25 November, 2020

The Hand That Rocks The Congress

With Sonia Gandhi’s blessings, party President Sitaram Kesri moves in swiftly to stifle Narasimha Rao’s clout in the party

The Hand That Rocks The Congress

AFTER five years of P.V. Narasimha Rao, the new Congress mantra is Sonia Gandhi. The latest blitzkrieg in the party aimed at marginalising Rao is, according to partymen, a carefully worked out strategy by Sitaram Kesri and Sonia to stifle the former prime minister and his coterie. The new Congress president and Rajiv Gandhi’s widow do not hold Rao in any esteem and, with Kesri in the driver’s seat, those opposed to Sonia are in for a rough ride. That Sonia calls the shots is no longer disputed. No, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters has not shifted from 24, Akbar Road to her 10, Janpath residence but the hand, or in Congress-speak ‘the blessings’, of Rajiv Gandhi’s widow is evident in every move of the party leadership. That party president Kesri calls on her once a week to apprise her of party affairs only highlights her growing clout. Suddenly, ‘Soniaji’ has become a rallying point among Congressmen who predict the miracle which will revive the party once ‘Madam’ formally joins the fold.

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