It is the expanding story of a shrinking Party. In fact, the last party the Party had was the Iftar party. That too has been shrinking steadily since 2014 when voters said that the Grand Old Party (GOP) is tired and needs a holiday. Rahul always has his hand on the pulse of the voters and he has been taking holidays ever since in Tibet, Nepal, Delhi (in the Chinese Embassy) and in some unknown places to meet some unknown personage. All the psephologists were proved to be off the mark and their errors had sent the ever-silent great sage Maun Muni Mohan into an even more silent shoonya or empty space. Hence, the GOP felt that elections were such a waste and had decided to anoint the scion of the GOF (Grand Old Family) as the Party President. Now, this was a cruel move. Readers would remember that the GOD (Grand Old Daughter-in-Law) Sheila had called out the detractors of Rahul on February 24, 2017 . “Rahul is still not mature, his age does not allow him to be mature. He is what … in his forties. Please give him time,’ she had said. Rahul was only 47 at the time he was made Party president; talk of making a child the sacrificial goat. Rahul struggled, tore off Cabinet decisions, munched the pieces and declared these as tasteless utter nonsense. He consulted astrologers, became a janeudhari Brahmin and even visited temples though this Indian habit was strongly forbidden by his great grandfather. He did everything possible and even the impossible but still came a cropper. Then came the Godsend for the beleagured prince. Fortunately for him, the 2019 polls saw the Congress “improve” upon its record of the lowest tally. That was excuse enough for Rahul to quit being the shirking President of the shrinking Party and for his mother to become the Interim President. Meanwhile, Rahul has taken the role of the “Forever Working non-President”.

Rahul and his advisor didi were uncomfortable that Congress had been ruling the sensitive border state of Punjab. The former soldier-Maharaja claimed that he was getting up to date intelligence about the enemy through the frequent visits of a femme fatale living on the other side of the fence. “That is the real problem”, an angry didi said slamming Rahul’s fist on the table. Does anyone check her as she crosses the Wagah border? Rahul agreed that it was a dangerous game and both of them decided to send the soldier-Maharaja-Chief Minister on a holiday. To cut a long story short, this wise move fends off any blame coming to the de facto three-person politburo of the GOP and now blame for everything happening in Punjab goes to Kejriwal. We shall meet this character again in a little while but this useful loss of Punjab could not get into some thick skulls in the Party and they demanded that their Party should commit harakiri by holding elections for the post of Party President. Do not feel upset if you are 22 years old and have not heard of such a dangerous step because the last time it was done, it was the Anno Domini 2000.

Disaster struck the exercise right from the beginning. A criminal gang called G-23 and its proverbial rats started abandoning the sinking ship with the list ranging from a lawyer to a Kashmiri-leader-Jammuwala, who will soon be a jholewala. Yet, candidtes’ names started cropping up and name calling started at the same time. A Chief Minister of another border state seemed to be blessed by the Interim President as well as by the Forever Working non-President when a Pilot crashed his plane in the CM’s work-in-progress tower of presidential dreams. Another candidate, a former Foreign Service officer, author and neta, all rolled into one, is known more for his dalliance with another femme fatale from across the border. This had resulted in a potboiler that included suicide, injection marks on the body and scent of murder. This candidate is known for his sesquipedalian propensity and he assured everyone that if he becomes the Party president, he shall provide the complete set of 20 volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary to each member of the CWC and they will be expected to bring these at each meeting. Some members said that they shall need two donkeys each to bring the tomes but the wisecrack dismissed them as asinine dingbats; what else constitutes that body, he is reported to have quipped. The latest we heard is another former ruler or perhaps only a prince, of Raghogarh, throwing his hat in the ring. This worthy is cultured like any Royal (including Prince Andrew of the Epstein fame, both being the “bad boys” of a 58 minute show on the BBC) and is very respectful towards those who carry guns, throw bombs or hijack planes, adding honorifics to these celebrities’ names like Osamaji and Hafiz Sahib.

The Italian-Indian Queen Mother was not amused. Is that all we have, she moaned, proving again that she is prone to display floccinaucinihilipilification, as diagnosed earlier by the wisecrack candidate. Regardless, once the Royal pursed lips had discounted the candidates, nobody will take one of them even as a free gift. The Party was back to square one. The Royal jester exists only for such an impasse when ice has to be broken. The Jester narrated that in ancient times, when there was difficulty in selecting somebody for kingship, it used to be decided that whosever will be the first person to pass by the gates of the palace will be crowned. To prevent insider trading, all the pretenders to the throne were locked up for the night. The Queen Mother was amused; why not try the idea! A rope was stretched outside the Party headquarters and anybody who had shown the slightest inclination of becoming the Party President, was asked to stand behind the rope at 4 AM. It was a smoggy morning in the polluted national capital and the visibility was very low. All eyes were straining to see who will be the unlucky one to win the crown of thorns. There was excitement as they noticed a figure, face wrapped in a muffler, approaching the multitude behind the rope. The Queen Mother ducked under the rope and put the garland around the muffled head who recoiled from the white-clad, white apparition suddenly emerging out of the smog. But her words reassured him, “We welcome the next President of our ancient party selected by the ancient custom” even as the crowd hailed the new Chief. As he removed the muffler, it was the turn of the Party leaders to recoil in horror as they recognised the visage of a smirking Kejriwal.

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