As Rahul Gandhi takes aim at PM Modi, Congress old guard stands with him

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi addresses at the party's Jan Vedna Sammelan at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday in the wake of demonetisation (Photo: PTI)
A reinvigorated Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, back from his vacation, took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech at a party event on Wednesday to highlight the impact of demonetisation.

The Congress leader didn’t beat about the bush, going straight to the heart of the matter and launching a direct attack on the Prime Minister. Some of the slogans raised at the event also had a ring of the yore for Congress workers, who surmised that Janardan Dwivedi, Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s speechwriter, was helping her son as well.

The Congress old guard is now standing with Rahul like seldom before. Party sources say it’s the surest sign that Rahul Gandhi would soon take over as the Congress president.

Dwivedi, according to sources, is back at his old job of writing speeches and coining slogans. Ahmed Patel, the political secretary to Sonia Gandhi, heads the committee to organise protests against demonetisation. Ambika Soni is a key figure in the preparations of Punjab assembly polls, while former finance minister P Chidambaram and former prime minister Manmohan Singh have pitched in to shape the anti-demonetisation narrative.

According to party sources, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala has played a key role in being the bridge between the old and the new guard, particularly in pulling in Ahmed Patel to help the party organise protests across the country.

The rest of the Opposition, particularly the Trinamool Congress, is looking at Rahul Gandhi to take the lead in attacking the Modi government during the Budget session of Parliament that begins on January 31. A lacklustre budget, with sops for the corporate sector, would help the opposition galvanise itself.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel