In an apparent move to send out a message of austerity, Congress President
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi today took a bus ride along with other leaders to
Surajkund in Haryana where the party is having a brain storming meeting.
However, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will not go to Surajkund by bus due to
Union ministers and top Congress leaders will attend the brainstorming session
which comes at a time when the party and the government are facing tough
challenges on political and economic fronts.
The day-long "dialogue session" is likely to chalk out the strategy ahead. It
may also take a view on the issue of alliances in different states.
The Congress has utilised bus rides by local leaders to project a picture of
unity and to connect with the common man during state elections in past.
Party sources said that the dialogue meeting (Samvad Baithak) will virtually set
the agenda for the larger brainstorming at Chintan Shivir, which is likely to be
organised in January next year.
The dialogue session comes after the public meeting here on November 4, which
saw Sonia and Rahul strongly backing the economic reform measures initiated by
the Prime Minister.
The session will discuss three topics - present political situation, economic
challenges and status of implementation of 2009 party manifesto.
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul travelled in the same bus occupying the front seats.
They were accompanied by senior party leaders Ahmed Patel and Ambika Soni.
Ministers including A K Antony, P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, Ghulam Nabi Azad and C P Joshi were also in the same bus.
Two buses are taking the Congress top brass to Surajkund.
A ride in an ultra luxury airconditioned bus carries no message to the aam aadmi whose vote they are so desperate for. It just facilitates self-delusion by Congress apologists that the Government is serious about implementing austerities.
Look at the "SURAJKUND 1" sticker on the windshield. Look at the empty seat beside the Congress president's. Look at the interiors of the bus itself. Juxtapose it with an image randomly selected from any bus on the streets of New Delhi. Can one see any similiarities?
For starters, why don't they demobilise the VIP squadron and start flying "cattle class" on budget airlines like the mango people? Where there are no arports, let them walk, ride in State Transport buses or in unreserved coaches in trains. Let them do that consistently and I shall vote for Congress in 2014, all the scams and malgovernance notwithstanding.
A bullock cart or walking would have served the same purpose.
Does congress and its lacky media ( outlook) still feel that common man will fall for this gimmick ? Rahul has tried commuting in Mumbai local, eating at poor's house in UP, still got trashed in there.
Rest of the year they will go around in private jets and helicopters.
Another side show with no takers perhaps media building hype...when nothing like that exists