Congress moves to counter 'whispering
campaign' against Sonia
Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi
A whispering campaign appears to have been set off in the Congress to curb party president Sonia Gandhi's influence.
The theme of the campaign is simple: the party as a whole, and not just any individual leader, should get the credit for the gains made by the Congress in the assembly elections.
Some senior politicians noticed this line of thought being articulated by party activists. Asked where they got the idea, the activists said it was the talk in 'party circles'.
To counter this, Congress spokesmen Anil Shastri and Mani Shankar Aiyar have begun stressing that Gandhi's handling of the party's affairs was the central reason for the improved showing in Delhi.
Asked to elaborate, Aiyar said it was Gandhi who had picked up the skyrocketing prices as the main issue against the BJP governments at the Centre and in the states.
Shastri added that being a woman, Gandhi understood the pain and anguish of housewives all over the country as prices of essential commodities soared.
Neither spokesman gave much credence to the 'anti-incumbency factor'.
Asked how the whispering campaign had surfaced, Aiyar said certain disgruntled politicians in the Congress resented the rapid ascendancy of Gandhi who was proving to be an effective president conducting the party's affairs in such a manner that people had begun returning to it.
Assembly Election '98
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