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This article was first published 9 years ago  » News » No Rahul in Congress posters, billboards and ad campaign

No Rahul in Congress posters, billboards and ad campaign

By Renu Mittal
January 17, 2015 00:00 IST
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In what is being seen as a great irony, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s face has been removed from the latest posters, billboards and advertising campaign of the Congress party.

This move is especially out of place since a chorus of sorts has been set in motion by some senior party leaders giving categorical statements that Rahul Gandhi will be made the Congress president by March-April this year during an All India Congress Committee meeting likely to be held at around that time.

While Digvijaya Singh has been openly giving interviews to television channels announcing to one and all that Rahul will soon be the new Congress president, former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot has also jumped onto this bandwagon saying Rahul will be made the Congress president very soon.

Sections of the media has gone in overdrive writing about Rahul being made Congress president sooner rather than later. 

A senior AICC functionary who has seen many such campaigns said these statements are more in the nature of “calling attention motions” where the leaders are making their presence felt and drawing attention to their loyalty for the leader. He said that if it was already decided that Rahul was going to be made the Congress president immediately then why has his photographs been removed from the party’s Delhi election campaign in the latest ads just out all over the city.

Leaders say that as and when Sonia Gandhi decided to step down from the post of Congress president, there is no doubt or confusion in the fact that Rahul will be made the Congress president. They said there is no other candidate and that he is the natural successor.

But the decision is between mother and son and both will decide the timing of that move. In 2015, party’s organisational elections are to take place and this will also include the election for the post of Congress president so the question is being naturally asked on why bother to nominate him to the post when he can be made through the electoral process if Sonia Gandhi decides to step down by then.

The Congress plenary session will only be held in 2016 and the next window after that is to make him the Congress president during the plenary session.

Sources in the party say that some leaders have grave doubts that this is the wrong time to make Rahul the Congress president. They point out that Sonia Gandhi has a pan India image, has her own support and vote bank with many sections seeing her in the mode of a sacrificial leader who is not hungry for power and she has a pro-poor image and is also seen to be a genuine secularist.

They contend that at this stage if Rahul Gandhi is made and the party’s support base drops in some percentage terms it can only be further bad news for the party which is already reeling under successive defeats both in the states and the centre.

They also point to the fact that sections of the media are raising the Rahul issue on the eve of the Delhi assembly elections where the Congress is hopeful of making some recovery from the last assembly polls when it lost power after 15 years and ended up winning just 8 MLA seats.

Sources say that even as the party recognises the reality attached to Rahul Gandhi’s image and his public persona and the perception of that persona, they also understand that he is the natural successor to Sonia Gandhi but for the moment the party appears to have decided not to use him to campaign heavily in the Delhi election.

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Renu Mittal in New Delhi
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