All’s Still Not Well
An ill Sonia skips rally meant to launch party campaign for state polls
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.