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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Sonic Bloom

Demoralised, defunct, doomed, the pundits proclaimed. But the Congress laughs all the way to Parliament. Updates

Sonic Bloom
T. Narayan
Sonic Bloom
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Leading from the front

The Gambits

February 16, 2003: Sonia Gandhi's dinner for opposition unity. Invitees: Mulayam Singh Yadav, Sharad Pawar, Chandra Shekhar, Deve Gowda and Laloo Prasad Yadav.

September 23, 2003: The first leader to call on a stroke-hit, forgotten Kanshi Ram in hospital

November 15, 2003: Ram Vilas Paswan, Ajit Singh, and SP and RJD members attend her iftaar.

January 15, 2004: Meets Sharad Pawar at his Delhi residence.

January 15, 2004: 'Opts' out of the PM race, says decision will be consensual

February 6, 2004: Lunch for prospective friends—BSP, SP, NCP, DMK, CPI(M), JD(S) and Chandra Shekhar

February 14, 2004: Meets Karunanidhi and clears DMK in Rajiv assassination

May 12, 2004: Speaks to Deve Gowda on phone, meets Anil Ambani

The Charge

Since December 27, Sonia logged approximately 60,000 km—with over 60 rallies and roadshows ('Sonia jan sampark abhiyan'). Her routes ran through pockets where anti-incumbency against Congress was at its worst.

Highlight of roadshows: Repeatedly stopped the motorcade to make personal gestures. For example, in Bhadohi, UP, she lifted and kissed a child, and went inside houses in Palampur, Himachal, to inquire about problems.

Unlike the NDA's phalanx , she virtually campaigned for Congress single-handedly.

An extensive traveller: She did an average of 450 to 500 km daily.

The family strikes back: Sonia repeatedly invoked the family name: mother-in-law, husband et al

Personal effects: Travelled minus...
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