Mother comes to the rescue of Rattled Son

TNN Bureau. Updated: 5/10/2018 1:42:51 PM Features

Ailing Sonia Gandhi for the last two years entered into Karnataka poll fray not for any political reasons except to save the Gandhi dynasty. Ms. Gandhi has been visiting US for medical treatment and was advised not to strain herself. But She felt Rahul Gandhi was no match to BJP Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was firing bazooka not only on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, but his main target was the Congress party which over the last four years has been decimated in electoral battle by BJP.

If the only citadel – Karnataka is lost, it will signal the end of dynasty which has ruled the country for the last 60-years. The problem with Ms. Gandhi is that she can neither speak in Hindi (manuscript are prepared for her to read) nor in English. Voters assembles just to see a videshi bahu in saree with her head covered. With Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi having joined battle against the BJP mascot Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Karnataka, the Congress-BJP war has touched epic proportions. Both bigwigs were in the same region on Tuesday, sharply attacking each other with no holds barred.

Considering that Sonia Gandhi is in indifferent health and has desisted from electioneering for nearly two years, this visit to a region from which she was once elected to the Lok Sabha (from Bellary) is a way of enthusing the Congress cadres who feel down and out with Rahul Gandhi’s lacklustre performance. This is also a way of reaching out to the Lingayat community which constitutes 17 per cent of Karnataka’s population and is torn between traditional loyalty to the BJP when one among them (Yeddyurappa) is the chief ministerial face of the party, and chief minister Siddaramaiah who has held out the bait of helping them get the status of a separate religious group. Sonia Gandhi’s role is to convince them to opt for the Congress.

Crossing swords with Narendra Modi is no easy matter because Modi’s hold over the masses has been proved time and again across the country. But Sonia is striving to retain Karnataka where Congress has the best chance, being in power with the only other major Congress state being Punjab. While Modi pitches for a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ and sees Karnataka as a prize catch to wrest power in the southern state from the grand old party, Sonia is joining issue with the BJP on everything possible and questioning Modi’s credentials.

The Congress has no star campaigners worth the name from the Centre to fight the Karnataka battle so it devolves on Sonia to fight for her son Rahul who holds the party’s reins after she stepped aside. When the ballot boxes are opened on May 15, the future of the Congress and the longevity of the Sonia-Rahul family at the helm would be at stake. For the BJP, a win in Karnataka would pave the way for a possible win in the 2019 Lok Sabha election and determine Modi’s longevity in the saddle.

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