Congress will use farmers’ rally to relaunch Rahul in Delhi

Congress will use farmers’ rally to relaunch Rahul in Delhi

7

2C50EECB00000578-3234510-image-a-1_1442274321091New Dellhi,By Amit Agnihotri,September 15,2015:-The Congress is pulling out all the stops to make its farmers’ rally in the Capital on September 20 a success, as the event will relaunch party vice-president Rahul Gandhi and assert his leadership. 

The rally will mark the party’s victory over the controversial land ordinance, which the Centre has withdrawn. 

The Congress had earlier used a similar platform to launch Rahul after his mysterious two-month sabbatical when it organised a mega farmers rally in Delhi’s iconic Ramlila Ground in May to declare its opposition to the controversial land acquisition ordinance. 

Between then and now, the fortunes of the Congress have improved as it is organising the September 20 rally to mark the Centre’s retreat on the controversial land ordinance. 

Party leaders say Rahul was the guiding force behind the land ordinance protests organised by the Congress across states and inside Parliament. 

At a recent Congress Working Committee meeting, which deferred taking a call on promoting Rahul as party chief, Congress president Sonia Gandhi gave credit to Rahul over the land bill agitation while recognising his role. 

Though the Kisan Samman Rally was initially planned for Panipat in Haryana, the venue was shifted to Delhi at the eleventh hour to make a point in the Capital and use the platform to renew focus on Rahul, whose coronation is still a matter of debate for several party workers. That speculation increased after the CWC deferred a decision on his promotion for another year. 

Sources said a series of state elections where the Congress is not expected to do well – in Bihar in October, and Assam, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu next year – are the reason why his elevation has been delayed, as this would reflect poorly on his political CV.

There are others who feel that Rahul should take the plunge and move forward, even if a few mistakes are committed on the way. 

“Why is he delaying taking over the party. He should start and set up his own team. The sooner, the better,” said a senior AICC functionary on the condition of anonymity. 

The burden of total command and responsibility in the long run would be better than shortterm relaunch strategies for Rahul, he said. 

Sensing opportunity, Sonia has asked senior leaders AK Antony and Digvijaya Singh to coordinate the Kisan Samman Rally. She has also asked the party unit chiefs of neighbouring states like Hayana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Delhi to mobilise maximum support for the September 20 rally so that the event matches with a similar show held in May. 

Rahul’s projection as a champion of the cause of farmers’ and farm labour is in keeping with his pro-poor politics, said the sources. That suits the Congress in the Opposition role as well, said the sources.