29 July, 2021

Slippery Old Pivot

Organisational flux continues to mar the Congress’s self-image as the national pole of anti-BJP politics

Photograph by PTI
Slippery Old Pivot

The recent defection of former Union minister Jitin Prasada, once a confidant of Rahul Gandhi, to the BJP has sent the political grapevine in a tizzy, with speculation on other possible high-profile exits from the Congress—including that of former Union ministers R.P.N. Singh and Milind Deora, also trusted lieutenants of Rahul in the past. Sources say backchannel talks have been initiated to prevent those like Singh—like Prasada, he is from Uttar Pradesh, where the Congress is desperately seeking revival in next year’s assembly polls—from jumping ship. These efforts haven’t met with much success, especially as Rahul seems unfazed by the desertions. “For every Prasada and Jyotiraditya Scindia (another Rahul aide who quit the party last March and helped the BJP topple the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh) who left after taking everything from the party, there are hundreds who joined to serve selfles­sly,” says spokesperson Pawan Khera.

Sonia Gandhi, meanwhile, is back to playing her familiar peacemaker role—soothing...

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