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‘Spoke like a statesman’: Dissenting Congress leaders praise Rahul Gandhi’s ‘vision’ on Covid 

Leaders of the G-23 like Sibal and Moily, who last year questioned the leadership vacuum in Congress, said they’re now impressed with how Rahul Gandhi has acted in Covid crisis.

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New Delhi: The catastrophic second Covid-19 wave ravaging the country, with people scrambling for hospital beds and medical supplies, has had Congress leader Rahul Gandhi earn plaudits for his “foresight and vision” from members of the G-23 or group of party leaders, who had last year questioned the “leadership vacuum” in the party.

ThePrint spoke to multiple leaders of the group, who said that the crisis has “shown Rahul Gandhi’s leadership skills”, signalling a slight shift in the internal party dynamics.

Kapil Sibal, former Union minister and one of the most vocal members of the G-23, said “Rahul Gandhi said all the sensible things” with respect to Covid.

“He is a good man, no doubt about it. He doesn’t have the negativity. He got the things right (about Covid). All sensible people got things right about this. Modi should have learnt from it,” Sibal told ThePrint.

Sibal had last year accused the Congress leadership of not introspecting and not presenting an effective opposition to the Modi government. He has been critical of the Modi government and its handling of the pandemic as well. 

“We have to first delineate the qualities of the leader. All the qualities needed by a leader are lacking in Modi. He has just captured all institutions, that’s how he is surviving. He doesn’t have leadership skills. He doesn’t have vision,” Sibal said. 

He added that Congress has a history of delivering and “it’s only a matter of time before people see that”.

The G-23 is a name given to the group of 23 leaders of the Congress, who in August last year wrote to party president Sonia Gandhi, demanding a “full time and effective leadership” — a leadership that is both “visible” and “active” on the field.

Also read: Centre’s anti-people policies another crisis apart from Covid, says Rahul Gandhi

‘BJP should apologise to Rahul’

Former Karnataka CM Veerappa Moily, another member of the G-23, said Gandhi emerged as a “leader with vision and foresight” during the Covid crisis.

“The public can tell that what Rahul said made absolute sense. He forecast a lot of these problems, but BJP made fun of him. They should apologise to him. He spoke like a true statesman,” Moily said.

“Anyone can talk about the status quo. It takes a statesman to make plans ahead of time,” Moily added.

Rahul Gandhi, former party president, had warned of the threat of Covid-19 ahead of the pandemic in February last year, followed by making public statements on the same through the course of the pandemic. 

Most recently, Gandhi had written to PM Modi suggesting that vaccination be opened up to “everyone who needs it” and that foreign vaccines be made available in India. Days after this letter, the Modi government decided to fast-track emergency approvals for foreign-produced shots.

Several Congress workers have been sharing graphics of ‘What Rahul Gandhi said when’— with a timeline of Gandhi’s statements at various stages of the pandemic.


The Indian Youth Congress — the Congress’ youth wing — and its leader Srinivas B.V. has especially been credited for leading the charge to arrange hospital beds, oxygen cylinders and other supplies for those who have been tagging him on Twitter with desperate pleas.

“He (Rahul) said all party members should leave political work and focus on providing Covid relief. This is really important messaging from our leader. It has also generated enormous goodwill among people,” said Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Rajya Sabha member and one of the signatories to the last year’s letter.

‘Not limited to Rahul’

Other members of the G-23, however, while appreciating Gandhi, said his words are symptomatic of the “greater culture of Congress”.

“I wouldn’t limit it to Rahul Gandhi, Congress has a long history of consultation and delivering in times of crises. We have the experience of handling Tsunami, the entire disaster management Act was formed under Congress government,” said former chief minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan, a signatory to the letter.

“What Rahul has articulated is part of that culture. Unfortunately, because of Corona, our communication is limited to AICC press briefing and Rahul’s tweets. But this is the position of the entire Congress uniformly,” he added.

