RAHUL GANDHI

ahmed-patel-a-hard-baked-congress-strategist-who-was-hardly-a-socialite

Ahmed Patel: A hard-baked Congress strategist who was hardly a socialite

Man has for long been called a social animal so as to bring, add, and append values of human civilization to him. Yet, the veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel was so overtly political that it is difficult to keep him confined in the social or the socialites' realm alone.

Thus, ever since he breathed his last in the wee hours of Wednesday, or November 25, morning after over four decades of being in active power politics, a deep sense of loss has come to loom over the excessively snobbish political sphere of the country.

The reason for this is simple. And it is because Ahmed Patel had literally become a powerhouse of sorts through his long innings in public life and yet he was so self-effacing. He never betrayed any signs of being endowed with so much consequence; and this is how he is going to remain an enigma in India's recent political history.

Starting from rather modest moorings of being a village Panchayat head in Bharauch district of Gujarat he rose to the ultimate heights in New Delhi's power circuit, but he never left the values imbibed through his initial tryst with village affairs at his rather humble homestead.

His long role as a point-man of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi made him the most sought after person in the eyes of Delhi's gaggling Press corps. Not always at the best of terms with the Congress, the Press often exhorted Congress with its pontifications for the party rather than taking the party's views as such. Unmindful of blemishes of unduly fawning over the ruling BJP, the media had consistently been asking Congress to 'introspect' about its flagging stock in the country's and its States power politics.

Often the Presspersons crowded around Patel, calling him Ahmed Bhai, in order to cajole the master strategist to say something or the other and thereby give a clue to what could be going on in his or Sonia's mind about their next move.

Ahmed knew too well as to how to skirt out the demands of the journos as he believed in doing what could be the best for the party rather than saying it beforehand. Apart from being the virtual eyes and ears of his mentor Sonia Gandhi Ahmed Patel was also thought by quite a few of his Congress peers to be the actual brain behind her moves.

Thus, the calls for introspection by Congress were always meant to be addressed either to Sonia or to him. Though Ahmed invariably remained unfazed by such chastisements both him and his leader, Sonia Gandhi, were often proved to be capable of sending their adversaries and rivals into the much-touted self-introspection.

The latest example of this came from Sonia's 10-Janpath abode amid the recent barefoot exodus of migrant labour from big metropolises to their far off homes. 

Congress via Sonia offered through the party coffers to pay the fare of lakhs of homebound labour who were forced to trudge along cold highways on foot, carrying loads of their belonging to escape the stringent Corona lockdown. The Congress move sent the BJP and NDA governments both at the Centre and in States like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in a tizzy; and the powers-that-be did not know how to respond to the Congress move and ended up haggling with the grand old party for quite a few days.

To cut the long story short it was Ahmed Patel who always kept a low profile to duck the high tide of adversities and criticism that came the Congress' way ever since its loss of power in 2014. Though famous for his unwavering cool Ahmed was never oblivious of the heat that politics invariably keeps turned on at its practitioners.

His moves were mostly marked with a kind of realism that other politicos may well miss to keep up their vanity, indulgence, and flamboyance.

(By Abid Shah)

26 Nov 2020
ahmed-patel-a-hard-baked-congress-strategist-who-was-hardly-a-socialite

Ahmed Patel: A hard-baked Congress strategist who was hardly a socialite

By Abid Shah 26 Nov 2020

Man has for long been called a social animal so as to bring, add, and append values of human civilization to him. Yet, the veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel was so overtly political that it is difficult to keep him confined in the social or the socialites' realm alone.

Thus, ever since he breathed his last in the wee hours of Wednesday, or November 25, morning after over four decades of being in active power politics, a deep sense of loss has come to loom over the excessively snobbish political sphere of the country.

The reason for this is simple. And it is because Ahmed Patel had literally become a powerhouse of sorts through his long innings in public life and yet he was so self-effacing. He never betrayed any signs of being endowed with so much consequence; and this is how he is going to remain an enigma in India's recent political history.

Starting from rather modest moorings of being a village Panchayat head in Bharauch district of Gujarat he rose to the ultimate heights in New Delhi's power circuit, but he never left the values imbibed through his initial tryst with village affairs at his rather humble homestead.

His long role as a point-man of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi made him the most sought after person in the eyes of Delhi's gaggling Press corps. Not always at the best of terms with the Congress, the Press often exhorted Congress with its pontifications for the party rather than taking the party's views as such. Unmindful of blemishes of unduly fawning over the ruling BJP, the media had consistently been asking Congress to 'introspect' about its flagging stock in the country's and its States power politics.

Often the Presspersons crowded around Patel, calling him Ahmed Bhai, in order to cajole the master strategist to say something or the other and thereby give a clue to what could be going on in his or Sonia's mind about their next move.

Ahmed knew too well as to how to skirt out the demands of the journos as he believed in doing what could be the best for the party rather than saying it beforehand. Apart from being the virtual eyes and ears of his mentor Sonia Gandhi Ahmed Patel was also thought by quite a few of his Congress peers to be the actual brain behind her moves.

