Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi’s interaction with students and faculty at a university in the US last week seems to have found him new fans. The interaction has emboldened a section within the Congress, as well as outside, which otherwise disagrees with the current crop of senior Congress leaders on economic policies. Most of the senior leaders in the Congress have pursued a liberal economic agenda. But Gandhi, or so these younger leaders are telling the world, made it evident that he was a social democrat.
Communist and socialist leaders find Gandhi close to their positions on social and economic issues. He is known to be a good listener. Apart from turning to senior leaders in his party for advice, Gandhi is known to respect the views of Communist Party of India (Marxist) chief Sitaram Yechury and has in recent months got along well with dissident Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav on issues of agrarian distress and how to understand the caste system.