“Let us hope this isn’t another transient hobby to pass the otherwise dull hours of the lockdown,” says a senior Congress leader, referring to the vociferous interventions made by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra over the past two months on various issues linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown. This period has seen Rahul address three pressers and promise more. He has also started an ‘in conversation’ series on social media platforms featuring experts and common citizens. He ventured out to directly interact with migrant workers forced to return to their native villages for lack of jobs, money and food. Presented as constructive suggestions rather than political criticism, Rahul’s potshots at the Centre, over its alleged mishandling of the health, economic and humanitarian crises in the wake of COVID-19 have continued unabated on Twitter.
While Rahul has been vocal about the big national picture, Priyanka has been focused on Uttar Pradesh, where she is in charge as a Congress general secretary. She extended a cooperative hand to the Yogi Adityanath government for bringing back migrant workers from other states in buses sponsored by the Congress. The offer, though, was spurned and her close associates, including personal secretary Sandeep Singh and state Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu, were booked for allegedly forging the registration numbers of the buses she promised.