Congress party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi has made a rare revelation that Rahul Gandhi, the de-facto head of the party which ruled India for around 60 years since Independence, needed a few weeks of holiday at an undisclosed location to "reflect both on recent events related to the party and its future course".
His mother and Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, granted him for leave, but Singhvi would like the world to believe that Sonia granting him leave was as per the office protocol. They would like it to be seen as the party president sanctioning leave to her deputy, the vice-president, on the basis of an application duly submitted to her office and not as a difficult family situation where his mother didn’t really know how to deal with her son on the issue of family inheritance.
No one in the Congress or outside has really been able to comprehend as to what compelled the party to formally announce his leave of absence and let everyone talk about it. It couldn't have been done without clear directives either from Sonia, Rahul or both. But what possible mileage could Rahul and the Congress could have got out of this announcement? In any case, Rahul’s whereabouts are not discussed in the Congress. He has not been seen since the time he briefly campaigned for Congress in the Delhi election.
By going on a prolonged vacation when the Budget session begins in Parliament and when Anna is staging a return to national capital with a dharna to protest against amendments to the Land Acquisition Act, for which he has been credited, has surely not endeared Rahul to his own party activists. Some of them are actually livid.
"Woh permanent hi chutti par kyon nahi chale jate hume bhi unse chutti mile (Why doesn’t he go on permanent leave, we too will be relieved of him)”, an AICC secretary told Firstpost on condition of anonymity.
“How does perpetuation of his image as a non-serious part time politician helps the party and Rahul himself?”, another Congress leader said.
By suggesting that Rahul Gandhi was a helpless unhappy leader whose writ and philosophical thoughts had no takers in the party he virtually presides over, his spin doctors have done more harm than good.
They have in fact projected him as a disgruntled factional leader who had gone public with a list of his own grievances. His coterie is essentially venting anger against mother Sonia’s style of functioning. The only way he could get over his sulk, as the spin doctors would suggest, is that the angry prince could dethrone Sonia from the party president post and don the crown.
"He (Rahul) believes that the AICC session (expected in the first week of April) is vital and he would like to give specific inputs on this. He wants to do introspection with what happened with regard to Congress in recent times and earlier," Singhvi said.
In this intense emotional family drama, Rahul has conveniently forgotten that as an elected lawmaker he has certain responsibilities to Parliament. He should also consider taking leave from the Lok Sabha Speaker.
Updated Date: Feb 25, 2015 07:28 AM