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2-min read

After Old Guard Keeps Congress Afloat in Assembly Elections, a Subtle Push for Rahul Gandhi Follows

A two-minute video posted on the Congress’ official Twitter handle sought to push Gandhi as a leader of the masses and give him the credit for the seemingly better-than-expected performance, especially in Haryana, where the party has more than doubled its 2014 tally.

News18.com

Updated:October 25, 2019, 5:33 PM IST
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After Old Guard Keeps Congress Afloat in Assembly Elections, a Subtle Push for Rahul Gandhi Follows
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi waves at the crowd during an election campaign rally, ahead of Maharashtra Assembly polls, in Wardha district. (Image: PTI)

With the ‘old guard’ once again emerging as a powerful force, the Congress has subtly tried to project Rahul Gandhi as the face of the party after the improved showing in the assembly elections in two BJP-held states.

A two-minute video posted on the Congress’ official Twitter handle sought to push Gandhi as a leader of the masses and give him the credit for the seemingly better-than-expected performance, especially in Haryana, where the party has more than doubled its 2014 tally.

“Election results have shown support of people in our fight to save democracy. People of Maharashtra and Haryana have brought balance back to democracy & voiced their right with profound strength. We will continue to fight for people's issues,” the Congress posted alongside the video which shows Gandhi among the people, interacting with the masses.

The former Congress chief himself, however, has not yet reacted to the election results, which appear to indicate that the party is returning to the Sonia era.

The Congress gave the BJP a scare in Haryana in what has been a big vindication for the party’s veterans, who were left in the cold under Rahul Gandhi and have been involved in a tussle with the gen-next.

Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who had fallen out of favour when Rahul Gandhi was at the helm, was brought back to steer the poll campaign on September 4 by Sonia Gandhi and managed to turn around the fortunes of the struggling state unit in just over a month.

The wily old Jat politician, a two-term CM, forms part of the ‘old guard’ that Rahul was reluctant to project as he set to revamp the party. It was only after Sonia Gandhi was made president in August that Hooda gained back control, and has since, proved the usefulness of the older leadership.

The ‘old guard’ that includes Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ahmed Patel had major roles in selection of the new party setup in Haryana. Both Hooda and state unit president Kumari Selja are close to Ahmed Patel.

Similarly, in Maharashtra, the party replaced former CM Ashok Chavan at the helm with Balasaheb Thorat. In the Mumbai unit, the party appointed Eknath Gaikwad as the acting president after Milind Deora resigned from the post following the Lok Sabha poll debacle.

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