Another signatory to the letter, Sandeep Dikshit said that “every warning Rahul gave about the pandemic has unfortunately turned out to be true”.

“There are many things one can say about him and his leadership style. But in the whole covid scenario, he is one person who very clearly understood what was happening,” Dikshit told ThePrint.

However, Dikshit said he is skeptical about how much this crisis will change the mood of the public towards Rahul Gandhi.  

“The current Indian public is very difficult to read. Everything is too transactional for most voters, instead of being about long-term change,” he said.

Commenting on the demands the G-23 leaders’ letter raised with respect to effective leadership, Dikshit said, “Those demands were specific to wanting the leadership to be alive and kicking consistently… but in the covid crisis, I am impressed with how the leadership has acted.”

 (Edited by Debalina Dey)

Also read: Rahul Gandhi cancels all public rallies in West Bengal following rise in Covid cases


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  1. Sadly this statesman like speaking seems to have escaped the voter’s. Even in a state like Kerala whose voters, the Congress’s ex-president, claimed a short while ago are more politically savvy then those in his erstwhile constituency of Amethi. No wonder they have decided to dump the Congress and repeat the LDF, the first time in 5 decades just after the statesman shifted to Wyanad. Coincidence anybody.

  2. well….another bunch of parasites …took advantage of the china’s virus pandemic and trying to wriggle back to the host which is a even bigger parasite on the people of India!!!!!

  3. There was a time before independence when every state was fighting individullay for his own state freedom rather then fighting as united forces against the British for freedom of one country India until we had Bismil
    Bhagat Singh and finally Mahatma Gandhi that brought all Indians united on one platform and one dream Freedom- Free India
    Today again we are divided because of our own self-interest for Power not religion (religion is utilised as the source to reach of power which a common man nit foresee) and which ever party/leader has their self-interest prioritized can never work for the development of the country and its people.
    As a common man I can articulate this much every raise has a fall.
    Love you Mother India.

  4. There was a time before independence when every state was fighting individullay for his state freedom rather then fighting as united forces against the British for freedom of one country India until we had Bismil
    Bhagat Singh and finally Mahatma Gandhi that brought all Indians united on one platform and one dream Freedom- Free India
    Today again we are divided because of our own self-interest for Power not religion (religion is utilised as the source to reach of power which a common man nit foresee) and which ever party/leader has their self-interest prioritized can never work for the development of the country and its people.
    As a common man I can articulate this much every raise has a fall.
    Love you Mother India.

  5. RG can only tweet… Modi announced lock down last year and bought time to prepare our hospitals and health workers against covid. There was no other way as it was new virus and no one had clarity. Had he not done Lockdown India’s status would have worse than now. But as usual we Indians forgot covid protocols in a year and hospitals also instead of getting more equipped, closed everything. Even after sanctions from.PM care for oxygen plants, no state government completed it except Assam. What is the use of “vision” if the required action not taken?? All blame Modi for election campaign in WB. Is BJP only a party did campaign in WB? What about TMC?? As pet DH Till April 3, Rahul had visited Kerala five times and been to Tamil Nadu 10 times to campaign for the ongoing elections. Now small state Kerala is reporting highest no. Of cases next to Maharashtra.. Is it a vision of RG?? For vaccination also much of hues cries by congress states against covaxin… are these visions?? if he has vision, why can’t he tell farmers to stop protest and go back?? No vision only mission to downgrade Modi and india

  6. Good, you are laying a good foundation for shielding the discredited leader from the dissidents in his party who are bound to attack him after his miserable performance in the elections to the 5 states that concluded a couple of days ago. All the exit polls predict total rout of Congress led by Rahul Gandhi. As to the tweets, credit should go, if at all, to those who are tweeting on his behalf. Everyone knows what language abilities this pretender to power possesses.

