“There is a genuine leader in India. That is Nitish Kumar. He is a leader without a party, the Congress is a party without a leader.”
New Delhi: Historian and biographer Ramachandra Guha, at the tenth anniversary celebrations of his book India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy, suggested that the decline of the Congress party can only be averted if Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is made the party president.
According to the Economic Times, Guha said, “Nobody has got any doubts that the Congress is not going to rise again any time soon. Two years (to the next Lok Sabha election) is a long time in politics. If you get away with the Gandhi family in the leadership and if the Congress has a new leader, things can change.
“There is a genuine leader in India. That is Nitish Kumar. He is a leader without a party, the Congress is a party without a leader. If Congress gives him a chance to lead the UPA, it might have a future.”
Guha, who was in conversation with journalist Barkha Dutt at the event, also said that Nitish Kumar, like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is a leader without any “family burden” but unlike Modi, he is not a “megalomaniac”.
Economic Times quoted him as saying, “There is a problem with single-party dominance; it made even the great democrat Jawaharlal Nehru unpersuasive, it made the instinctively authoritative Indira Gandhi more authoritative. So what single party dominance would do to Narendra Modi and Amit Shah I have started to think (about).”
“Forty years of Left rule in West Bengal was a disaster, 25 years of BJP rule in Gujarat is a disaster. We are in the 70th year of independence and have failed in emulating a stable two party module of western democracy,” he added.
Guha said, unless the president of the Congress bestowed the post on Nitish, there “is no future for him, or for Sonia Gandhi in Indian politics”, reported Hindustan Times.
“Now, if they have a new leader or leadership tomorrow, things could change. Two years is a long time in politics,” he maintained, referring to the 2019 parliamentary polls, reported Hindustan Times.