20 October, 2020

The Female Factor

Sonia's emotional appeal may strike a vote-winning chord among women

The Female Factor
There have been no cries of 'amma, thayi' , little breast-beating, and virtually no tears flowing from the ladies' wings of Sonia Gandhi's election meetings. But make no mistake, signora's attempt to pave the way for the Congress by reviving the spirit of the defunct Nehru Gandhi dynasty among women is gaining steam.

" Oh, maa Telugu lo maatulu adaaru (Oh, she's spoken Telugu)," screams Manorama Shankar, 48, as Sonia kicks off in the local lingo in Hyderabad. That's no proof that Manorama will vote Congress, but it's a good indication that Sonia has begun pressing the right buttons after a drab debut in Sriperumbudur.

Okay, the extraordinary SPG-dictated security, her deep accent, her inability to speak any Indian language (she began Hindi lessons only two years ago) and the tendency of her translators to fly off at a tangent have created an impenetrable wall between her and the women she wants to reach out to. But, with her carefully-orchestrated 'vulnerable widow' act, Sonia is trying desperately to tap ma-in-law Indira's constituents in her (and the...



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