Thus, the calls for introspection by Congress were always meant to be addressed either to Sonia or to him. Though Ahmed invariably remained unfazed by such chastisements both him and his leader, Sonia Gandhi, were often proved to be capable of sending their adversaries and rivals into the much-touted self-introspection.

The latest example of this came from Sonia's 10-Janpath abode amid the recent barefoot exodus of migrant labour from big metropolises to their far off homes. 

Congress via Sonia offered through the party coffers to pay the fare of lakhs of homebound labour who were forced to trudge along cold highways on foot, carrying loads of their belonging to escape the stringent Corona lockdown. The Congress move sent the BJP and NDA governments both at the Centre and in States like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in a tizzy; and the powers-that-be did not know how to respond to the Congress move and ended up haggling with the grand old party for quite a few days.

To cut the long story short it was Ahmed Patel who always kept a low profile to duck the high tide of adversities and criticism that came the Congress' way ever since its loss of power in 2014. Though famous for his unwavering cool Ahmed was never oblivious of the heat that politics invariably keeps turned on at its practitioners.

His moves were mostly marked with a kind of realism that other politicos may well miss to keep up their vanity, indulgence, and flamboyance.

(By Abid Shah)

cwc-to-meet-soon-to-take-a-call-on-the-president-pressure-mounting-for-rahul

CWC to meet soon to take a call on the president; pressure mounting for Rahul

By IndianMandarins 22 Aug 2020

With the pressure mounting on the Congress leadership to take a call on President of the party, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) may meet soon. There is a growing clamor for Rahul Gandhi to lead the party once again.

The party’s highest decision-making body will primarily deliberate on organizational matters and also discuss the current political situation in the country. The meeting is very significant in view of Sonia Gandhi completing one year as the party’s interim chief on August 10. Though the party said that she will continue on the post till a new president is elected. It is reported that many Congress leaders including former chief ministers and Members of Parliament have written to Sonia Gandhi seeking an early settlement of the leadership issue.

Leaders such as Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari have demanded internal elections if Rahul Gandhi does not return to the post he gave up in May 2019, owning responsibility for the party’s rout in the general elections. The functionary quoted above said Sonia Gandhi, 73, is not ready to continue in the post and had agreed to be the party’s interim chief last year only on one condition that it will be a temporary arrangement.

Congress dismissed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s remark that she agreed with her brother that a non-Gandhi should become the party chief. The party claimed that millions of Congress workers want Rahul Gandhi to return as the party chief as he is suited best for the post.

leadership-crisis-in-congress-makes-squabbling-ugly

Leadership crisis in Congress makes squabbling ugly

By IndianMandarins 05 Aug 2020

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is discharged from the hospital amid bickering continuing in the party. However, former president Rahul Gandhi asked party leaders to stop squabbling. There is huge pressure on the party leadership to anoint Rahul Gandhi as party president once again.

Apparently, this has something to do with August 10 when Sonia completes one year of interim presidentship. The moot question is about a leadership vacuum. Suggestions have started pouring in that Sonia cannot function as interim president indefinitely and Rahul seems to want power but not the responsibility.

Leaders close to Rahul Gandhi are hoping that he will change his mind. Some issues erupted last week at a meeting of Rajya Sabha MPs called by Sonia Gandhi. A routine review meeting saw the heated debate and there is no end to it.

Several MPs including Rajiv Satav and KC Venugopal, thought to be loyal to Rahul held the UPA years responsible for the decline in Congress’ fortunes. By implication, this meant criticism of former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s government and its policies. Several leaders came out in public to say that while they respected Singh, they had a view that needed to be taken into account.

Congress leader Manish Tewari said that the BJP was out of the office from 2004 to 2014. Not once did it blame Atal Bihari Vajpayee or his government for its predicament then. In the Congress, unfortunately, some ill-informed Congressmen would rather take swipes at the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government than fight the NDA and BJP. When unity is required, they divide.

The debate inside the party is not just on its current predicament, it is also on who the primary enemy of the party is. Several leaders have advised Rahul that equivalence with Narendra Modi is a mistake as Modi’s popularity is at its peak. Instead, Congress should find blindspots within the BJP and the NDA government and focus on those. These leaders include R P N Singh, Jairam Ramesh and others. However, there is no evidence that Rahul is taking this advice. 

August 10 will bring some clarity on the leadership muddle in the party. The party constitution vests the Congress Working Committee with the authority to appoint someone who can run the organization when faced with a crisis — a decision that has to be ratified by the All India Congress Committee (AICC). However, an AICC session might not be possible in the midst of a pandemic. Therefore, collective leadership might be the only answer.

will-gokhale-marg-lucknow-be-priyanka-s-new-address-

Will Gokhale Marg, Lucknow be Priyanka’s new address?

