09 March, 2021

Empire's Satraps

The Congress' search for 'secular' allies begins with a concerted effort to shed its dynastic intransigence Updates

Abhijit Bhtlekar
Empire's Satraps
Congress president Sonia Gandhi's desperate—and belated?—bid to reinvent herself as a coalition-builder has yielded preliminary results, with the vague outlines of a pre-electoral "Secular Progressive Alliance" taking shape. The SPA, according to the Congress gameplan, will also endeavour to have seat adjustments with the Left-led third front to maintain the integrity of the secular vote. The two fronts have a broad understanding on a post-electoral tie-up, with the proposed government to be led by the formation that has the most seats.

The most stiff-necked of parties, the Congress is now stooping to conquer. And the results are showing. After 24 frosty years the Congress and the dmk have buried the hatchet and announced an alliance in Tamil Nadu led by M. Karunanidhi. Apart from making overtures across the 'secular' spectrum, the newly media-friendly Sonia is working to recast her image—from that of a wronged widow to that of a credible leader.

Old habits die hard, however. The Pranab Mukherjee panel report on election strategy couldn't resist saying that...

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