How Rahul took over and turned wheel of fortune

How Rahul took over and turned wheel of fortune

Rahul Gandhi. (DH Illustration)

Exactly a year after his election as Congress president, Rahul Gandhi has put the party on the revival path by defeating the BJP in the Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

For Rahul, the 2014 Lok Sabha election defeat was a learning curve and the Congress appeared to have peaked right time just ahead of the general elections next year.

Over the last four years, the party suffered successive defeats which raised questions over Rahul’s leadership, but things changed for the better after he was elected as party president in December last year.

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The wheel of fortune started to turn with the Gujarat Assembly elections last year that brought the Congress within sniffing distance of power in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state. The elections also gave confidence to the Congress that the BJP could be defeated.

The election outcome in Gujarat also helped Rahul shed the ‘pappu’ tag stuck on to him by the BJP. The Karnataka elections earlier this year also helped the Congress display that it was capable of taking some nimble-footed decisions to keep the BJP away from power.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Rahul was gracious enough to give credit to BJP chief ministers for their work in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh during their respective tenures.

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“I would like to thank them for the work done in their respective tenures and we are going to take over now and do an excellent job,” the Congress president said.

He also made it clear that the Congress did not believe in a BJP-mukt Bharat and exuded confidence that it would defeat the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections next year.

“I have been saying it for some time that with a resurgent Congress party, it is going to be very difficult for the prime minister to win the elections next year,” said Rahul adding that the Opposition will put up a united fight against the BJP.

Despite the close fight in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Opposition leaders have accepted Rahul as a formidable leader who can challenge Modi next year.

Rahul also acknowledged that the Congress was flexible with its potential allies such as the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party in Madhya Pradesh. “We were open, flexible. But it did not work out,” the Congress president said.

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