All’s Still Not Well

An ill So­nia skips rally meant to launch party cam­paign for state polls

India Today - - NATION - By Ashish Mishra

It was hyped as her first pub­lic rally since re­cov­er­ing from an undis­closed ail­ment but it ended up in­di­cat­ing that all is still not well with Congress Pres­i­dent So­nia Gandhi.

The rally in Chamoli district of Ut­tarak­hand, in­tended to launch the Rishikesh-karan­prayag rail project, was im­por­tant for two rea­sons. It was meant to kick­start the Congress cam­paign for Fe­bru­ary 2012 Assem­bly elec­tions in Ut­tarak­hand, a BJP- ruled state, and to show that So­nia has re­cov­ered fully from her surgery in Au­gust.

But it was not to be. On Novem­ber 9, thou­sands of peo­ple who had gath- ered in the Gauchar area of Chamoli had to re­turn dis­ap­pointed. AICC Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Ja­nar­dan Dwivedi said the Congress pres­i­dent was suf­fer­ing from fever. Tehri MP Vi­jay Bahuguna was de­puted to read out her speech which made the point that the Right to In­for­ma­tion Act, which had helped un­earth nu­mer­ous cases of cor­rup­tion, was passed by her Govern­ment. So­nia’s speech also said, with­out a trace of irony, “There is a lot of talk about cor­rup­tion these days. No doubt cor­rup­tion is preva­lent in so­ci­ety. But cor­rup­tion will not go by merely mak­ing speeches.”

With elec­tions due early next year in Ut­tar Pradesh, Ut­tarak­hand, Pun­jab, Goa, and Ma­nipur, the health of its star cam­paigner is nat­u­rally caus­ing Congress some con­cern.



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