01 December, 2020

The Footpath Queen

Sonia's reinvention takes her to the very heart of AP. Will it beat for her party? Updates.

T. Narayan
The Footpath Queen
"Oh my God!" exclaimed Sonia Gandhi as she almost walked into a buffalo in the weavers' colony at Vadiampet village in Anantapur district. Sonia's 23-km whirlwind roadshow in Anantapur, coinciding with the beginning of L.K. Advani's more ambitious Bharat uday yatra, may have been modest in comparison but it wasn't lacking in drama. Her decision to make unscheduled stops along the way caught local Congress leaders by surprise and chaos reigned supreme as everybody broke the cordon and the spg guards struggled to maintain a semblance of order.

This was Sonia reinvented. And it seemed to be a throwback to the grand old days of the dynasty—when Nehru moved around in an open vehicle with nary a thought of security, or when Indira Gandhi would often make that emblematic gesture of holding hands with tribal dancers. Taking the advice of her partymen and image-makers, Sonia, too, was playing a more people-friendly part—never mind if she came to it late, in a bid to match the populist yatra symbolism of the BJP bigwigs. "Only Indiramma and her family would ever walk into a poor...


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