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But seriously Rahul,  what is the “point in talking” when you are not making sense

A measure of how much in the stone age the Congress has been operating in lately is illustrated by this inspired news story faithfully carried by the Hindustan Times.

The story starts with

The first whiff of change is beginning to be felt in the AICC with Rahul Gandhi’s induction as general secretary. From now on, there will be no long-winded treatises or delayed reactions on important issues

Makes one wonder what the Congress media cell and Spokespersons have been busy to date.  Should not be hard to imagine if one goes by this remark

 “He came up with a new and fresh approach,’’ said a member.

So what pray is this “new and fresh” approach.

The Amethi MP wants things to be short, snappy and quick. He wants them spelt out as “talking points” and “bullets” in booklets so that they are easily understood by people in general and party workers in particular and get across effectively to the media.

It appears that the Congress is finally waking up to the perils of having a verbal gymnast in Abhishek Singhvi and a loudmouth in Jayanthi Natarajan for spin meisters.

So how does the “not so young anymore” Gandhi propose to achieve this.

The main focus of the 90-minute meeting was on putting in place a mechanism for quick responses and effective coordination between Depco, the media and computer departments and the party’s mouthpiece Congress Sandesh — the four key publicity departments represented on the panel.

So what is this “Depco” ?

The Department of Policy Planning and Coordination (Depco)

For those who may have a short memory the following Offstumped refresher is in order.

On July 28th 2004 the Congress attempted a makeover, cosmetic one much like the present attempt, by renaming party’s high-profile department of policy planning and coordination, better known as Depco, as “research and reference department”. The press interpreted the move as a downgrade of this department. But the real comedy begins the day after with Sonia Gandhi feigning ignorance of the move.

Why is this significant ?

It is significant because the Depco was essentially a creation of Sonia Gandhi in 2000 as a sort of professional organ that would provide the leadership with informed inputs for political decision-making on issues of concern to the party, including legislative matters.

By August 2004 an embarassed Sonia Gandhi spiked the move to rename Depco given that it was drafting most of her speeches.

One wonders if the speech at Jhajhar on the Indo-US Nuclear Deal that rankled the Left was authored by the Depco as well. Even if it were so we probably wont hear of it for then Rahul Gandhi would be in the cross-hairs of the left for getting “snippy” while trying to be “snappy”.

But the real concern with Rahul Gandhi’s talking points is

apart from being “snappy” and “quick” will they make sense


will we see a repeat of the foot-in-the-mouth syndrome that was abundantly evident during the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

Either way it will be an interesting internship for the “not so young anymore” Gandhi !


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