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In Priyanka’s Backing of Robert Vadra, Rahul Gandhi Shows How His Congress is Different to Sonia’s


At a closed-door meeting with his close aides, held at the same time when Robert Vadra was being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate, Rahul Gandhi tapped loudly on the table and made a decision.

The party has nothing to fear and will be brazen in the face of all the corruption allegations levelled against his brother-in-law, the Congress chief told them.

This new approach, a marked difference from the days of Sonia Gandhi’s Congress when the party ducked questions on Vadra, was soon seen in action.

Visuals showed Priyanka Gandhi going to the ED office to pick and drop her husband before and after his questioning. This was her first appearance as a politician after being appointed the Congress general secretary for UP east.
She said the “entire world knows what is happening” when asked whether the case against Vadra is political in nature. “He is my husband, he is my family…I support my family,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a show of support. The defiance in her voice was clear, a far cry from the days when she was hesitant to join politics over fears Vadra would be arrested should she take the plunge.

This defiance came even while Prime Minister Narendra Modi was attacking the Congress for the corruption cases against its leaders from the Lok Sabha and said “the chowkidaar won’t let any perpetrator escape punishment”, and BJP leaders shouted slogans of ‘Jijaji chor hai’.

Another similarly strong message was sent on Friday when senior party leader P Chidambaram shared the stage with Rahul Gandhi at a press conference called to attack the Narendra Modi government on the Rafale deal.

Press conference at AICC

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, General Secretary K C Venugopal and former finance minister P Chidambaram during a press conference at AICC office, in New Delhi ON Friday. (PTI Photo)

When News18 asked Gandhi about Vadra being questioned, he said, “I don’t have a problem. Let them investigate Vadra or Chidambaram. But they should investigate Rafale as well.”

Sitting alongside the Congress chief, Chidambaram watched smilingly. He left the press conference soon after that to face further questioning at the ED office.

It’s a drastic change in Congress attitude from the days when an Ashok Chavan was asked to step down as the chief minister of Maharashtra over corruption allegations. This was followed by a string of resignations as Pawan Bansal and Shashi Tharoor too quit over various allegations.

This helped the BJP taste blood and it eventually gave the party the best ammunition to bring the Congress down in 2014 elections.

With the 2019 elections now looming, the Congress feels that was a mistake and says it shouldn’t have asked them to step down. The Congress has now changed tracks and will fight it out as Rahul says, “on the front foot”.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta

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