Sonia keeps Indira legacy alive in election

April 14, 2009

With her greying hair, elegant cotton sarees and accented Hindi, Sonia Gandhi resembles her mother-in-law, former prime minister Indira Gandhi, somewhat.

It is a resemblance that Sonia uses to her advantage on the campaign trail ahead of the election, frequently referring to the contributions and sacrifices made by the Nehru-Gandhi family, particularly Indira and husband Rajiv, who were both assassinated.

Sonia, dragged into politics after a stunning defeat for the Congress party in 1998, is clearly the party’s star campaigner, speaking at three or four rallies everyday, criss-crossing the country in a chopper which holds as much fascination for people in rural India as a glimpse of the nation’s “bahu” or daughter-in-law, as Sonia is called.

She definitely packs in the crowds: men and women, many dangling babies from their hips, and dressed in their finest, break into loud applause when she rises to speak.

She speaks clearly and simply, with little of the rhetoric, vitriol or poetry that mark speeches of older, more seasoned campaigners. Her voice rises as she criticises the BJP for its communalist practices, and as she invites the crowd to cry “Jai Hind” (Long Live India) at the end of a speech.

Once called the “Sphinx” for her inscrutable ways, Sonia waded into the crowd at the end of a recent speech in Sakoli in Maharashtra state, waving and smiling at the blessings and pleas shouted at her by the enthusiastic crowd.

Son Rahul, 38, who has also hit the campaign trail with fervour, is being hailed as the next prime minister while daughter Priyanka, who was earlier touted as heir, has said she will not say “never” to politics.

Sonia will hold on to power for perhaps another 10 years before passing on the baton to Rahul, analysts say. And while there are other young stars on the horizon, can someone without the Nehru-Gandhi link shine as brightly?

4 comments

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The Congress party’s aim is to get power in 2014 and make Rahul the PM.
This time they are fighting elections just for the sake of fighting.

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Decades ago the tamils and then later the hindi speaking belt ousted congress because of its corrupt politicians ineptly supported by the dynasty. The congress, now, has to remain in power by solely depending on the coalition partners and elected to dance to the tune of regional parties. Horse trading will reach its historical high in 2009 elections. Federal govt will turn weaker than ever, as main opposition party, BJP, has been vociferously complaining all along. Yuvraj rahul, ultimately, will be made king by sycophants and that is going to be the last straw. PM Singh is a pawn/ clown in the hands of sonia and other congress bigwigs. He is at best a minister of finance, no more, in his own administration.Indian Army is sitting in the doghouse thanks to congress partys appeasing policies.

varun Gandhi factor will essentially dilute the effectiveness of Nehru dynasty. People are already aware of the historical exploitation of the nation and as a result the pawars, Lalloos, mulayams are getting their heads together to ease the dynasty family out of delhi. More regional actors like the recently added chiranjeevis Praja Rajyam Party in telugu state will further strengthen the latter mindset. The dynasty will die its inevitable death,with the likes of mayavathi, a dalit, firmly in command in hindi land, the event looks closer than the predictions indiacate.

Azad

One small point to be clarified.Congress in Tamil Nadu was not as corrupt as the subsequent Dravidian parties. Reasons abound for the pathetic performance of Congress since then but I believe the main reason is the unwillingness of the central leadership to go it alone there.

Mayavati in control throughout looks a far fetched possibility given her megalomaniac nature.

With Rahul talking of real democracy hopefully things would turnaround, otherwise they would have to go to Priyanka as the fallback option.

Regards

Posted by Unmai | Report as abusive

UNMAI

Congress had no second opportunity to prove it otherwise in Tamil nadu, though. Further, turning a blind eye to massacre of innocent tamils caught in the crossfire has buried any hopes in foreseeable future. Its sister state Andhra had some opportunity and consistently squandered it beyond all lingering doubts. The crores amassed by incumbent state congress ministers are the principal source of congress partys funding for its current electoral expenses nationwide. The scope of corruption had increased leaps and bounds since the amounts allotted to construction projects are staggeringly high these days (it’s a richer country by any standards now). The business of politics is so good that all businessmen are flocking to this filthy profit making profession even giving up their legitimate businesses (one is compelled to make a product which needs to be sold in a business proper).

Iam not praising Mayavathi, I brought her into picture as a deterrent she posed for congress playing the favorite card of -uplifting the underprivileged- anymore, that’s all. They are already uplifted (as we can see a dalit sitting in CMs chair). Agree with you. She will be a disaster in Delhi.

Dont please panic, we dont need the Nehru kids to lead/ educate indians. India remains a global leader on its chosen democratic and secular path in spite of the dynasty and not because of it. The dynasty is the cause of failure of congress party; the very many good leaders have left congress, fed up with dynasty, and became leaders of their own successful parties. Stop seeing nightmares of a Bengali eating a malayali or a telugu swallowing a Marathi. Since when Indians turned so aggressive against one another, they are characterized as a soft state by outsiders for crying out loud. They irrefutably proved their pro minority beliefs. As the record proves that neither Abdul Kalam nor Manmohan Singh was tarnished during their terms in office, leave alone an assassination attempt.