Congress working on Rahul image makeover

The Congress is keen to give an image makeover to “Brand Rahul” by projecting him as a decisive leader and hopes that his recent interventions in Parliament would hold him in
good stead.

A strong view in the Congress is that the aggressive stand taken by Rahul Gandhi on the Insurance Bill in the Rajya Sabha, where he asked party members not to relent on the demand for a Select Committee, shows that he is being proactive in steering
the party.

“There is more coordination, more participation. He also makes valid interventions,” a Rajya Sabha member of the Congress said while talking of Rahul’s role in the bi-weekly meetings of the Joint Parliamentary Affairs Committee of the party.

Congress sources said Rahul storming into the Well of the Lok Sabha last week demanding a discussion on increasing incidents of communal violence in the country and sister Priyanka Vadra’s statement scotching rumours of a greater role for her in the party were part of the image makeover process for the vice-president.

Congress leaders have time and again maintained that Rahul was the natural future leader of the party which could break into several factions if the Gandhi family
distanced itself from the organisation.

A section of the party’s leadership has raised questions on Rahul’s style of functioning and accused the “Harvard-types” gathered around him for the Congress’ worst-ever defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.

It is learnt that party president Sonia Gandhi has already initiated steps and Rahul could soon be more accessible to party leaders.

The upcoming elections in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand hold the key for future changes, which appear to be put on hold, within the organisation.

The party had refrained from making any changes in the leadership in the poll-bound states, particularly Maharashtra and Haryana where dissidents had raised their heads.

While the rebellion in Maharashtra has contained, several leaders such as Rao Inderjit Singh and Avtar Singh Bhadana have left the party. Rao Birendra Singh is expected to announce his exit from the party later this week.

Sonia’s thinking on the political situation would be known to the members when she addresses the party meeting on Wednesday.

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