Rahul Gandhi might have resigned because the All India Congress Committee (AICC) chief and proven reluctance to return because the president of the get together, but for Congress MLAs and MPs from Maharashtra he continues to be the ‘supreme leader’.
A month-to-month journal printed by the Maharashtra unit of the Congress has requested 44 get together MLAs and three MPs — two from Rajya Sabha and one from the Lok Sabha– to donate one month’s wage and sponsor a web page to greet Rahul Gandhi on his 51st birthday.
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Nana Patole’s deal with Rahul Gandhi comes despite the AICC issuing an enchantment to its cadre to not have a good time Rahul’s birthday in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A letter written by the AICC normal secretary in-charge of the organisation, KC Venugopal, said that Rahul wouldn’t be celebrating his birthday this 12 months. In the letter, the get together requested its leaders to not print posters or organise any such occasions on June 19.
“The PCCs are requested to help people and distribute masks, ration kits and local leaders should visit the houses of people who have lost dear ones during the pandemic,” Venugopal wrote in missive, including that the employees ought to comply with Covid pointers.
Patole, nonetheless, determined to ‘deliver’ one other gift to Rahul on his birthday. A senior BJP chief from Vidarbha area, Sunil Deshmukh, joined the Congress to mark Rahul Gandhi’s birthday.
A former state minister, Deshmukh is being dubbed as a ‘prize catch’ by Patole. Deshmukh was within the Congress till 2014 and was as soon as the top of the state Youth Congress unit.
Congress watchers say Patole, who defeated former Union minister Praful Patel within the 2014 General elections because the BJP candidate, has been in search of Rahul’s consideration for a while.
Patole’s rise within the Congress inside the span of 4 years has been meteoric.
Patole had resigned as a BJP Lok Sabha MP in 2017 after he reportedly criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fashion of functioning in an inner assembly.
This act of defiance caught Rahul’s consideration who not solely inducted him into the get together but made him the top of the All India Kisan Congress. Apparently, when Patole had met Rahul for the primary time, the younger Gandhi is alleged to have requested if he was eager on any explicit publish or workplace.
Patole, barely 55 then, replied that he would wish to be ‘treated as a family member’ within the Congress.
Posts and positions have since then been Patole’s fixed companion. When the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) authorities was shaped in 2019, Patole was picked as state speaker. In February 2021, he resigned fairly dramatically to move the Maharashtra Congress unit.
Now outdoors the MVA regime, Patole has turned a tad crucial of the Uddhav Thackeray-led coalition. He was lately heard speculating about prospects of turning into the state chief minister. His calculations are fairly easy, maybe devoid of realism. If the Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ditch the Congress, the get together would do properly within the mid-term or the subsequent spherical of meeting ballot.
Patole thinks if the Congress by itself will get 70 Assembly seats, it can maintain a pole place in Maharashtra politics, able to taking a shot on the coveted publish of the state chief minister.
It is a special matter that a few of his get together colleagues dread such a situation and don’t share his optimism of the grand previous get together bagging 70-odd seats in the home of 288.
Last 12 months, when Rahul had turned 50, I had written a chunk that started with a quote, “Turning 50 doesn’t mean you’re approaching the end. It means you’re nearing the top.” It was adopted by a remark, “Rahul Gandhi needs to ask himself if he is anywhere near the top now?”
The query has remained unanswered even because the likes of Nana Patole are busy creating a distinct segment and a roadmap of kinds for themselves.
(Journalist Rasheed Kidwai is the creator of 24 Akbar Road and Sonia A Biography)