Interestingly, at the Congress Working Committee that chalked out the road map for the party’s presidential elections, it was decided that while the last date of filing nominations would be 5 December, the last date of withdrawal would be 11 December, after which, if there was no other candidate other than Rahul Gandhi, then the name of the new president would be announced. A puzzled Dr Karan Singh then asked if no other candidate filed a nomination, then why could Rahul’s name not be announced on 5 itself. Why wait till the 11th? The answer was revealing: the procedure demanded that the party wait till the last date of withdrawal before announcing the new name. But given that Rahul Gandhi has not been very enthusiastic about being president until the last few months, his peers thought it wiser to wait till the withdrawal period was over before announcing his elevation!
THE MOMENT, THE MEMENTO
Rahul Gandhi’s first official party function after taking over as Congress president was to attend a Mahila Congress event organised by Sushmita Dev. The feisty Dev has been tasked to turn around the frontal organisation from a kitty party set-up to a task force to groom future leaders for the parent organisation. In keeping with the brief, she titled her first conclave, “Indira Gandhi: I Am Courage”. As a token of appreciation, Rahul was given a Raghu Rai original—an iconic photograph of his grandmother clicked by the famous photographer. Certainly, this is one memento that he would keep hanging on his walls.
EXIT THE ENTHUSIASM?
The exit poll results were certainly a dampener for the Congress, which had hoped for a better show in Gujarat. More than losing the state, they are worried that Rahul Gandhi should not lose his newfound enthusiasm for the party presidentship. But it seems that Rahul plans to stick to his agenda and his enthusiasm and has asked his MPs to get ready to corner the government on the purchase of Rafael, the faulty implementation of GST, as well as demand an explanation for the Mani Shankar Aiyar dinner conspiracy theory. So get ready for a stormy year-ender in Parliament.