The Congress party held a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Tuesday, the 23rd of June 2020, where it was reported that a huge drama had unfolded with Rahul Gandhi throwing a fit at his party leaders and the clamour to reinstall him as the President of Congress grew louder. Now, it is being reported that the entire drama enacted by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi could have been scripted.
On Tuesday, during the CWC meeting, Rahul Gandhi had reportedly flown into a rage when he was questioned about the strategy being adopted by him post the India-China standoff. According to a report by Economic Times, Rahul Gandhi had thrown an animated tantrum when RPN Singh had suggested to Rahul Gandhi that he should not attack the Prime Minister personally while talking about the Galwan standoff.
“I am not scared of PM Modi. He can’t do anything to me. I will continue to criticise him. If people here have a problem with it, let CWC ask me to keep quiet,” Rahul Gandhi reported said to RPN Singh. In fact, according to the ET report, Rahul Gandhi also went on to accuse senior party leaders of pussyfooting on criticism of PM Modi insinuated that the ‘old guard’ was scared of PM Modi while the new guard, which is basically Rahul Gandhi was a “bold leader” who could take on PM Modi’s political might.
The Economic Times report says, “He found a ready backer in AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who said “barring Rahulji and a few”, the rest of the Congress leaders avoided direct criticism of PM Modi and Amit Shah”.
The drama did not stop there. Other than the fiasco of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra patting themselves on the back for abusing Prime Minister Modi, the CWC meeting saw Ashok Gehlot, Harish Rawat and youth wing chief BS Srinivas clamouring for the return of Rahul Gandhi as the Congress President, ousting Sonia Gandhi who is currently acting as the interim President.
As it turns out, it is now being reported that the entire episode during the CWC meeting could have been a scripted drama by the Rahul Gandhi – Priyanka Gandhi Vadra duo.
According to another report by the Economic Times, several senior Congress leaders feel that the outburst during the CWC meet could have been scripted by the Rahul Gandhi – Priyanka Gandhi Vadra duo. It is no secret that the Congress is fairly divided into the Rahul-team and the Sonia-team. There are several leaders who feel that only Sonia Gandhi can rightfully lead Congress while there are others who believe that the party needs aa ‘leader’ like Rahul Gandhi.
During the CWC meeting, the ET report indicates that suspicions are being raised about the drama being scripted because those being allowed to ask questions were meticulously decided by Team-Rahul. Reportedly, it was general secretary KC Venugopalan who had coordinated the meeting and decided who all should be specifically allowed to ask questions to Rahul Gandhi. Further, Rajiv Satav, Sushmita Dev and youth wing chief B Srinivas had first praised Rahul Gandhi over his relentless and abusive attacks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also lamented about how other leaders refuse to do the same.
ET quotes a senior Congress leader saying, “I clearly saw Soniaji prompting Sushmita. “I also noticed distinctly how Randeep Singh Surjewala laboured hard to pretend he was reading the draft CWC resolution when the drama was enacted. The act was too evident”.
By the account presented by the report, it does seem evident that Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi may have scripted the entire drama. Firstly, if the people who were allowed to ask questions were handpicked, it seems inconsistent with everything one knows about the Congress party that RPN Singh would criticise Rahul after being handpicked. It is pertinent to note that RPN Singh, Congress leader, is also the husband of NDTV ‘journalist’ Sonia Singh.
Further, the fact that before the outburst, Rahul’s close confidants had already praised him before the outburst does point to the fact that setting the narrative of Rahul being a ‘courageous’ leader was of prime importance in this meeting.
Possible reasons for this scripted drama by Rahul Gandhi at the CWC meet
The reasons for this drama being scripted could be two-fold.
Firstly, Congress has come under heavy criticism for its stand during the India-China stand-off. With Rahul Gandhi blatantly lying about the facts and compromising national security while trying to pull PM Modi down, many believe that Congress has blurred the line between political opposition and working against the interest of the nation in attempts to grab power.
This entire fiasco scripted by Rahul could be an attempt to set the narrative and convince not just others, but also his own party members that his strategy is effective and is being appreciated by the ‘young Turks’ of the party.
Further, the scripted drama could also be aimed at amplifying the clamour within the party to install Rahul Gandhi as the President of Congress yet again. If one recalls, even in 2019, Rahul Gandhi has resigned saying that within the party, senior leaders shy away from criticising Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah directly. This could be a ploy to install himself as the President yet again by planting the excuse that it was his party members that wanted him back.
In February 2020, Salman Khurshid had dispelled the notion of Congress party suffering from a leadership crisis, adding that the party is in the “transitional process” and there was no issue with the leadership with Sonia Gandhi at the helm of the affairs. Interestingly, when asked if the return of Rahul Gandhi as Congress President is the overwhelming choice of the majority of the party, Khurshid replied in affirmative saying “There has always been this feeling among a large section of the party”.
It certainly seems like Congress is trying its best to find a safe excuse for Rahul Gandhi to come back as the President after the fanfare with which the had quit and proclaimed that he will not be coming back as the President. It would also appear that the scripted drama aimed at justifying Rahul Gandhi’s rhetoric and political strategy of compromising national security as one can see every time India faces an external threat.