  7. It strange and diabolical lapse on the part of Congress leaders and Congress supporting journalists to show Rahul in good light when Vadra & sons are being groomed to take over the party and lead leaders like Kapil Sibal, Captain Armender Singh , Gehlot & party. Now onwards Vadra & sons will drive the sinking ship of Congress in ocean of Indian politics. Forger RG PG. It is march of Congress history.

  8. If someone think that Rahul Gandhi can lead the nation than either he is a idiot or high on drugs.

    Present Congress leadership is a Mafia gang having deep setting with China.

  9. After all 70 yrs of past crying effectively delivered bjp the majority, but what they did is utter failure. Govts are not run on event management and media hype which endemic to bjp. Reality is coming out I rue the fact i voted for bjp n centre n state. Now I have to say this in hindi

    चिताओं की जलती राख से लिपटी ये हमारी भारत सरकार कोई महादेव का अनुसरण नहीं करही , बल्कि ये राख उनकी नाकामी, घटिया नीती, रैलियों वाला अफीम के नशे और घमंड का नतीजा है।

  10. With this sort of Vision, why Congress rules states have been unable to contain Covid ? Pappu’s preachings are only for Modi ? Sibal, Moily n gang are totally ignored n sidelined by all – within n outside Congress. They want to somehow get back…. by praising Pappu. Bunch of jokers…..

  11. G23 is a bunch of sycophants who are nothing without the endorsement of the royal family. A group of media has been helping them to survive till the opportunity to revive themselves comes up. Good luck.

  12. The Congress is totally based on Gandhi family polticians with closed eyes.. Looks, the party has no forceful poltician except Gandhi. No where in the World,you found polticians who are so yes man to family. Totally devasted group of leaders in current context.

  13. Respected Sibal Saheb says Congress has history of Delivering , But what Delivering.-Everyone is well aware I believe.

  14. this is like congress propaganda. it is easy to say or tweet things. anyone can do it. anyone can issue warning outside government. has this guy done or delivered anything in his career ? has he done any administrative job? Congres ruled states like Chattishgadh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Maharashtra etc. have worst covid numbers. This all seems to be part of media propaganda to project Rahul Gandhi

  15. Idiotic IT cells doing what they do best in comments section, we can get rid of the crises . The question is, can we get rid of the Bhakts and their mentality? It’s definitely harming our social fabric. I won’t be surprised if a bhakt responds this with a hate message.

  16. What was his contribution? That he didn’t go to Thailand cos of lockdown restrictions? He’s as useless as ueue in queue

  17. RG is not some sadak chaap type of politician, like his rivals always say, he is a prince….. Unfortunately he is very polite and too optimistic which will not go well with the gunda type rivals….. He has seen plenty of Fame and fortune, he is not power mongering like his rivals….

    When the present govt is not willing to explain it’s failures as of today which they themselves have implemented, why should RG be answerable to something that happened when he was not even born?

    As usual the rivals will blame Nehru, as they don’t know how to tackle any problem… They play the blame game.

    • If he is not power mongering why be in politics? Let him do social service with all the black money collected in the last 70 years. If he has bright ideas then why it is not showing in the states he is in power? What experience is he having in governing? How can he be called statesman?

  18. What more can you expect from a Confress stooge newscolumn….the 23 are trying to walk their way in again

    • Everyone who does not have riots under his belt or cannot polarize people or cannot make national politics in the name of building temples – is a Pappu nowadays – that is not a big deal.

  19. At any cost BJP should win the West Bengal elections with a clear majority. Ihis will give him enough time for tackling the Covid Crisis, otherise he will waste his valuable time in HORSE TRADING

  20. Last time when government implemented lockdown this knowledgeable fellow was telling to open up and when the lockdown was opened he is telling covid has spread is he mad or what.

  21. Yes, Rahulji is a real statesman. He has a clear-cut vision for every problem our country is now faced with. His statements say that he understands the things very well. He studies the matter and makes suggestions. He has again and again proved right in every statements he has issued.

