The CWC meeting was held to mark the 75th anniversary of the Quit India movement and was attended by former prime minister Manmohan singh among other senior Congress leaders. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was, however, absent at the meeting.
The next day, Sonia Gandhi, while speaking in Parliament on the anniversary of the Quit India movement, warned against the “forces of darkness” that are trying to destroy the roots of democracy.
Without naming Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Sonia Gandhi said, “We must not forget that certain forces opposed the concept of Quit India movement. These facts should also be told,” the Congress president said in Lok Sabha.
The Congress president has now called a meeting of Opposition parties today to chalk out a strategy for the next three months on how to corner the government on issues like demonetisation, GST rollout, unemployment and political vendetta. Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav has also been invited to the meet.
Sonia Gandhi’s fierce attack on the BJP in Parliament took many by surprise with some political analysts even suggesting that while Narendra Modi invoked Mahatma Gandhi and did not name any political party, the Congress president chose to attack the RSS over Quit India movement.
The rise of a belligerent Sonia Gandhi also coincides with her political secretary and trusted advisor Ahmed Patel making it to Rajya Sabha for a fifth term.
After a nail-biting contest with former Congress leader Balwantsinh Rajput, Ahmed Patel’s win from Gujarat is likely to be a big morale-booster for the party workers.
In a fight that was billed as a mini trailer to the Assembly election scheduled in Gujarat end of this year, the Congress managed to save itself from an embarrassment.
“This win has filled new energy in Congress. I am sure we will win Gujarat also. BJP made it a prestige issue, it is their loss,” said Ahmed Patel.
Ahmed Patel’s win also comes as a boost for the Congress old-guard which showed that it can still win an election, and must not be taken lightly.
After the Nitish Kumar walkout and the poor show in Assembly elections in March, Ahmed Patel’s win in the much-hyped Rajya Sabha election is a shot in the arm for the Congress.
In the Bihar episode, Rahul Gandhi was believed to be the point-person for Nitish Kumar but the latter accused the Congress vice-president of failing to save the alliance. To this, Rahul Gandhi’s response was: “We knew that this was being planned for the last three-four months. A person can go to any limits for his own benefit”.
The Assembly election results in Uttar Pradesh showed that people were clearly not in favour of the Rahul Gandhi-Akhilesh Yadav alliance, prompting Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh to say that “alliance with the Congress” was responsible for the party’s sad state of affairs.
In Goa and Manipur, where the Congress had the numbers, the BJP was quick in stitching alliances and staking claim to form the government.
At a time when too many fingers seem to be pointing at Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi may again be the Congress’ best bet to revive the party.