Understanding Rahul Gandhi as a Leader of Opposition

While the BJP was busy with their polarization agenda in the run-up to the Lok Sabha Polls, it was Rahul Gandhi who stood as a pillar of support and wisdom for the unprivileged sections who were the victims of the blatant policies and laws of the Modi Regime
Understanding Rahul Gandhi as a Leader of Opposition
Jaano Junction

The Congress Party, which surprised everyone with its best electoral performance since 2014 after winning 99 seats for the first time, has managed to appoint a full-time leader of the opposition after the party failed to fulfill the criteria required to appoint a LoP in the previous elections. Rahul Gandhi, who won from Wayanad as well as the Raebareli constituencies, remained a popular choice among the party workers of the Congress as well as the members of the INDIA bloc for being the Leader of Opposition in the House, for which his name for the post of LoP by the Grand Old Party was proposed to fulfill the role as a responsible democratic leader.

The Positives

As far as Rahul Gandhi as a political figure is concerned, he has improved his public outreach to a massive extent with his Bharat Jodo Yatras, where he has been decisive enough to raise issues of public interest without showing signs of bowing down in front of the Modi-Shah Duo. While the BJP was busy with their polarization agenda in the run-up to the Lok Sabha Polls, it was Rahul Gandhi who stood as a pillar of support and wisdom for the unprivileged sections who were the victims of the blatant policies and laws of the Modi Regime (e.g., farmers, unemployed youths, Agniveers, etc.) so that their problems could be exposed in order to uplift them from their miserable state.

Now that he has been elected as a LoP in the Lok Sabha, we can expect him to raise the volume of protest from the oppositional bench by challenging the ruling regime with tough questions that can address problems of unemployment, inflation, NEET-UG, UGC-NET paper leaks, the Agniveer scheme, the Indo-China conflict, women's safety, misuse of enforcement agencies, developmental concerns, etc. A leader like Rahul Gandhi can spearhead the entire oppositional strength to make the government withdraw any act in the future if it is against the spirit of the Constitution. With the BJP failing to secure an absolute majority, it is difficult for them to paralyze the oppositional voices, as the BJP will be forced to comply with what other members of the alliance, i.e., the NDA, want them to observe, which can further elevate the strength of Rahul Gandhi as a LoP to successfully pass through tumultuous times in the House. Lastly, over the period of time since 2019, he has emerged as a popular face among the youths across India, and if he is able to satisfy the opposition as well as his voters with his core abilities as a LoP, then in the future, his existing post can get converted into a PM's post with the blessings of those who will stand beside him.

The Negatives and the Area of Concern

As the Congress Party managed to improve its tally of seat share and vote share, it is vital for the party machinery that comprises leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, and Rahul Gandhi to ensure that they keep aside their egos and maintain their consistency and outreach with the masses at all levels. The problem with Rahul Gandhi can be his choice of words and thoughts when it comes to talking about religion and caste, as he can be easily soft-corned by the BJP, BSP, JDS, SAD, AIMIM, etc. if he says anything unconstitutional and unjustified towards Hindus, Muslims, OBCs, SCs, STs, or any other communities. Moreover, his personality as a full-time politician has also been debated by the BJP, as he tends to disappear from the ground after elections, which can raise questions about his credibility, especially when he is holding a post like LoP.

His prospects as a high profile leader with a definite agenda tend to go missing, as in the past it has happened that because of diverse agendas, he has avoided important electoral commitments like campaigning for assembly elections in Gujarat because of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, which resulted in a disastrous performance for his party. Now that he is back in the house, he not only has to raise issues that bother his constituency but also to make sure that he is able to convince the ruling party of amicable solutions to the problem, which he hasn’t been able to execute properly. Lastly, he needs to address any sort of infighting with full potential within the party, as such an incident can not only damage the prospects of Congress but also the credibility of Rahul Gandhi as a trustworthy and people's leader.

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