Where’s your CM-face, Mr Gandhi?
Rahul Gandhi’s much touted kisan yatra may or may not have struck a chord with the farmers of Uttar Pradesh, but it has made an impact on his Congress colleagues who are relieved that at least the vice president is making his presence felt in the state. But there is one catch that has puzzled the rest of Congressmen from UP: why is Rahul Gandhi not mentioning the CM candidate? There is no mention of Sheila Dikshit in any of Rahul’s speeches, which is puzzling considering the party went through a great deal of introspection to choose a CM face and after many strategic meetings it zeroed in on Sheila Dikshit mainly for her development work and also for the fact that she is a Brahmin. “When Rahul makes promises to the people of UP he should also mention Sheila Dikshit as the person who will be accountable for them. Otherwise it is just another shoot-and-scoot speech,” said a party leader. Well, you can take a horse to water, but after that?
Dealing with the Congress
Poor Prashant Kishor is a bit puzzled with the ways of the Congress. As he told his colleagues recently, when he worked with Narendra Modi, there was only one focus: how to defeat the Congress. When he worked with Nitish Kumar, the focus was on defeating the BJP. But now his aides claim, when he is working with the Congress, there seems only one focus: how to defeat Prashant Kishor. Oh well! That’s how the Congress works — focusing on the challenge within and not outside.
The U.P. Strategy
Leaders may be conspiring against Prashant Kishor, but the average Congress worker seems happy. It is Kishor who took note of the electoral success of UPA 1 after it rode back to power on the strength of its farm loan waiver. So, he has promised a similar waiver to farmers in UP should the Congress come to power in the state. Congress ticket hopefuls (yes, they do exist) have been asked to canvass their districts and get 10,000 signatures each. In exchange for their signatures, farmers are given a Congress poster to display on their walls as well as a cell phone cover with the Congress symbol. That way, though the party is weak on the ground, there will be appearance of party presence on the ground. After all, optics plays its own role in electoral illusions.
Click & Tell
Priyanka Vadra’s son Rehan, a budding photographer, held an exhibition of his works in the national capital recently. As with all events organised by the Gandhi-Vadras, it was a close knit affair.