  22. Many people know about the second wave, does everyone become leader then . print is talking like kapil sibal is not in congress he is in another party or he is Obama praising Rahul Gandhi

  23. Thank God, Sibal learnt that Rahul has leadership qualities. But Rahul is not the leader of the country just now. Let Modi do what he thinks is right as he is the leader right now.

  24. The PM should give more respect to the opposition by calling their leaders to elope a more cogent and effective policy to fight this terrible pandemic spreading like wild fire.After all Congress party being in governance for a longer period will have worthwhile ideas to give to the Govt.As it is the Govt is taking action in a unilateral manner.

  25. Well, its a good thing for Congress if some sense are instilled in Rahul and he recognises the importance of it as a leader. For how long can Rahul family and Congress survive only by blaming Modi. On the other side, as the rule whatever goes up should come down, how long can Modi survive always blaming Gandhi family and Congress for everything. Covid has exposed Modi’s over confident political suppression of everything using social media, tv channels and all the institutions like CBI, Courts and chest beating and looking everything through business angle. Unfortunately for Modi, Covid is not able to see anybody and makes anybody its victim. So the Govt. steps to tackle covid has been lacking in speed and volume suppressed in their quest of political fights and greed to score over others and to do things only as per their decisions and plans without listening to others or people. If Rahul improves little worry for Modi n Chanakya, but most times, Rahul is not a quick learner or improve quickly.

  26. The number of comments is a good indicator of how many readers care about this poor little rich boy. How long will the Congress keep flogging the Rahul Gandhi horse? Is he going to be a youth icon till he is 80?!!!!!

  27. Long before Rahul will be accused for seeing the holocaust …some habits NEVER die..
    Rahul will be much stronger .. like gold

  28. Rahul stopped his tour to WB because he himself was unwell. You call it statesmenship. Lol. It is already well established that you always publish anything against BJP. His entry to Lok Sabha itself via wayanad. Such is his statesmanship. He has no credibility when compared to Midiji.

  29. Rahul Gandhi gave ‘n’ no.of suggestions, but then why TP rate is high in Cong ruled Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan?
    Why were all Cong states lagging behind when it came to vaccine roll out.
    I don’t expect better from so called dissidents for those with self respect would have quit the Cong and wouldn’t be hanging around to make comeback with psychopantic statements.
    And the least expected from cong stooge author of the article

  30. It is no surprise to see old guards sensed a good time to capture power in Congress through the sad days our country is passing through. Congress needs young devoted and sacrificing cadre and not this group of spent and power hungry cadre

  31. Do tweets solve issues? Rahul has perfected the art of ‘tweet politics’, with no suggestions to solve the issues. As regards his tweets, even laymen knew what was coming? Take the second wave. In fact, Delhi is in its 4th wave, Kerala in its 3rd wave and so on. Did anyone, including scientists, predict the volume, trajectory, mutant varieties and the mayhem that was in store through the second wave? This has been true the world over. Let us accept a simple truth. The only thing that is unlimited in India is its population. All else – health workers, beds, oxygen, ventilators, medicines, vaccines etc. are limited. Does anyone have a realistic solution to tackle this? Finally, why has Rahul and Congress not applied their wisdom in Congress ruled States like Mahatashtra, Punjab, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan, where they are in power? If they had applied their wisdom and stemmed the rot in those States, they will sound more credible. For the present, they are only playing politics!

  32. Rahul is a big disappointment & has become a joke with foreign leaders & delegates too. He simply doesn’t know India. And that’s the truth too.
    He has no energy to work for long hours, lacks knowledge, the heart to feel.
    However of late again the Church is working openly for him. Can these acts by the priests & the nuns take them to heaven.

  33. Nonsense, even a road side person will take and question the government. Because he questions, he is not eligible to become minister, CM or PM or even a party leader.

    What’s required is a clear understanding of problems and root causes, a visionary roadmap to drive into future.

    Looks like even those appreciating don’t have these qualities.

