After Rahul Gandhiâ€™s announcement yesterday that Amrinder Singh would be the partyâ€™s chief ministerial candidate, the media was rife with speculation as to what it would mean. it was a major departure from Congressâ€™ practice of keeping the question of the top job open, until after the election.
Some say in the announcement portents of Gandhiâ€™s rise to power. The Hindustan Times ran a story which crowned Rahul Gandhi as the de facto chief in the Congress party. The announcements, meant that it was Gandhi was getting to decide who would be the partyâ€™s chief ministerial candidates. The article also pointed to the fact that Priyanka Vadra had recently said that she was open to campaigning outside the Rae Braillee and Amethi seats, which are the strongholds of the Gandhi family. This, said the article, indicated, that even for Priyanka, Rahul was the leader.
Today however Congress sources have put these speculation to rest. The announcement was not a extempore act by Rahul Gandhi, it was actually a well thought out strategy by the Congress. The announcement of the leader was seen as necessary to put by a collective front to the electorate, and also to endorse Amrinder Singh, so that attacks on him and his record cease. In number of polls conducted in the state, Amrinder Singh has emerged as the most popular choice for the top job.
The congress has a good chance of winning the elections in Punjab this time as there is a strong anti-incumbency factor against the BJP-Akali Dal combine. The Congress has a decided edge and is trying to make sure nothing goes wrong. The practice of not announcing the CM until after the election often gave rise to factionalism and infighting for the top post, which ended up in jeopardizing the party chances. “This is the crunch time and unity in the state unit is imperative for a resounding victory,” a party functionary said. “This puts an additional onus on the captain to ensure that the party sails through a stormy competition and wins with absolute majority. The Akalis are not leaving anything to chance. Their campaign is as aggressive as ours,” the leader added.
If the experiment of naming the leader is successful in Punjab, it would be repeated in other states going to polls.
Yes, but that still does not mean that it is not an indication of Rahul Gandhiâ€™s rise to power.