Cool Breeze: Checklist of Congress talking heads

Cool Breeze: Checklist of Congress talking heads

By PRIYA SAHGAL | 6 December, 2015

RANDEEP SURJEWALA: Has stopped appearing frequently on panel discussions, which is a pity because his reasoned arguments, given along with a patient smile, are much missed. Don’t be fooled by his schoolboy looks, this one is a seasoned campaigner. In fact, ever since he took over the party’s media cell, Congress spokespersons are better briefed than earlier. Under Surjewala’s regime, briefing the spokespersons about the party’s stand is a must before they appear on TV. It helps.

R.P.N. SINGH: Easily the star in the Congress camp. Has a public school, easygoing style, except when the Congress leadership is attacked. Then expect a strong, forceful defence in a deep baritone. His people’s skills and ability to spin a defence at a moment’s notice help his case.

MANISH TEWARI: The news cycle begins with a Tewari “take” on most events, for he is usually the first to react to the morning news. Doesn’t do regular panel discussions, but when he does appear on TV debates, lends gravitas to the debate, for he cites precedents and perspective from an active political life. Count on him for some of the most quotable quotes of the day.

MADHU GOUD YASKHI: Boldly goes where no spokespersons like to venture, for he never says “no”, no matter what the charge is against the Congress, or its leadership’s extended family. Being a lawyer helps him firm up his arguments, and he always does his research. When that fails, there is always the Yaskhi smile and emphatic shake of the head.

ABHISHEK MANU SINGHVI: An old hand at deflecting uncomfortable questions with some difficult posers of his own, approaches the studio debates as he would a court room.

TOM VADAKKAN: An old hand at facing the media, it is difficult to keep him down, especially when he is attacking the BJP.

SANJAY JHA: Easily the most combative of Congress spokespersons and one who gets most abused on social media. But it’s all for the “Right Cause” as far as the genial Jha is concerned.

GAURAV GOGOI: Earnest schoolboy looks win half his battle for him. Has a wry sense of humor, which is always a plus.
SUSHMITA DEV: Very down to earth and clear headed in her thinking. Comes across as a straight forward, no-nonsense talker. Has some serious TRPs in her.

MILIND DEORA & JITIN PRASADA: Like R.P.N. Singh, they represent the progressive, modern face of Congress Tomorrow. Note to Surjewala: these two should be deployed more.

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