At Bharat Bachao rally, tips from workers for Congress to improve

Congress workers dressed as students at a graduation ceremony fry fritters at Ramlila Maidan on Saturday.

Congress workers dressed as students at a graduation ceremony fry fritters at Ramlila Maidan on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: PTI


‘There should be more meetings at the ground level and at regular intervals’

As thousands of Congress supporters gathered at Ramlila Maidan for ‘Bharat Bachao Rally’ amid Rajasthani folk dance and artistes performing traditional instruments from Himachal Pradesh, party loyalists said that the Congress needed to strengthen itself.

While some said that leaders other than the Gandhi family should head the party, others vehemently opposed it. Congress supporters also said that the country should be saved from inflation and unemployment.

There were multiple over 25-foot-high cut-outs of Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi besides ones of party president Sonia Gandhi that were a couple of inches taller than that of the other two.

Amid chants of “Congress party zindabad”, Mohammad Khan (65), who had travelled to the Capital Delhi from Rajgarh district in Madhya Pradesh, was glued to a speech. “The inflation is very high and at my shop back in Madhya Pradesh, the rate of biscuits has gone up to ₹75/kg and less people are buying them now,” he complained.

He said that the country has to be saved from the inflation. However, when asked if the Gandhi family should continue at the helm of Congress, he referred to the murders of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi and said, “Gandhi parivaar ne balidaan diya hai desh ke liye. Aur kaun diya hai? Gandhi parivaar hi hona chahiye [The Gandhi family had sacrificed for the nation. Who else has done that? Gandhi family should continue.]”

Bablu Sharma (32) who was standing on chair and listening to the conversation, quipped: “Nahin, nahin. Aur log aana chahiye [No no, other people should take the responsibility].”

Mr. Sharma, who hails from Rajasthan and makes sweets for a living, said: “[PM] Modi wins because of his speeches. But there is nobody in the Congress who can talk like him. Modi damdaar hai, baashan mein. Humara bhi neta damdaar hai, par baashan mein nahin. [Modi is very good in delivering speeches. Our leaders are also good, but not when it comes to giving speeches],” he said.

“Sachin Pilot or Scindia should be the president of the party,” Mr. Sharma, whose father is also a Congress supporter and a Sarpanch in their village Akarsada, added.

“Congress does not listen to workers like it used to before. Sangathan kamzoor hai [the organisation is weak now]. Till you strengthen it, you cannot come back to power,” said 40-year-old Arvind Mihra who said he is a former municipal vice-president in Madhya Pradesh.

Sanjeev Bhasksare (35) from Khargone in Madhya Pradesh said that the Congress lacked big leaders. “Rahul Gandhi is at least 40% behind Modi in terms of giving speeches. Scindia should be made the president of the party,” he said. “Modi ko takkar dene ke liye woh hi hai bas [Only he can compete agiainst Modi],” he said.

Mr. Bhaskare said that they should strengthen the ground-level network. “Now workers are used only during elections and nothing happens after that. There should be more meetings at the ground level and at regular intervals,” he added.

However, many elderly supporters were against the idea of someone from outside being the party president. “Gandhi parivaar hi hona chahiye. Aur kaun hoga? Bataiye. [It should be the Gandhi family at the helm of power. Who else will become the President? Tell me],” Parsadiya Sonkar (68) a farmer and labourer from Uttar Pradesh, who works for ₹200 a day, said.

Outside the ground, 17-year-old Tanihq Negi, a Class XII student from Vinod Nagar in Delhi, was part of over 100 youth Congress volunteers who held an over 100-metre-long banner with photos of Rahul Gandhi. “I have come to support the party. I am yet to become a member. I have came with my friends at 8 in the morning,” an excited Tanihq said.

Next to the them, a seven-member team was performing a Rajasthani folk dance and a board on the background read: “India’s unity is its diversity”.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 5:41:40 PM |

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