Two days after the brute poll drubbing in the Lok Sabha Elections, Rahul Gandhi is likely to tender his resignation at the high-profile Congress Working Committee meeting today. Buzz over Gandhi’s resignation has been doing rounds since the May 23 verdict, however, there is no official confirmation so far. In fact, on the day when Gandhi conceded his Amethi defeat during a brief presser, speculations were rife that he will also announce his resignation. But Congress spokesperson and senior party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala categorically denied the rumours. In fact, a media report said that it was Sonia Gandhi who rejected her son’s idea of stepping down as chief of the Grand Old Party of India.
Officially, the CWC meet is going to take stock of situation in the aftermath of the poll rout. The Congress didn’t even manage to open an account in states and Union Territories like Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Andaman and Nicobar, Chandigarh, Dadar Nagar Haveli, Daman Diu and Lakshadweep.
Though it did better its 2014 tally, but the Congress will not be the face of Opposition, if there’s one now. Reduced to just 52 seats in the Lok Sabha, the present situation of the Congress is far cry from the days of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. While Nehru led Congress into victory in three General Elections of 1951, 1957 and 1962.
After the sudden demise of Pt Nehru, his daughter India Gandhi took over the mantle of Congress. Despite lesser margins, the Congress under the new leadership won the 1967 Lok Sabha Elections. Instead of 1972, Gandhi called elections a year early in 1971 and won a decisive mandate and saw the country win its biggest military victory the same year. It was the year that witnessed the decimation of the Pakistani Army and the creation of the independent nation of Bangladesh.
Four years later, fighting off an Opposition onslaught for her resignation after an adverse court verdict holding her guilty of electoral malpractices, Gandhi declared Emergency in 1975, due to which the elections which were due in 1976, were not held.
Indira Gandhi lifted the emergency in 1977 and called general election that saw a conglomeration of disparate parties under the Janata Party umbrella being swept to power.
That experiment lasted a little over two years and Indira Gandhi led the Congress to a resounding victory in the 1980 general election.