The Congress party’s decision not to name Rahul Gandhi as its prime ministerial candidate is a clever ploy to shield him from the likely repercussions in the event of a rout in the general elections, which now looks a foregone conclusion (“Congress not to name Rahul as prime ministerial candidate,” Jan. 17). Hence, this can be construed as a tacit admission of defeat. Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s attempt to rake up the now all-too- familiar ‘secular-communal’ divide can be seen as a desperate effort to revive the government’s sagging image. It is time she realised that the dichotomy has outlived its utility.

Its present government in Kerala would be untenable without the support of the Muslim League and the Kerala Congress — parties that are distinctly communal in nature. And yet, it has the audacity to call the BJP communal! People living in glass houses should never throw stones.

B. Suresh Kumar,

Coimbatore

The ineffectual governance under the UPA can be attributed both to a corrupt administration and a weak Prime Minister (“Manmohan makes way,” Jan. 17). The term ‘dual centres of power’ is misleading. Actually, ‘absolute supremacy’ always lay with ‘the family’. Perhaps Dr. Manmohan Singh’s greatest incapacity was that he was ‘nominated’ and never ‘elected’ directly by the people. His victory in an election could have changed his capacities and people’s attitudes toward him. Support derived from the masses gives one political strength while support derived from ‘family’ gives one only loyalty to the family.

P.R.V. Raja,

Pandalam, Kerala

Though Sonia Gandhi has not named Rahul Gandhi the prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 elections, apparently on the grounds that the Congress “did not have a tradition of announcing its prime ministerial candidate”, her intentions were clear: Rahul Gandhi is not to be blamed if the Congress loses (which in all probability will happen) but is to take credit, if, by any miracle, it wins.

As an aam aadmi, I would like to say that people of the country are going to vote in 2014 elections based on the Congress-led UPA’s performance and not on Rahul Gandhi’s image, irrespective of the role assigned to him.

B. Harish,

New Delhi

Perhaps the most glaring form of sycophancy visible today is the unwavering shower of praise for Rahul Gandhi from his party members. The annual Congress meet does not look like a periodic platform for deliberation of a national party but like an annual festivity where members queue up to perform rituals for their only lord. The only thing left to be done is to replace the party anthem with Rahul ji ki aarti! The party members fail to understand that what we ‘mango people’ abhor is this very dynastic tradition which is very much against democratic framework. The humility with which Sonia Gandhi accepted her party’s defeat and showed intent to learn from the AAP is somehow missing in her demeanour now. It could be a real leadership precedent if she encourages intra-party democracy and discourages such sycophancy.

Pramila Chaudhary,

Jamshedpur

Sonia Gandhi surely believes in democratic processes while selecting a prime ministerial candidate. However, the same cannot be said about her party members. The media should not glamorise someone who has declared himself a prime ministerial candidate even while being Chief Minister of a State. He is currently not doing justice to his present job. What if he does not win the Lok Sabha election himself?

M.M. Mathew,

New Delhi

By not naming Rahul Gandhi as its candidate, the Congress has made the right move. It is not done out of any fear of a debacle in the coming elections, as reported by a section of the media. Had it been so, Sonia Gandhi would not have even chosen him to lead the election campaign. The party’s decision to lend issue-based support to the AAP in Delhi has allowed it to have an edge over others in the capital. Further, Ms. Gandhi, by not naming the party’s prime ministerial candidate, has insulated herself from a carping opposition and bought herself enough time and freedom to decide its future course. In other words, she has already scored two points over her opponents.

M. Somasekhar Prasad,

Badvel, Andhra Pradesh

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