Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi during an event organised by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation at Jawahar Bhavan. *** Local Caption *** Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi during an event organised by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation at Jawahar Bhavan. Express photo by Renuka Puri.

After every poll debacle, murmurs of ‘Priyanka Lao, Congress Bachao’ (Bring Priyanka and Save the Congress) within the Congress gets louder. While, on the other hand shouts of ‘Rahul Mukt Congress’ (Congress free from Rahul) are also doing the rounds within the congress’ political circuits. But in this scenario replacing Rahul with Priyanka can only prove to be knee-jerk reaction for Congress top brass and could not be of much help in saving the sinking ship of Congress.

Apart from striking resemblance with her grand mother Indira Gandhi, she doesn’t boast of much of political credentials. Moreover, Priyanka has a bigger liability around her neck–her husband Robert Vadra, whose never-ending saga of controversies & corruption is having a heavy toll on her. So, whatever benefits she can hope for deriving from her maiden name ‘Gandhi’ gets nullified by her marital name ‘Vadra’.

With the voice for change in Congress leadership getting louder within and outside Congress, the crucial question arises here – does Congress have any credible face to replace Rahul? In current scenario, instead of debating between Rahul and Priyanka, why can’t Congress think beyond Gandhi family?

Since beginning Congress has always followed dynasty politics and Nehru-Gandhi family dominates it. Headed by Gandhi family, Congress has virtually reduced to a family business – cum political party.

After assassination of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi was unanimously elected as Congress leader and subsequently Prime Minister despite Congress having many heavyweight leaders who were much better equipped to lead Congress party from front. But since Independence, Indians have shown loyalty to Nehru-Gandhi scion.

But after five decades of Congress rule, Indian voters have started giving preference to merits rather than family legacy. Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, Milind Deora who can or are capable of taking over from Rahul Gandhi only if Congress party is willing to break the dominance of Gandhi family.

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