reported by, Pallavi Ghosh
edited by: Oindrila Mukherjee
Last Update: March 18, 2023, 09:00 AM IST
On a sultry afternoon in March 2006, Sonia Gandhi emerged from her office at 10, Janpath – accompanied by a grave-looking Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi – after announcing her resignation as Rae Bareli MP. In what was seen as a masterstroke at the time, the opposition created an uproar about “office of profit” as she was an MP as well as the chairperson of the National Advisory Council, saying she would step down ” doing the right thing”.
But, she also said that she would not give up and would go back to her people; Which he did. Wearing a crisp saffron saree and tika on her forehead, Sonia brandished a sword while visiting her constituency for re-election and accused the opposition BJP of targeting her. He won and used it to outwit his opponents.
Rahul Gandhi will not hesitate to repeat his mother’s strategy even after 17 years. As the first week of Parliament went by the wayside, he faced a suspension notice. The BJP has demanded that he should be suspended as an MP if he refuses to apologize for his comments in the UK. A BJP delegation has appealed to Speaker Om Birla to set up a committee on his suspension.
All eyes are on Birla to see if and when he gives Rahul time to defend himself. Meanwhile, the BJP is pressing its ears to hear the apology, which is unlikely, and the saffron party will then press for the suspension of the senior Congress leader.
It is not that the Congress has a mind. In fact, several party leaders said it could be an empty threat from the BJP to “grab headlines and it might come back to them”.
Congress MP Manickam Tagore said, “If he does this, (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi will prove that democracy is dead in India.” News18,
Strategically, the suspension works for Rahul and the Congress. This will enable him to play the “wrong” card on which he can return to Wayanad and contest again in what would be an almost certain victory. Also, Rahul can push the narrative that he refused to bow down to the BJP and the people stood by him and brought him back to power.
Some others also feel it might help him win back support and earn some sympathy in his old family constituency of Amethi. In 2006, when Sonia reached Rae Bareilly after her resignation, she said in tears: ‘The war will continue and the caravan will continue’.
Something that even the son would like to say by going ahead in the fight for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
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