Why Rahul's beginning to worry Congressmen
The back-to-back statements of three Indira Gandhi loyalists -- R K Dhawan, Vasant Sathe and C K Jafar Sherief (the former questioning the advisors of Rahul Gandhi and the direction of his politics and the other two wanting Priyanka Gandhi to come into the mainstream of Congress politics) -- is being seen as a reflection of the concern gripping the senior guard in the Congress over the functioning of the party as well as the fate of the upcoming UP elections.
Sources in the Congress say that the statements of the three veterans, although they are out of reckoning, should be seen as part of a growing worry in sections of the party, which could be reflected more openly in the days to come.
A senior leader said that UP Congressmen are worried that 'Yuvraj' (Rahul Gandhi) has been unable to deliver in the state.
They feel that the party has been unable to capitalise on the acts of omission and commission of the Mayawati government and has been unable to mobilise the party rank and file required.
A leader who attended the recent Varanasi Congress meeting said the mood in the meet was certainly not upbeat.
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Congressmen are now looking at Priyanka
While no one in the Congress will openly come out and say that Rahul has failed to work the Gandhi magic as well as well as bring in the electoral trophies, Sathe's demand for bringing in Priyanka who is seen to have the potential of becoming a mass leader along the lines of Indira Gandhi, is being read in the Congress as a follow up of the disappointment generated by Rahul.
It is being felt that if Priyanka does not join the campaign along with Sonia and Rahul, the party may not be able to dislodge Mayawati, who is still holding on to her vote bank with a steady hand.
Priyanka has an office in the premises of the Rajiv Gandhi foundation, manages the affairs of the foundation and other trusts and signs all the cheques, as she spends a part of the day in the office there.
But beyond this, Congressmen are now looking at Priyanka to revive the Indira magic, her grandmother's connect with the aam aadmi.
Few leaders are running and deciding Rahul's politics
UP Congress leaders say that Rahul has put himself in the hands of a few leaders who are running and deciding his politics.
Apart from Digvijaya Singh, the rest of them are non-political and have no knowledge or understanding of political moves or strategy.
A number of Brahmin UP Congress leaders are staunchly against Digvijaya Singh, as he is a Thakur and they want the UP All India Congress Committee incharge to be a Brahmin to bring in the Brahmin votes into the Congress party.
But Rahul is at present unwilling to give credence to these objections, as Digvijaya Singh is playing a bigger role both within the limited Rahul dominion as well as the Congress party itself.
Image: Digvijaya Singh
Rahul is still seen as reluctant to go the extra mile
Digvijaya Singh is looking at a bigger role for Rahul outside the National Students Union of India and the Youth Congress.
But in between this is the reality, where Rahul himself is still seen as reluctant and unwilling to go the extra mile to claim his "heritage", as some would call it.
The poor performance of the party in the south with the party barely making it in Kerala, while earlier the Bihar drubbing is still a sore issue with Congress leaders.
Senior leaders say the party can ill afford a poor performance in UP, which will set the tone for the general election that is still three years away.