Nothing is permanent except change. Return of a Congress admirer – 'Sanjay'… Is that so? Rahul Gandhi confesses and confides in Sena MP, Sanjay Raut. The Congress leader slams Capt Amarinder and says Ghulam Nabi Azad has some-ulterior motives for going around in Jammu and Kashmir. Welcome to the new era of alliance making!
New Delhi: India is changing, so is Indian politics. 'Delhi Durbar' tales have found patrons on the busy pavements of Amchi Mumbai.
In this new era of doing political business together, Shiv Sena is not only a Congress' ally'; Sanjay Raut is a leader whom Rahul Gandhi confides in. Rahul also directs his tirade against Amarinder Singh, a former Congressman, and Ghulam Nabi Azad – who is still in Congress.
Trust Sanjay Raut and his column in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna', which was once famous for taking an anti-Congress stand, Rahul Gandhi also told the Sena MP: "…. Now Azad is holding public meetings in J&K… Yes, there might be some other reasons."
Raut, known for his proximity to Sena chief and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, says all these in his column, sharing his chit-chat and what transpired during his separate meetings with Rahul Gandhi and also Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi in Delhi recently.
The provocation for sharing something like these out of such 'talks' – those keep happening among senior leaders between different parties – openly in the media is not understood. However, the timing is understood as it comes within days. Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has tried to befriend Uddhav Thackeray's newfound 'political guru' Sharad Pawar.
Not long ago, Sena also took an open stance opposing Mamata's attempt to galvanize a 'Congress-mukt Opposition'. Within days of Mamata's "There is no UPA" shock treatment, Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna' had said, "keeping Congress out of national politics" would not be desirable. Sanjay Raut says something which would make the best of 'family loyalists' and the likes of Surjewalas' jobless'.
Of all the people, Raut almost gives entire credit for the withdrawal of farm laws to Rahul Gandhi, about whom a western magazine had some years back said 'he does not know what he wants to do'.
"It was Rahul Gandhi who had said, 'Mark my words, the government will have to take back the black laws. But the media has conveniently forgotten what Rahul Gandhi had said so strongly…," says Sena leader. He goes further. "This is because the media is no more independent today," he writes, perhaps implying the Modi government is to be blamed on this score.
Sanjay Raut says Rahul told him that Ghulam Nabi Azad 'declined' to go as Pradesh Congress chief to J&K, where he was once the Chief Minister. The piece also has Rahul sharing his vitriolic against former Punjab CM, Capt Amarinder Singh.
"Rahul said during Amarinder's tenure, the Congress graph in Punjab went down which was a key reason for his replacement. We conducted a poll in which only six per cent people favoured him as the Chief Minister," the Sena leader claimed.
Sanjay Raut is also all praise for bro-sister bonhomie. "If she (Priyanka Gandhi) is asked about political stand on a particular issue, she replies—"Iss per bhaiyya se baat karni padengi,….(I'll have to talk to my brother on this,….)." Raut is also confident about Priyanka's confidence–"that these (tough) days (for the Congress) will change."