By Rakesh Ranjan 04 Jul 2020

It was in the year 2007-2008 and I was working with an English weekly Sahara Time and used to be part of the editorial meetings. The then Editor-in-chief Uday Sinha in his almost every editorial discussion on politics used to say that ‘if Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi want success in politics, then they must make Lucknow as their base at least for five years”. Apparently his words are proving to be true after his sad demise around a month ago in Lucknow.

Years later it is being gauged whether Priyanka Gandhi Vadra would change her base to Lucknow. Several media reports are doing rounds and requests from the party leaders are pouring in for her to think over it. It could be a game-changer move as some say.

The Centre this week asked Priyanka to vacate her Lodi Estate bungalow in view of Priyanka being no longer an SPG protectee. She has been very active in Uttar Pradesh which was once Congress’ pocket borough. The state leadership is urging her to shift her base from Delhi to Lucknow in a bid to strengthen the organization and unnerve the BJP ahead of the Assembly polls due in the next two years.

The house at Gokhale Marg in Lucknow was “refurbished” in October 2019 to enable her to stay there for a longer duration. She doesn’t need to look for a house in Lucknow. However, she needs to take a call whether she wants to shift her base to Lucknow permanently. UP Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu also remained non-committal about her Lucknow plans.

UP is the key battleground state that sends the maximum number of Lok Sabha MP that is 80. Priyanka left not even a single issue on which the Yogi government could be targeted. Political slugfest between Priyanka and BSP chief Mayawati is also continuing when Priyanka called Mayawati an “undeclared BJP spokesperson”.

She has been working tirelessly in UP whether her visit to Umbha village to arranging buses to ferry stranded migrant workers back to their native places. Her shifting to Lucknow will come as a shot in the arm, as workers may get emboldened to challenge the ruling BJP in the run-up to the 2022 assembly elections.

(By Rakesh Ranjan)

shameless-players-misrepresent-rg-s-tweet-to-mock-him-again

Shameless players misrepresent RG’s tweet to mock him again

By IndianMandarins 17 Jun 2020

Making fun of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been a general trend on Social Media, the recent tweet by Gandhi about Sushant Singh Rajput where he wrote about untimely passing away of the actor. But his tweet was tempered with by replacing the actor with cricketer to mock the Congress leader.

 

Though there is an Army of social media warriors involved in building such narrative but these days various fact check mechanism is foiling such attempts to put the fake news industry to rest including on social media. There is a big section that works, survives and thrives on such social media activities causing confusion in the name of fun.

rahul-interviews-rajan-strategy-to-make-1-and-1-as-11-

Rahul interviews Rajan: Strategy to make 1 and 1 as 11?

By IndianMandarins 03 May 2020

Rahul Gandhi interacting with former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan on India’s economy post-COVID-19 is certainly not out of the context rather makes a great sense. But Gandhi interviewing Rajan is something also certainly uncommon as it has some unique political overture.

It may be underlined that the ruling BJP has constantly been trying to corner Congress’ de-facto chief Rahul Gandhi by projecting him an over-rated leader beyond his limits and mocking him every now and then for his gestures and remarks.

Rahul is often termed in public as a sincere leader lacking consistency and seriousness in his approach. It is believed that Rahul’s move would have emanated from his strategy of image makeover especially at a time when the country, post-COVID-19 appears to be facing severe unemployment crisis and economic downturn. One can not deny the strategy that Rahul’s political stature and Rajan’s institutional credibility put together may add to Rahul’s image makeover.

congress-goes-more-aggressive-against-modi-govt-remains-unfazed

Congress goes more aggressive against Modi; govt remains unfazed

By IndianMandarins 28 Apr 2020

Congress is constantly putting pressure on the Modi government whether it is on ramping up testing or Rs 1 lakh crore package for MSME sector or asking some measures for migrant labourers or accusing a scam in rapid test kits. But the government is working in its own way unfazed with suggestions and criticism. Moreover, people appear to be in no mood to pay attention, despite more aggression shown by the Congress.

Now former Congress president Rahul Gandhi has come up with allegations of a scam in the supply of rapid test kits to the government to detect coronavirus cases saying it was unbelievable that people were indulging in profiteering from suffering people. Gandhi requested the PM to take immediate action to bring the culprits to book.

Gandhi tweeted: “That any human being would try and profiteer from the immeasurable suffering of millions of his brothers and sisters is beyond belief and comprehension. This scam is an insult to every Indian. I urge the PM to act swiftly to bring the corrupt to justice.”

Earlier he requested the PM to clear ‘bottlenecks’ and ramp up coronavirus testing in the country holding the PM responsible for this delay in the same breath. He said: "Random testing is the key to beating the virus".

India has to scale up COVID-19 testing from present 40,000 to one lakh per day. Experts agree that mass random testing is the key to beating Corona. In India, a bottleneck is stopping us from scaling testing from the current 40,000 per day to 1 lakh tests a day, for which test kits are already available.

Sonia Gandhi demanded a special package for the MSME industry with former Union defence minister A K Antony and former Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal having their own sets of demands from the government. This could be a good tactic on part of the Congress to keep the government on toes.

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