There is some amount of consternation amongst the Congress leaders over some of the Plus Ones who are accompanying Rahul Gandhi on his Bharat Jodo Yatra. The one strand that stands out is the presence of too many “jholawalas”, as the left liberals are referred to by their critics. The most prominent being Yogendra Yadav, who apart from dabbling in politics is also a psephologist. And Yadav’s frequent comments questioning the yatra’s ability to translate into votes has not gone down well with the party faithful, who point out that part of the campaign is also to keep motivating the cadres that you are going to win. However, Rahul Gandhi remains enamoured with Yogendra Yadav and other left leaning leaders who are very visible on his pilgrimage, along with some other more “reassuring” faces like former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan.
RAHUL GANDHI’S MANMOHAN
In fact, soon after Rahul and Raghuram Rajan’s interaction there has been speculation that the party could project him as its PM face for the next general elections. This is a move that would go down well with the middle class and even with the youth who are worried about the economy and jobless growth. However, this may not play out too well with the rest of the party leadership, some of whom have been auditioning for this very role, keeping in mind Rahul’s apparent distaste for positions of authority. This being said, the party does need to come up with a consistent narrative and ideology to take to the public—both about its economic vision and also its social and religious world view. The time for experiments was over long ago, and the Congress worker is hoping that post the yatra, Rahul will come up with a well defined strategy to counter the BJP.
CABINET RESHUFFLE IN THE NEW YEAR?
Will the New Year see a cabinet reshuffle? There was some talk of a definitive reshuffle before the 2024 elections and given that the end of next year will also see the semi-finals (as the round of elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh are known as) will the Prime Minister move some regional leaders from these states to Delhi? According to the buzz there could be a change of guard in Madhya Pradesh before the polls by either shifting the Chief Minister or else his detractors to the Union Cabinet. Rajasthan too has many contenders for the CM’s post. Will Narendra Modi and Amit Shah bring some of these faces to Delhi and send a Union Minister to the state to further his regional ambitions? Interesting questions, but with only two people in the know, one is not quite sure when these will be answered.