Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi returned from a vacation on Monday night and party men are already making a beeline to meet the scion of Congress. The leader who is known for taking short trips, is now expected to take part in major campaigns across all five poll bound states.
After each holiday Rahul Gandhi has come back with vigour and fresh ammo to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party. The first of its kind drastic make over in Rahul Gandhi's political image came about in 2015 after he took a political sabbatical close to 2 months. Rahul Gandhi had come under severe criticism for going on a 'vacation' during a crucial budget session in 2015. Many leaders accused him of being a part-time politician but when the vice president of Congress returned, he was a transformed leader.
The Congress had maintained that the sabbatical was for introspection. The same did do good for Rahul Gandhi who came back fired up and took on the prime minister in the Parliament. Post the 2015 sabbatical, there was no looking back for Rahul Gandhi. His speeches both inside and outside the parliament, his approach towards the media, his grass root level work and youth and rural connect did wonders for his image as a strong leader for the Congress.
While he did take a short trip in 2016 soon after his birthday, his New Year's vacation in 2017 came once again under severe criticism. His vacation also came at a time when the Congress party is struggling to find foothold in Uttar Pradesh and Goa. With election dates already announced, it is to be seen if Rahul Gandhi's vacation this time around has worked the same magic that it had earlier in 2015. Will Rahul Gandhi's return favour the Congress and should the BJP worry?
The Congress which currently holds power in Uttarakhand and Manipur, stands a chance at victory after ten years in Punjab. In Uttar Pradesh however, the possibility of an alliance with Akhilesh Yadav's faction of SP is a reality for the Congress only if the SP split becomes wide. With party patriarch announcing Akhilesh Yadav as the chief ministerial candidate, possibility of an alliance has just gone from possible to nearly impossible for the Congress.