  34. What the hell they are again trying to launch a failed product that people have rejected again and again.

  35. These are nothing but a bunch of sycophants trying to please their bosses, like a dog wagging its tail to please it’s master. It doesn’t need any leadership skills to make dooms day predictions sitting in one’s ac hall. If you act, there is problem; if you don’t, there is bigger problem. Best is to ignore this chamcha party and its leaders, whose time is over. It shows their bird brain calling RG to be having superior leadership skills compared to Modi.

  36. It appears that HINDUSTAN now requires the help of CHRISTIAN and MUSLIM nations in its fight against COVID !!! Ha…ha…ha…so much for “Nationalism”.

  37. Oh My God! Only a sycophant or a fool can conclude that RG is a statesman and a true leader and Modi does not have any leadership qualities! One thing is for sure. The Print definitely has an agenda!!

  38. Congress’ behaviour has been extremely negative in this difficult time for our country. When there is a war the opposition should support government and not create roadblocks that benefit the enemy. Congress has been siding with the enemy and created problems – creating vaccine hesitancy, then questioning our prized vaccine manufacturers, then creating panic in the country.

  39. Congress party does not rise to show their wisdom durinv the pandomic. Even some of the regional parties rose to assist public in this pandomic. Congress things only by criticizing Modi government it can solve the problem.

  40. Bhai, Till the time leader is being decided by blood relation. Then this is not Democracy. This is called Raj sahi.
    And this is an open secret for all members within Congress. So, why don’t give chance to someone more worthy leader than RG.

  41. G23 should follow Rahul or quit the family association. No other person other than Sonia family has aright to be the leader of congress.

  42. It’s a sample of paid journalism and Congress party vested interests are behind it. Pappu even can’t say properly the written scripts presented by Mr Surjewala and others .If Rahul Gandhi and his mother are sensible enough they should allow to project people like Shashi Tharoor. Congress is already a sinking ship urgency is required to correct it .

  43. Common guys start licking shoes ….you might get ticlet somewhere somehow to contest and keep ypu alive

  44. how balantly u r bootlicking ,,have some shame ,,it is so apparent that u have now become of stooge and ur are turning into a hopeless publication due to such cheap tactic

  45. If one looks at the statements they are vague. Nothing concrete. “India needs vaccine strategy ….”. Everybody knows that. The problem is these kind of one liners do not offer anything new. “Lockdown will not defat covid, increase testing”. Lockdown was done precisely for the reason to increase capabilities to fight covid. Congress workers can take whatever pride they want in these one liners. At the end of day, these statements do not reveal anything unknown or have any details about can be done. Why MMS letter gets noted is precisely for the details.

    “Sun will rise in the east tomorrow” is not a great prediction/visionary statement.

  46. If maha govt ,Rajasthan govt n chattsigarh govt followed RGs advise situation would have been different . All these states are most affected

  47. Rahul is a true hero… He speak out his guts… We need true leaders like him who are ready to take matters in its true sense and accept the reality and work towards it… People should know he is not in chair and stop blaming him as it’s responsibility of one who is heading the chair…listening pays well..

  48. Who insulted our sintists when they developed vaccin in record time. Who questioned the govt when they started using covaxine in hurry. Who created fear in the mind of public and converted them to vaccine hesitent which lead to the wastage of vaccine. Those elderly people belived in this wrong propaganda are now running for taking vaccine and became a hindrance for the 18- 45 age group to get vaccine. Can this media give an answer.

  49. BJP or Modi has not done a great job in curbing the Covid spread so did the people of India but this article is such crap then I saw the name of the writer I said to myself I should have seen that before reading.

    As per one of the Shekar Guptas editorials he himself said congress cant blame BJP because the top worst states in this pandemic spread are all non-Bjp states or Congress ruled states .

