Saisuresh Sivaswamy in Sonia’s masterstroke at Rediff.com writes:
In a land whose heritage glorifies renunciation of all ties, it is unusual to find a politician who has learnt to say ‘no.’ Congress president Sonia Gandhi, by turning down the clamour from within her party to become prime minister, has joined a rare set. […]
[…] Yes, Sonia’s move has thrown the Bharatiya Janata Party off course. While it may go around claiming credit for getting Sonia to renounce the prime ministership, the party will also have to come to terms with the fact that it has been denied a potent issue. Sonia’s foreign origin has now been overshadowed by her show of supreme sacrifice, and unless the BJP moves on it will reap a bitter harvest. […]
[…] Gandhi has turned down the prime ministership, not sworn off the party presidency. Neither she nor her children have offered to get out of politics: they will instead focus on strengthening the organisation, returning it to its pre-eminent position in states where it has lost out over the last 15 years.
And who has the Congress party lost out to? The BJP, yes, but in state across state it is also a combination of regional forces that have managed to net the Congress’ vote bank as it disintegrated. To revive the party, Sonia Gandhi will have to neutralise the very allies that are supporting her government today.
Uttar Pradesh Congressmen, for instance, believe the Samajwadi Party is a bigger threat to them than the BJP. Ditto the CPI-M in West Bengal. Ditto the RJD in Bihar. The BJP’s vote bank may have bagged some of the Congress’ traditional vote, but the bulk of it went to the smaller parties. […]
Well said Mr Sivaswamy. That is indeed the 100 Crore question…