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Rahul Patient and Earnest

So concludes Aditya Sinha in the New Indian Express as he assesses Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Tamil Nadu. Key quotes:

So it isn’t a stretch to foresee that when Mr Kalaignar passes from the scene, a very down-market version of Anil-versus-Mukesh war will play in Tamil Nadu. And this is why the timing could not be better for Rahul Gandhi.

And a great space is opening up, with two brothers at each other’s throats and the AIADMK chief receding further and further from voters (which host throws an Iftaar party but does not show up?). Rahul is making no secret of wanting to strengthen the state Congress party so that it can contest elections on its own.

“I know all of you are sceptical; in fact I expect all of you to be sceptical,” Rahul told the gathering. But he pointed to the enthusiasm he had encountered in Tamil Nadu, and he said it exceeded what he had encountered in UP — where he had met with a lot of scepticism several years ago. Of course, many will say TN is different from UP, and that is true, in the way that Rahul is different from Rajiv, or Kalaignar is different from MGR. At the same time, however, a leader has to look at things from a broader perspective in order for him to succeed. That is the difference between a Rahul and an Alagiri.

This column won’t make any predictions about how Rahul fares in Tamil Nadu, but whatever happens will depend on how he plays his cards. He’s off to a good start. He is earnest, and he has reserves of patience. For the sake of Tamil Nadu, I wish him well.

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