    If so called pappu is such a visionary why didn’t oppose the elections being held with large gatherings and campaigning along with ruling BJP if he is a visionary he should be different from the rest not follow all other parties and go ahead with electtion campaigns as key member of opposition he should have taken it up with Election Commission and Supreme Court

    Want to write a lot of things but feel that its such a waste of time on such useless editorials

  50. Rahul Ji’s Vision is everywhere. He’ll make a machine in which ‘ek side se Corona virus dalenge, doosri side se oxygen nikalegi..phurr…phurrphurr..phurrAur ye maza rahul ji poore hindustan ko dena chahate hain..isme burai kya hai?

  51. Overnight, Pappu has become an Albert Einstein……only spineless Kapil, horse trader Sycophantic Moily and jobless redundant journalists like Sekhar can do such statements and stories…..after every crisis, people India are thankful to God for having leaders like Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and organization like RSS.

  52. There has it be way to make sure that he is the PM candidate in next election. He must be projected that way. In coming days TV journalists, writers, news papers will be doing exactly the same. Because? It’s a family business anyway. No matter how strong a leader is in Congress’s it’s has to be someone from Gandhi family.

  53. There is no arguing with the fact that RG was on the button on every thing to do with Covid – when the central govt was organising riots in Delhi, Trump reception in Ahmedabad and the health minister basically said nothing to worry when asked about Covid. RG‘s warning about the economic impact is actually more worrisome than the health impact – and where he is likely to be even more correct. We need Mr. Modi to stop ridiculing everyone who does not agree with him and listen to sense for a change. The next 10 years Indian govt has to focus on – jobs, health and education. Whoever has a decent plan for above has my vote. I do not wish to hear any religious or Pakistan related matters till the above 3 issues are settled.

  54. Population control, One nation one election, Uniform civil code etc etc ,where does the congress stand.Anyone can give advice,very difficult to implement it.Thank God that Modiji is our Prime minister during this very testing times.

  55. What is the G-23 looking for ?
    Gandhis having shown the DANDA, the G-23 lot have been given a clear message ” SHAPE UP or SHIP OUT ”
    People with no self respect will shape-up quickly for them proximity to power is lifeline money they have, a RS seat or importance within RS on the existing seat with some nuisance value, access to the ones in power are more important for them.
    So suddenly their boss has become Einstein, statesman, a great administrator and a visionary.
    2024 victory is assured.

  56. This is not journalism, this is congress advertising. Congress did not rise to the occasion where there was a great opportunity to come back strong. Still poor leadership and team work haunts congress

    • Absolutely wrong, Gentlemen. Rahul has been proved in this matter since the beginning. The newspaper is quite right this time.

  57. RAHULJI must explain why the population control measures were not implemented strictly. This country’s resources can never be enough for such a poverty ridden huge population.

    Will he accept that population control measures for all religions to be strictly implemented to ensure that resources for such emergencies can be distributed more effectively.

    • How visionary of a Congress leadership to allow full cricket stadium leading to the deadly spread of pandemic in a state called Chhattisgarh. How visionary of Rahul Ji to have never asked the Punjab CM how it still has the worst fatality rate in India due to Covid . How visionary to not ask any questions when Punjab CM deflects blame on people admitting themselves late and hence high deaths. How visionary of Rahul Ji to not even bat an eyelid for Maharashtra and deflect blame by implying “it’s not his government there”.

      Nice going . And this is called “responsible journalism”

  58. According to the biased people here, whatever rg says is gold and whatever anyone else says is nonsense. Shows your mental state and IQ matchthat of the low level bRG

    • Shameless bhakts will never see any good in Opposition leaders vision and foresight and will never question their leaders inefficiancies, afterall andh-bhakts.

      • Kaash sirf bolne se desh ka bhalaa ho skta, PM banke hi teer maarne ki kasam kha skte ho kya, amethi ki baat karu? Ya un states ki jaha pr so called high visionary rahul ji ki sarkar h?? Change laane ka itna shaukh h to jaha power h waha pr example create kro, until then, please shut every hole god has given to you, we are not blind.

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