Cornered Kesri makes song and dance of 'minor developments'
Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi
Congress president Sitaram Kesri appears to be going out of his way to 'celebrate' minor developments as he feels threatened by former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's widow Sonia's growing clout.
One such incident pertains to the return to the party fold of former MP Rajni Patel who had left the Congress to join the Bharatiya Janata Party.
To announce the development, several top party leaders attended a media conference, where Congress general secretary Madhavrao Scindia and Patel bubbled with optimism.
While Patel contended that Sonia 'will provide a new direction' to the party, Scindia said the Congress leadership has whole-heartedly welcomed the former MP back.
Scindia said all those who had left the party to join the BJP were bound to feel disenchanted with the saffron party. ''All those with a liberal bent of mind cannot stick with the BJP for long,'' he said.
Asked by why she had deserted the Congress, Patel contended that young party leaders recently felt 'suffocated'. However, once Sonia entered the party, Patel said she felt 'considerably enthused' and sought Kesri's permission to come back.
Significantly, the political grapevine was abuzz with speculation that another BJP leader, Banwarilal Purohit, would soon rejoin the Congress. The former Nagpur MP has been refused a ticket by the BJP; he was a member of the Congress till the 1996 election.
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