RAHUL Gandhi is still dependent on the advice of his mother Sonia Gandhi. Insiders reveal that Sonia’s team controls all decision-making and continues to exercise authority. During the Rajya Sabha elections a few months ago, the Congress president had asked one of the selected nominees who called to thank him whether his name had been officially announced. Rahul was obviously unaware that the list had already been declared. His own recommendation of electing Sam Pitroda to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka was rejected by the then Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah. Similarly, while deciding on names for the expansion of the Punjab Cabinet, Rahul had to accept Sonia’s advice in clearing the candidacy of a four-time MLA whose name figured on the Chief Minister’s list, though it had been initially turned down. No wonder, party insiders feel that there is lack of a fresh approach in decision-making, and there appears to be little urgency in determining the course and strategy of the party. In Haryana, the party is divided into three prominent camps viz., Bhupinder Hooda and son Deepender Hooda, Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, and Bhajan Lal’s son Kuldeep Bishnoi. In Himachal Pradesh, Virbhadra Singh is distinctly in a defiant mood. Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has ditched the Congress in the state. The Congress is yet to make up its mind on whether to go to polls in Rajasthan with Ashok Gehlot or Sachin Pilot as the spearhead. In Maharashtra, the leadership is disgruntled and in Karnataka, the appointment of Dinesh Gundu Rao as the Pradesh Congress Committee chief does not have many takers.
VOL. 12 | ISSUE 4 | JULY 2018