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Has Bharat Jodo Yatra Transformed Rahul Gandhi?

Three months of being on Bharat Jodo Yatra seems to have made Rahul Gandhi somewhat a much wiser man. He is at least very nice and polite with senior leaders and has surprised them with his inter-personal skills. He probably learnt it all while doing the balancing act between D K Shivkumar and Siddaramaiah in Karnataka. Like he recently surprised a party veteran in Himachal Viplove Thakur when he warmly greeted her with a hug and even complimented her for “looking much younger” when he met her in Shimla. Such kind words from the Gandhi scion naturally cheered the former Rajya Sabha MP when she reached the podium for the swearing in of Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu as chief minister. Only person to reach the swearing-in late was a sulking PCC chief Pratibha Virbhadra Singh and the Gandhis took it in their stride. Whatever the objectives of the yatra, Rahul now seems more open to people and the yatra has certainly helped him reach out to more leaders within his party than his office would have ever allowed. Himachal Congress leaders were also happy that Rahul took a break from his yatra to savour the success of his sister Priyanka in retrieving the hill state from the BJP. In turn, Priyanka has joined her brother’s yatra with an all women team in Rajasthan on Day 95.