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Political culture and etiquette appears to be at the nadir in India, the largest democracy in the world. The leaders use obscene language to tarnish the image of other political parties and in the process demean themselves and conveniently forget about the elements of decency and good behaviour. We have had a few such examples recently including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, embracing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, mockingly, while winking at his colleagues. These things were unheard of in the glorious parliamentary history of India and its oldest party, the National Congress. What has happened?

It increasingly appears that the grand old party has no leaders capable of leading it in these troubled times. Leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel have gone and suddenly the Congress party is facing a leadership crisis. This creates confusion among the public and a lack of confidence in the government. This is not supposed to happen, especially with elections approaching in 2019.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been functioning under the strong leadership of Narendra Modi and other leaders like Amit Shah. But sadly, the oldest party, the Indian National Congress lacks leaders of maturity and integrity. Without mature leadership, the Congress cannot achieve much in the impending elections.

At present, the party in effect is led by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, the mother-son duo. I’m sure the other leading Congress politicians find it difficult even to come out with their new ideas. It is time that the Congress found another leader, one who is mature and who has a sense of the history of the country. Otherwise, the 2019 elections will be taken over by Modi and his ruling party.

- The reader is based in India.