New Delhi: Once again, Ahmadabad is the destination set by Congress higher ups for mulling over the party’s election plans. Many of the senior leaders will flock to Gujarat to attend an extended meeting of the Congress Working Committee, in a few days from now.
And this is the second time that the party’s top leadership has decided to keep the venue unchanged. But why is it Gujarat?Officially, there is no pointed answer to this question from the Congress, except that the top leaders of the party will get an opportunity to pay their respects at Sabarmati Ashram.
The move comes in the 150th year of Gandhiji’s birth. Party satraps believe that the move will remind the rank and file of the fact that Gandhi was once its towering spiritual leader, and also send a positive message to generations born after Gandhi.
Indeed, these assertions by Congress functionaries point to their desire to improve the party’s moral standing. Yet, the fact is that Congress is searching for ways and means to go in a mission mode after groping in the dark for nearly past five years or so, amid loss of power.
Thus, falling back upon Gandhi and Gujarat, where he was born and had spent his early or formative years, can only be the best public savvy step. But its importance cannot be stretched any further than the symbolism. And, thus, the world will eagerly await the kind of pronouncements that the party makes from Ahmadabad.
A public meeting is also billed after the March 12 CWC deliberations which is supposed to kick start the Congress campaign in Gujarat, and where besides party president Rahul Gandhi and his predecessor and mother Sonia, Priyanka too is likely to speak. This will be Priyanka’s first public meeting after last month’s Lucknow road show where she rode atop a bus, often waving to cheering crowds.
And at another level, taking the CWC to Gujarat also signifies taking the battle, or at least the battle cry, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s homestead. By the time the CWC meets at Ahmadabad the dates for elections could well be announced. Moreover, it was over a year ago that Congress had tried to take on the ruling BJP in Gujarat Assembly polls. Congress could only marginally improve its position.
Around the time of the Vidhan Sabha polls, Rahul had taken over the reins of the party from his mother. And this time before the Lok Sabha polls the Congress chief’s sister has gathered courage to throw her hat in the choppy waters of country’s politics.