‘Won’t Stop Till we Restore Congress’ Aan, Baan, Shaan’: Sonia

sonia-13RAE BARELI: Making her first appearance in her Raebareli parliamentary constituency after her party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha polls, Congress President Sonia Gandhi vowed to lead her party’s revival in the country.”I will lead the party in its revival, lead from the front,” Mrs Gandhi, 67, told a meeting of Congress workers, adding, “You have to take a vow that as long as you don’t restore the aan, baan, shaan (pride and prestige) of the Congress, we will not stop.”
In the general elections, the Congress put up an ignominious show, and its tally plummeted to 44, its worst-ever performance. In the political epicenter of Uttar Pradesh, the party could only win 2 of the 80 seats, with Mrs Gandhi and her son Rahul emerging as the only two winners. Mr Gandhi, the Congress vice-president, had to toil hard against the BJP’s Smriti Irani, and eventually won by 1.07 lakh votes. In 2009, his victory margin was 3.70 lakh votes.\
With Mr Gandhi, who spearheaded the Congress’ campaign in the national elections, failing to deliver, and sections of the party questioning his leadership abilities, the onus is now on the party president to prep the revival roadmap. After the drubbing at the hands of the BJP and its alliance partners, the morale of the Congress workers has hit a new low, and Mrs Gandhi faces a tough challenge in rejuvenating her party.

Significantly, the Congress vice-president’s name, sources in the party said, did not figure at all during Mrs Gandhi’s interaction with Congress workers. Ashok Singh, former party MLA from Sareni, an assembly segment falling in the Raebareli Lok Sabha seat, in fact, demanded that Mr Gandhi’s sister, Gandhi Vadra be drafted into organizational work.
“She has the gift of God to connect with the workers. The cadre never got demoralized,” he said, lavishing praise on Mrs Gandhi’s daughter for leading the party’s campaign in Raebareli and Amethi.

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