“I am a full-time and hands-on Congress president,” snapped Sonia Gandhi at Saturday’s CWC meeting and sent out an unambiguous message: On the question of Congress leadership there is no challenging the Gandhi family. Sonia has always been the keeper of the Nehru-Gandhi family flame, but as party chief she mostly played a listening, reconciling role. This time though her words were unexpectedly sharp, clearly intended to stave off any putative threats from the G23, a group of dissenters who have publicly questioned the party’s leadership vacuum.
That one of the G23 leading lights Ghulam Nabi Azad was sitting close to Sonia when she made her statements only reflects the limitations of that group. Unlike Morarji Desai or Devaraj Urs or VP Singh, none of the G23 possesses an independent support base or clout or stomach for an extended fight against the Gandhi-led Congress or to initiate a proper split in the party. In that sense, the G3 vs G23 battle has been put on hold for now; the Gandhis remain in charge, party identity clinging to the ruling bloodline.
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Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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