While some experts think that Sonia Gandhi has still not that trust in Rahul Gandhi that he can manage the Congress party. But, I don't think these are the real reasons.

Especially the Bihar assembly election can't be the reason as it is to be followed by UP, Bengal and Punjab elections. Thus polls can't be the reason behind party's decision not to elevate Rahul Gandhi. Further it's under Sonia's presidentship, that the Congress lost general elections so badly. After the party lost in general elections, its performance in assembly elections like in Delhi where it ruled for 15 years, was dismal.

It's also not convincing that senior Congress leaders have yet accepted Rahul Gandhi. The Congress party has become such a dynastic party that even a minor from Gandhi family can command loyalty from very senior Congress members. Gandhi family is now above the party.

It's Sonia Gandhi who pushed Rahul Gandhi ahead. Even Sonia Gandhi stopped Priyanka Gandhi in order to establish Rahul Gandhi as the true heir to Gandhi legacy in Congress party. Thus saying that Sonia Gandhi has not yet trusted Rahul Gandhi would be a wrong thing.

In fact the real reasons of delaying Rahul Gandhi's elevation are based on practical difficulties and Rahul Gandhi's policy. In 2014 general elections, the Congress was reduced to 44 member party in the Parliament. Presently the situation for the Congress in national politics is such that it can't recover easily from the setbacks it had to face in the previous elections.

In this difficult situation the Congress need support and help from powerful non-BJP parties. However, if the party is somehow isolated at non-BJP fronts also, then there's a danger of complete doom for the party.

In the strong BJP era, there are some non-BJP regional parties which have flourished. AIDMK, TMC, TRS and BJD are neither inclined towards BJP nor the Congress. The Congress could have got support from parties like DMK, Left, SP, RJD, JDU, NCP, BSP, TRS etc. But Rahul Gandhi had no friendly relations with these parties except Nitish-led JDU.

If Rahul Gandhi is elevated as the Congress chief then the party would lose whatever support or link it has with these parties. Rahul's too much support to JD(U) has already forced Mulayam Singh's Samajawadi Party to withdraw from the 'Mahagathbandhan'.

Rahul Gandhi needs to mend his ways and he should try to be friendly with RJD, SP, BSP, Left, DMK and other regional parties in order to convince them to accept him as Congress President. Rahul Gandhi and his coteries perhaps negated this idea as Rahul doesn't believe in this old style of conventional politics where alliances are made even if it appears to be opportunistic.

Rahul wanted to be seen as an anti-Modi leader who is also against politicians likes Lalu Yadav, Karunanidhi, Mulayam Singh Yadav and other such veteran leaders who are accused of corruption and nepotism. Rahul is trying to acquire an image of angry young man who represents concerns of the young India.

Rahul as a Vice-President will rule the Congress party and build his image whereas the Congress's relations with non-BJP and non-Congress parties will be maintained through the office of Sonia Gandhi.

Real challenges for the Congress party will start surfacing right from the Bihar assembly elections results, where even if BJP loses, a question will be asked to the Congress that if it has won anything.

I feel Rahul Gandhi will not be elevated as the President of the Congress party till he decides whether he would like to go alone on the path of reviving his party or he would like to do alliance with other parties.

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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