20 October, 2020

All Hands On Deck

Will Singh be king on July 22? As both sides scramble to mop up votes, worry lines appear.

All Hands On Deck
In the end, it was left to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son and heir apparent, Rahul Gandhi, to defend the controversial Indo-US nuclear deal and the prime minister. At a rally in faraway Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, on July 17, Sonia thundered: "We don't need a certificate (on the deal) from any party.... We won't compromise on the deal because it's in the national interest." Just a day before, Rahul's fulsome praise came in for grateful notice by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's advisors. During a customary visit to Amethi, Rahul complimented the PM for demonstrating "vision, tenacity and leadership". The nuclear accord, he said, was worth taking a "risk" for and "if the government falls in the process, so be it.... When you are convinced that it is in the interests of the people of the country, numbers don't matter."

The Gandhis' unequivocal support for the PM comes amidst growing anxiety in the ranks that the government may not make it. A week ago, Congress managers were full of confidence, glibly ticking off names to account for...


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