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Pilot May Still Take Off, but Gandhis Seem to Have Finally Heeded Criticism of Being Aloof Even in Crises

File photo of Rahul Gandhi with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

File photo of Rahul Gandhi with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Most of those who have left the Congress recently, like Himanta Biswa Sarma and Jagdambika Pal, have complained about the inaccessibility of the Gandhis.

Pallavi Ghosh
  • CNN-News18 New Delhi
  • Last Updated: July 14, 2020, 3:48 PM IST
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In politics they say it's never too late to learn a lesson though it may come at a cost. The Gandhis perhaps have realised this which is why no time was wasted in trying to keep Sachin Pilot in the fold. Rahul Gandhi spoke to him once and Priyanka Vadra who's had a good equation with him, is believed to have called him at least four times. Not just this, the Gandhis told the top leaders who were given the responsibility to broker peace to ensure Sachin Pilot stayed in the party.

Most of those who have left the Congress recently, like Himanta Biswa Sarma and Jagdambika Pal, have complained about the inaccessibility of the Gandhis.

In fact, Pal has a story to narrate. He said when he was a Congress MP, he met Rahul Gandhi in Parliament and asked to speak to him. Rahul told him to sit in his car and drive with him to his house at Tughlaq Road. The veteran leader narrates that during the entire short drive of 10 minutes, Rahul Gandhi was on the phone and got off his car without speaking to Pal.

Himanta Biswa Sarma has publicly taunted Rahul for preferring to feed his dog biscuits over speaking to party colleagues. While Scindia has been more restrained in his criticism of the Gandhis, those close to him say that the inaccessibility of Rahul Gandhi meant he couldn't foresee the departure of the young leader. Rahul's supporters though say that the two met over lunch a couple of days before the exit, no hint was given to the former Congress chief.

But there have been several complaints of Rahul and the other Gandhis not meeting people and party cadre. Even in the worst crisis or with impending elections like in Bihar and Bengal, the Gandhis have little time to meet the workers, they say, In a recent case, a Bihar ticket aspirant said he had to run from pillar to post to meet Rahul Gandhi and then he never got an audience.

But this criticism may have reached the Gandhis and at least in the case of Pilot they have tried to make amends. Hence the calls to Pilot to also create the message that the Gandhis fight for their own people. Maybe a bit too late, but then politics at times gives you the luxury for this.

However, there is a problem here. If Sachin doesn’t listen to what the Gandhis have to offer, it would be seen as a snub to them. Can they afford that?

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