By the time one reads this, the first phase of the Gujarat polls will be over. It’s all very clear that the chief minister, Narendra Modi is all set to return for the third consecutive time. That the Congress in the State have apparently lost faith in its top bosses had become somewhat evident with the posters the party workers had put out in the first phase. Reports say that Congress posters in poll-bound Gujarat have images of the hand and the aam aadmi (common man) there is no sign of the Gandhis in those pictures. The Congress posters have no images of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi or even local party leaders like Shankarsinh Vaghela. The posters mostly focussed on the aam aadmi, while promising implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission and generating ten lakh employment, if the party comes to power. The party workers in the State perhaps feel that whatever votes the candidates might hope to get, that too might get hit, if the Gandhis are projected in the posters.
Modi shine fades Rahul
Aware that Narendra Modi’s victory in Gujarat polls could possible have a national impact, the Congress leaders wanted to keep Rahul Gandhi away from this State. The old time strategists of the party did not want to expose Rahul to Modi. “We indicated that this could be suicidal, since we want Rahul to lead the Congress in 2014 elections,” a senior Congressmen said. “The boy had made a mess in Bihar and then in Uttar Pradesh. He does not realise that he has to lie low and bank on the Opposition follies. On his own, he cannot get votes for the party,” the Congress leader went on. He claimed that it was Rahul, egged on by his close associates wanted to take on Modi in the last leg of the campaigning for the first phase. However, the Congress old timers breathed a sigh of relief as Rahul did not want to tour across the State but confined himself to a few constituencies. “His image would have taken a severe beating once again, if he did so. Now at lest we can say, Rahulji did not tour the State extensively.”
Congress’ internal feud
The internal strife in Chhattisgarh unit of Congress has taken an interesting turn with leaders joining the race to project themselves as more anti-Raman Singh than their rivals, apparently to stake the claim to lead the party in the of 2013 Assembly elections. The State leaders of the party appeared indulging in mudslinging to the extent of dubbing their rivals as “pro-Raman Singh”. Several senior Congress leaders of the State have launched a campaign to show their rivals in poor light before the Central leadership by painting them as “chief minister’s beneficiaries” apparently to soar up their chances of leading the party in the coming Assembly polls. In few cases, some leaders have even dared to “unmask” their rivals by exposing their proximity to the chief minister in public. A senior leader of the party and chief ministerial aspirant has exposed his rivals before the Central leadership on their “nexus” with the BJP chief minister in Chhattisgarh apparently to send the message that party would be in safe hands if he would be given the charge of leading it in the coming Assembly elections.This can only happen in Congress.
After a temple for Mulayam Singh Yadav comes Samajwadi Chalisa. The Chalisa dedicated to the party president is already out in the market. It is written by one Kamta Prasad Kesri, a homeopathic doctor from Mirzapur who claimed that he is “enamoured by Mulayam Singh Yadav’s behaviour and style of politics.” The Samajwadi Chalisa contains 40 verses and patterned on the Hanuman Chalisa. The author said that he started writing the Samajwadi Chalisa when the party came to power in March and now wants to continue adding to the verses in the Chalisa. He is now planning to pen a similar Chalisa for chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Still nursing a grudge
It seems that the Congress leader and former oil minister S Jaipal Reddy has not been able to forget his unceremonious ouster from the ministry. Reddy was overheard in the aisles of Rajya Sabha talking with an Opposition leader regarding the entire issue and how an industrial house was allegedly behind his removal from the prestigious ministry. At this the Opposition leader pointed out that Reddy had shown courage to take on the giant. A grim Reddy pointed out that he feels like a martyr but he would have been a hero if he was successful against the corporate entity.