Is the Congress satisfied with your Gandhi family?
The chest size is a constant in the Indian election campaign. It takes 56 inches to be a whole guy. It's an Indian saying. This is the number that the favorite in what is clearly the world's largest election, the opposition Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, is now boasting. He needs that for his image, he gives the strong man. Others make fun of the macho behavior. Priyanka Gandhi, for example. For them, Modi's powerhouse is a great help. She counters: "If you want to lead India, you don't need a breast size 56, you need a big heart."
When Priyanka Gandhi speaks, she will be heard. That has to do with her big name, of course. But not only. The media show her a lot of sympathy. The 42-year-old gives her family, the Gandhi Nehru clan, a new boost. She is not running for office at all. Her brother Rahul does that. In Amethi, the family stronghold, he is fighting for his seat in parliament for the Congress party, the Gandhi party. Priyanka only helps out in the election campaign.
Everything used to be easier. A Gandhi did not have to win the mandate in the state of Uttar Pradesh, he was sure of it. Meanwhile, however, Rahul, 43 years old, has to fight off the onslaught of the opposition Hindu nationalists. The disgrace would be great if he were to lose his seat. The Indians won't know how the fight will end until May 16. Then, after five weeks of voting, all votes will be counted.
The party is considered encrusted
It is quite possible that Rahul - perhaps thanks to his sister - can still hold the bastion in Amethi. But it will be difficult to defend power at the national level. The reputation of the coalition ruling in Delhi under the leadership of the Congress Party is suffering from corruption scandals. It did not manage to lead the state out of the economic crisis. The party is considered encrusted. The call for change can be heard everywhere. Anyone who believes the polls before the start of the election sees the Gandhi party heading for one of its greatest defeats.
But the Gandhis are fighting, also and especially in Amethi, where voters cast their votes on Wednesday. Priyanka and Rahul are the children of Rajiv Gandhi, grandsons of Indira Gandhi and great-grandsons of the legendary first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Father, grandmother, great-grandfather: all three were heads of government in India. It is a considerable legacy - and a heavy burden.
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