Rahul still on a ‘break’ even as Cong begins note ban protest

Rajat Kain

New Delhi: Congress top leaders President Sonia Gandhi, and Former PM Manmohan Singh at Rashtrapati Bhavan after meeting the President Pranab Mukherjee, December 16, 2016. Photo - PTI

FILE: New Delhi: Congress top leaders President Sonia Gandhi, and Former PM Manmohan Singh at Rashtrapati Bhavan after meeting the President Pranab Mukherjee, December 16, 2016.
Photo – PTI

Upping ante against the Modi government on the issue of demonetisation, Congress will be holding a series of protest and demonstrations across the country starting today. This follows an aggressive opposition against the government decision that saw washing away of Parliament’s Winter session last month.

So much is the party banking to build its political narrative around the issue of note ban, that it is set to dominate its campaign in the upcoming assembly polls for the five states.

But as the principal opposition party takes to the street and pitch its protest, the man who has been the most vocal critic of the move — Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi — will be giving it a slip.

Gandhi is still on his ‘travel” break, the one he had shared on Twitter on December, and according to Congress sources, he is set to return on the midnight of January 7.

It, therefore, has to be seen how the Congress party will defend the absence of its deputy leader, who for all practical purposes has been on the forefront of fight against the incumbent and the political rival – BJP.

Following its two-day street protest and demonstrations, beginning today, it will also be holding a national convention on January 11 in the national capital, where Rahul Gandhi is expected to address his gradually weakening party.

All top leaders of the party including CWC members, AICC delegates, PCC chiefs and all party MPs and MLAs from states are being invited for the day-long meet, which will be held at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium.

The Opposition, and especially Congress, have accused the government of not thinking through the move. Criticising the government over the “inconvenience” caused to the common man and especially to the farmers and poors, the Congress party, along with some other opposition parties have even knocked at the Presidents’ door over the issue.

Following the volleys of slogans and protest inside and outside the Parliament, Rahul Gandhi had in the last days of Winter session accused Prime Minister Modi of “personal corruption” in the demonetisation move.

Meanwhile, the meet may also see party leaders and workers once again demanding Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as its numero uno.

With Sonia Gandhi not keeping well, her son assumed the duty to address its top decision making meet – Congress Working Committee (CWC) — and its 132nd foundation day last month, besides series of meetings, including the ones with parliamentarians during the Winter session.