A dignified young man, is how Tehelka’s Executive Editor Shoma Chaudhury describes him. Quiet, thoughtful, measured and at the epicenter of a “whirlwind of approval”. He was the party’s star campaigner and now his party is reaping the dividend of his measured decisions – to invest in the party’s future, encourage real talent identified by a professional outside firm, and understand what the people around India were asking for. His tours might initially have been laughed off as “Discovery of India” tours, but Rahul Gandhi had the last laugh, suggests Chaudhury.
On May 16, as the results rolled in, Rahul was not in faraway Delhi. He was in his constituency, thanking people for his victory. As the media crowded around him, expecting the cynical turnabout, asking if he would now take centrestage as PM, or at the very least, as cabinet minister, Rahul reiterated the positions that have made him luminous. “I am committed to building back the party organisation,” he said. More significantly, as brokers and industrialists across the country began to salivate at the imagined benefits of a Manmohan Singhdriven economy minus the Left, Rahul put in a timely wedge: “Progress belongs to everyone,” he said. “We cannot leave huge swathes of India behind. It is the poor who have given us everything, the poor who work in very difficult circumstances.”
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