You would say that this was expected! The pandemonium in Parliament is obvious repercussion after the Delhi Court directed the Congress President Sonia Gandhi, party Vice President and her son Rahul Gandhi and 5 others to appear on December 19 for the alleged misappropriation of funds in the National Herald case. But the matter does not end right there.
But for Congress the problem does not end there. While the Court will judge and comment on the legal aspect of the case, this directive casts a deep shadow of doubt on the Congress President. This one single directive has pulled down her halo of moral authority that she had on her ever since she installed Shri Manmohan Singh on the Prime Minister’s seat in 2004. Not just Sonia and Rahul’s fate, the outcome of the case in many ways would have far reaching consequences for the Congress Party as well. Tightly moored to the Nehru-Gandhi family, this hearing and the case outcome could even put Congress in a situation where it might have to dabble with existential issues.
Image management is a major hurdle that the Congress has been battling for a while. While Sonia’s son-in-law Robert Vadra is already under the scanner about the land deals, Manmohan Singh’s so called clean image has also suffered a beating after the string of scams including 2G, Coalgate and many others during the UPA’s last stint. While the Congress did get into adequate mud-slinging hurling blames and counter allegations but suddenly with this directive the narrative has shifted from intolerance to corruption scandals all around Congress party.
The threat this time is far more serious and the party is already grappling with initiatives to revive and re-establish its identity in step with the times. Politically too the recent performance of the party in Bihar Elections offered them a faint ray of hope after being literally wiped out from most major states in the country. They were trying to put forth a fresh image with Rahul Gandhi as the new poster boy but this National Herald controversy, Subramaniam Swamy’s petition and the legal case undermines the Congress Party’s overall credibility and standing in the national arena.