Forget land bill, Ramlila Maidan rally is all about unveiling Rahul Gandhi 2.0

The Congress rally at Ramlila Grounds this Sunday is perhaps the most anticipated political event in recent times. The return of Rahul Gandhi after a 57-day hiatus marks a flurry of activity in the Grand Old Party. But is this all happening because of Congress' opposition to the new Land Bill? The answer is a definitive no, and this issue just a stepping stone in the evolution of Rahul Gandhi 2.0. Here's how:

Special status for Rahul:

The first striking change was Congress president herself going to receive the vice president. Rarely has one witnessed Sonia Gandhi in such a role, these were mostly reserved for the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the office he held. Even though Rahul has been away during the crucial Budget Session of Parliament, Congress president has driven home the point to all his detractors within the party. It goes to show the larger scheme of things planned for the Gandhi scion.

 Forget land bill, Ramlila Maidan rally is all about unveiling Rahul Gandhi 2.0

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.

Sonia's trusted men in tow:

How often does one see Congress president's political secretary being actively and openly involved in the organisation of a rally. The veteran Ahmed Patel has been busy overseeing preparations as well as speaking to all factions within the party to ensure a strong turnout on Sunday. The senior leader is believed to be holding one on one consultations with every influential stakeholder. All party units of neighbouring states like Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have been asked to bolster the numbers at the rally.

Pro-poor Image:

Rahul Gandhi is meeting a delegation of farmers before the rally where he will understand the true nature of problems being faced by them due to untimely rains. Keeping in line with his pro-poor focus, Congress is keen to show that even though he may have been abroad, their vice president has been in touch with senior leaders and involved actively in managing party affairs. Party managers are busy conveying the impression that Rahul has been holding meetings with party office bearers since his return.

Old faces to take a backseat:

One of the biggest changes that one is likely to see is the fading away of certain prominent faces linked to Sonia Gandhi. It is expected that Janardan Dwivedi is unlikely to moderate the session at Ramlila grounds. After the fiasco over "Indianness" and its meaning, the senior leader has fallen out of favour and it is believed that the likes of Digvijaya Singh may take centre stage. The former Chief Minister has been vociferously demanding that the new order takes over party affairs. Sheila Dikshit may soon have to face the axe for her frequent controversial statements as sending a warning to others.

Reshuffle within a month:

The much awaited organisational reshuffle that has been put on hold for the past few months is likely to see the light of day soon. It has been widely reported that the rift between old and new guard had led to status quo being maintained. But with Rahul's arrival on the scene, one can expect things to move at double speed. An example of that is likely to be Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee President Ajay Maken being the only one allowed to accompany the vice president during the rally. Other leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia, RPN Singh, Meenakshi Natarajan, Jitendra Singh and Manick Tagore are likely to be given important assignments.

There is no doubt that the Land Bill and Congress' opposition to it has been the single unifying factor for the party since their defeat in May last year. But one can sense small yet perceptible changes that are giving an indication of a long term plan for the Gandhi scion rather than just a one off political rally.

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Updated Date: Apr 17, 2015 15:18:41 IST