NEW DELHI: Rahul Gandhi may be fighting the defining political battle of his life, but his partymen are leaving no stone unturned to jeopardise the party’s chances of sending out a unified message. Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma and Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid had done their bit when Rahul’s brother-in-law Robert Vadra embarassingly declared “Priyanka’s time will also come”, much to the embarrassment of the party, which claimed it has no intention of allowing Rahul’s hard work look like a family picnic. But Vadra’s one-day act left voters in doubt as to who is actually in the driving seat. A prominent Congress leader confessed nobody knew who sent Vadra to Amethi—the party’s campaign managers certainly did not.
The contrarian gabfest and antics have left Congress party workers confused and demoralised—the absence of a uniform message to voters has stupefied even local leaders. Leaders working at cross purposes have obfuscated the focus of who is really in charge of the Congress campaign and message. It has also left voters wondering which segment the party is trying to win over—the Pasmanad Muslims Salman Khurshid wants in his pocket; the OBC leaders wishfully represented by Sam Pitroda; the distressed farmers who Rahul has been trying to champion since the start of the campaign; the Thakurs through Digvijay Singh; the upper castes or Mayawati’s monolithic Dalit vote bank. In this melee, the two leaders—UP Congress leader Pramod Tiwari and PCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi—are missing in action.