Step by step, Rahul Gandhi builds caravan

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, January 8: Mystery of Rahul Gandhi, 52, walking in North India’s bone-chilling air in a t-shirt may remain a matter of speculation, but he has in the course of over 100 days has built a caravan that may give life-saving energy to Congress. The Opposition party was yearning for courage from the Gandhis to come out of the telling electoral blows from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Rahul Gandhi may just have fulfilled the wishes of the party workers.

Without getting the media limelight, former Congress chief seemingly has brought life to the party with a message that he was listening to the people and acting on their best advices. He is seen in conversations. While walking, Rahul Gandhi has engaged in conversations with some of the accliamed minds in the speheres of economy, science, art, military and entertainment.

On the sidelines of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul Gandhi has conversed with cross-sections of the cottage industries, unorganised sectors, the small and medium enterprises and so on. He has sought to project an alternative political narrative to the existing BJP-led government at the centre – of dialogue.

The Opposition has been able to build a narrative of a centralised governance at the Centre, with excesive power in the office of the Prime Minister led by Narendra Modi. Some of the decisions of the Modi government were stated by Opposition to have come straight out of the PMO without consultations within his own government, while Parliament is seen to be a clearing house of the legislative bills.

In this backdrop, the narrative that a political leader is all ears for conversations with wider cross-sections of the intelligentisa could present a contrasting picture in the current politics.  On Sunday, former Chief of Army Staff Gen Deepak Kapoor, Lt Gen RK Hooda, Lt Gen VK Narula, AM PS Bhangu, Maj Gen Satbir Singh Chaudhary, Maj Gen Dharmender Singh, Col Jitender Gill, Col Pushpender Singh, Lt Gen DDS Sandhu, Maj Gen Bishamber Dayal, Col Rohit Chaudhry joined Rahul Gandhi in the Haryana leg of the Yatra. He has already been joined in the past by the likes of Raghuram Rajan, AS Dulat, Kamala Haassan, etc.

Prof. Sheila Jasanoff, who teaches public policy at Harvard University, too joined the yatra in Haryana. She spoke of the joy in joining the yatra and the meaningful conversation that she had with Rahul Gandhi while walking with him. “He correctly thinks that there has to be some solutions for India, while he seamlessly thinks on issues,” said Prof. Jasanoff.

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