Rahul Gandhi’s terse but strong message to the Congress functionaries at Sunday’s meeting that the “government and the party should speak in one voice” seems to have worked.
The Congress, which had initially distanced itself from the UPA government’s move to rush its four senior ministers to the airport to persuade yoga guru Baba Ramdev to give up his indefinite fast, is now going all out to defend the move.
“Magnanimity” is the new word for this move.
Congress media department chairman Janardan Dwivedi said the “magnanimity of the government has been misused” while party spokesman Manish Tewari cautioned against “construing the magnanimity of the government as its weakness”.
The party has taken a tough line not only against yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare but also has sharpened its attack on the BJP and RSS.
On the Saturday midnight police action in Ramlila Grounds, the party said it was an “administrative” decision.
Top Congress sources attribute this sudden aggression in the party to Rahul Gandhi’s message. “The government and the party should speak in one voice and have one line on different issues,” the sources quoted Rahul as having said at the meeting of senior party functionaries on Sunday.
“Rahulji appeared concerned and agitated over different voices emerging within the party and the government on different issues. He wants an immediate end to it and send a strong message that the party and the government are one on all the issues confronting the nation,” a senior Congress leader said.
The Centre and Congress have not been on the same page on many issues in past, including Naxalism and price rise.
“The BJP and the RSS are orchestrating campaigns with the aim of capturing power in the 2014 general polls,” the meeting was told. Congress president Sonia Gandhi “listened patiently” to all the speakers and did not intervene.