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Sunday, January 29, 2006 

TOI- Media Manager for Rahul Gandhi

Times of India seems to be battling all out for Rahul Gandhi as our next prime minister. Rahul Gandhi is the next best thing, says the front page of its Mumbai edition (His time starts now, 30 Jan 2006).On the inside, an entire page is dedicated to his greatness, with a story by the name of Waiting for Rahul, where the new hier of the dynasty is shown to be the solution of all problems of the Congress in the Hindi heartland, with a poll taken to support it.

Lets us take a look at the poll, and one can understand how the questions of the polls were worded in such a fashion so as to favour Rahul. The q's were: Who is a better vote getter for Congress? Will Rahul be more effective than his mother? Should he assume a greater responsibility in Congress? Can he revive the Congress in UP & Bihar?

As the comparision is all within the Congress, there is no way that the respondents could have responded in any other way. It is is well known that the concept of a second rung leadership is virtually absent in Congress. So whenever in crisis, the party returns to the Nehru-Gandhi family. As "Madam's" magic didn't work in the Bihar elections, the Congress seems to be struggling for a leader in the Hindi heartland.

It is a shame to see a newspaper waste print space over some kind of a poll which was significant only for strategy decisions for the Congress. The news report published by TOI doesn't warrant a place in any nationally significant newspaper, unless they specifically mention "Advertisement" on the report.