Congress leaders have sent up a trial balloon, asking why Rahul Gandhi should not be the party’s prime ministerial candidate in the next general election.
The Congress has rejected such suggestions. Yet, it would be interesting to speculate on how Rahul Gandhi should position himself before the electorate. A natural point of comparison is with the two Democratic Party candidates in the US— Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The former is a party insider and, to some extent, a dynast. The other is an outsider who has used his lack of high-level political experience to his own advantage, by acting like a gust of fresh air through the stilted corridors of American politics.
Should Rahul position himself like Clinton or Obama? The insider or the outsider? Rajiv Gandhi came into politics with new ideas and a new agenda. Though he could not deliver on his promises, there is little doubt that he prepared the ground for economic reform and technological change.
Rahul could try something similar—if his crusty party seniors allow him to.