Rahul may have flopped on TV, but Sonia's fight on ground continues

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Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi might have met a pathetic consequence in his first encounter with a television media in the last one decade, but his mother and party president Sonia Gandhi has continued with the fight. According to a report published in Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika on Wednesday, the Congress chief has asked her lieutenants to get closer to three important women leaders of the nation, namely, Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati and Jayalalithaa.

Through this, Sonia Gandhi has essentially rejected her son's preference of going alone in the Lok Sabha elections due in a few months. The Congress chief is hoping to win hearts of these three leaders at least after the polls. According to recent poll surveys, the three women leaders are expected to do good in the upcoming elections and the Congress, which is staring down the barrel, would expect serious help from them to tackle the challenge from Narendra Modi.

But will Sonia Gandhi's plan work out?

Reports added that Sonia's political secretary Ahmed Patel has been asked to convince Mamata Banerjee, the West Bengal chief minister who looks favourites in the Lok Sabha election. But senior TMC leader Mukul Roy said in a television interview on Tuesday that his party is against corruption and communalism and will fight it alone in the big battle. A section of the Congress in West Bengal is also against the high command's plan to get cosy with Banerjee, who left the United Progressive Alliance on the issue of price rise in September 2012.

Union minister Rajiv Shukla has got the responsibility to convince Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati. Senior BSP leader Satish Mishra has also said like Roy that his party would go alone in the Lok Sabha polls and decision on alliance will be taken after the elections. The poor prediction for the Congress has also made the BSP feel little excited to join the Congress. The rising anti-incumbency mood against the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh in less than two years of coming to power is a good news for the BSP leadership. Why should it squander the chance of making a comeback?

In Tamil Nadu, the Congress is trying to woo Chief Minister Jayalalithaa through three governors who share good relation with her. The AIADMK is favourite to do well in the Lok Sabha polls and the Congress is desperate to stop Modi in the south by getting close to Jayalalithaa for she is known to be close with the BJP's prime ministerial candidate and although she hasn't announced any pre-poll alliance with the BJP, the Congress's apprehension is more than understandable. The party said it is eager to forge an alliance with any force committed to protect the interests of the Tamils and the entire nation.

Sonia has to reject Rahul Gandhi's idealism somewhere and get the party going

The Congress is also eyeing leaders like Naveen Patnaik, Lalu Prasad and Ramvilas Paswan to improve the poll forecasts and the Congress chief is more than restless to see her party avoid a complete drubbing in the big battle of 2014.

For, after hearing Rahul Gandhi in Monday's interview, not many will back a revival of the Congres in the post-election days either. The party has both a short and long-term problem and it can only expect the regional satraps to keep it alive in the future. The arrogance of going alone has been dusted today and the party chief is seen trying from a position of weakness.

Three months ahead of the big battle, Rahul Gandhi has indeed harmed his party.

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