Rahul Gandhi Chairs Meetings to Discuss Assam and Tamil Nadu Polls
When Rahul Gandhi presided over the meetings on the Tamil Nadu and Assam elections on Monday, he made it clear from the outset that Congress President Sonia Gandhi had assigned him the task. He said he was there to hear what party officials had to say and convey it to Sonia Gandhi. People familiar with the matter said the message was clear that Rahul Gandhi was only carrying out Sonia Gandhi’s orders and that his return as president of Congress after he resigned from office last year should not be taken for granted.
Speculation about the return of Rahul Gandhi as head of Congress has been renewed since Sonia Gandhi left for Goa on the advice of her doctors for health reasons due to increasing pollution in Delhi. The party has also pledged to hold elections for the party’s chairman in January. The announcement came after a Congressional Working Committee (CWC) meeting in August when 23 leaders wrote a letter requesting internal surveys.
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KC Venugopal, Mukul Wasnik, Ambika Soni and Randeep Surjewala, who are part of the team created to help Sonia Gandhi, attended Monday’s meetings. AK Antony, another member of the team, is recovering from Covid-19 and was unable to attend. CWC member P Chidambaram, Dinesh Gundu Rao and Manickam Tagore were among others at the meetings.
One official, who attended the meetings, said they lasted two hours and Rahul Gandhi emphasized how the Congress’s relationship with the Tamils differed from that of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). “While the RSS is repressing Tamil culture, Congress believes in building a bridge with the rest of the country,” the official quoted Rahul Gandhi as saying.
Officials evaluated the congressional alliance with Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu and noted how it can contribute between 5% and 7% of the vote in the state. “The [Rahul Gandhi] They told us to play a positive role and work hard in our seats, ” another leader said.
Rahul Gandhi warned of attempts by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to polarize voters ahead of next year’s assembly elections in Assam. In his meeting with the leaders of Assam, he called on the state unit to be prepared to face the ruling BJP head-on. “We were told that the BJP would try to muddy the scene by polarizing voters along communal lines and instructed us to be prepared for it in the next few weeks leading up to the polls,” said a third congressional leader.