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Saturday, Oct 23, 2021
Outlook.com

On The Move

It was an impressive if futile performance. But Sonia will need more to pull her party and the Opposition together.

On The Move
T. Narayan
On The Move
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Cool, combative and confident, Sonia Gandhi took Parliament by surprise when she opened the debate on the no-confidence motion against the government last week. For the first time, she wore the mantle of Opposition leader with conviction, as if it were a couture garment and not a straitjacket confining her to her seat in the Lok Sabha.

But when the applause over her performance had died down and Congressmen sat down to evaluate their gains, they found nothing substantive. They hadn't succeeded either in embarrassing the government, or in showing up cracks in the NDA. Returning empty-handed from Parliament, Congress spin doctors were reduced to contrasting Sonia's better-than-usual performance against Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's lacklustre late-night speech on August 19. The no-confidence exercise thus seems to have been intended solely to showcase Sonia and pitch her as the alternative leader to Vajpayee.

The question that naturally follows is whether Sonia can deliver the goods. Even the party's most ardent sympathisers aren't entirely sure. Though they...
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