After Rahul Gandhi, Congress can redefine how political events are run in India by ‘democratically’ selecting subsequent chief based mostly on benefit

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has stepped down and the get together will choose its new chief subsequent week. This has created a management vacuum and what we’re seeing in states like Goa and Karnataka is a results of this vacuum. Some of it is going to calm down after the brand new chief takes cost, although different issues will stay and the duty earlier than the subsequent president of the get together shall be difficult for a few years.

It is at the moment unclear how the brand new chief shall be chosen. Reports quoting get together sources say that senior get together figures and Congress chief ministers have requested colleagues to present names in closed envelopes. The “most popular names” could be shortlisted after consulting different senior leaders after which forwarded to the Congress Working Committee. It appears this physique will then choose its president. The CWC has 24 members, together with 4 girls (Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Kumari Selja and Ambika Soni). The 20 males embrace former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Ahmed Patel, and former chief ministers Siddaramaiah, Oomen Chandy and Tarun Gogoi.

File picture of Rahul Gandhi. PTI

In a approach, choosing a brand new chief is nice information for the get together, as a result of it may well transfer on from its 2019 defeat and may defend itself in opposition to the cost that it’s a ‘family-owned get together’. However, Congress additionally has the chance to redefine the way in which that political events are run in India. To see what this implies, allow us to study the methods in different democracies that our system relies on.

The ruling get together of the United Kingdom is the Conservative Party. Its prime minister has stepped down as a result of she was unable to ship a approach for the nation to exit the European Union. The Conservative authorities will nevertheless stay and the get together will select its chief who will robotically change into the subsequent prime minister. This is being finished by a collection of native votes the place get together members forged a poll. Several candidates determined to contest, together with the ministers for residence and overseas affairs, the previous mayor of London, and the minister for atmosphere and rural affairs. This record of about 10 folks was narrowed down to 2 last candidates by parliamentarians voting for the primary and second desire. The last two candidates, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, at the moment are canvassing throughout the nation to enchantment to round 1.2 lakh Conservative Party members, who will finally resolve the subsequent prime minister of the UK.

In the United States of America, the Democrats are within the Opposition. Donald Trump’s first time period will finish in 2020 and the Democrats should resolve which ones will contest in opposition to him. So far 25 Democrats have put their hand as much as struggle. These embrace the previous vice chairman Joe Biden, two girls with Indian hyperlinks — Tulsi Gabbard and Kamala Harris — the mayor of a small city, the mayor of New York, and a few sitting senators. They should every independently elevate cash to fund a workforce, journey and purchase promoting and enchantment to the get together members who will vote for them in a celebration election. Registered Democratic Party members in every state will get an opportunity to have a say in who they like to run in opposition to Trump. This course of will start early subsequent yr with Democrats within the first state (Iowa) voting on 3 February, whereas the voting in different states will proceed until June. This will give the candidates the chance to journey the nation and clarify their insurance policies and their place on numerous points.

The US has about 12 crore voters of whom 4.5 crore are registered Democrats and three.2 crore are registered Republicans, the others being Independents. So there may be a lot increased participation in US elections and the selecting of candidates than there may be within the UK, however now we have to just accept that in each nations the method is open and democratic.

India doesn’t have as democratic a political system inside its events just like the UK and the US. One of the problems is that of family-run events, which exist in all of our states. There is not any get together which doesn’t have nepotism, however that’s solely one of many points and for my part, it isn’t a significant one. The bigger problem is that of no inside democracy of the type there may be within the UK and American events. It isn’t that there isn’t any household connection in these nations, and the Kennedys and the Clintons are proof of that. But, they function in a system the place they should be chosen by the get together by a vote.

In India, tickets for Lok Sabha elections are given out with no voting course of just like the American primaries or the UK hustings. The identical is the case for Assembly and company elections. There is not any transparency in how tickets to Rajya Sabha are given in any get together. Certainly, there isn’t any democratic course of concerned and the get together chief can provide it to whoever they need with out explaining to the get together or to the general public why a person has been favoured.

There is not any meritocracy or at the very least there may be none that’s seen and clear. Congress has two alternatives to vary this. First, in the way in which it goes about selecting its chief, after which how the brand new chief goes about reforming the get together.

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