For a party besieged by scams and leaks, the Congress plenary session in Dilli's Burari suburb was always expected to be a subdued one
What should have been a happy celebration of the party completing 125 years, became instead an occasion for Sonia Gandhi to call for combating corruption and Manmohan Singh to battle 2G.
The recent churning in Indian politics had the party exuberant and confident until barely a few months ago. But it's now trying to figure out whether to throw in the towel or muddle on. Certainly, there is much to answer for as, corruption, the old Congress bugbear, is back like Banquo's ghost to haunt it.
The question in Dilli is: Will Sonia and Rahul's call galvanise the Congress workers? At least the feisty mood suggests that the party's going to fight back. But that's easier said than done. For now, the task indeed seems daunting.
The past few weeks have been a busy time for the Indian foreign policy establishment, dealing with a flurry of high-powered foreign visitors. After the tense but amiable interaction with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, Dilli is clearly relishing Russian president Dmitry Medvedev's brief sojourn in the capital with the ease that comes of old familiarity with the Kremlin. Be not fooled by the lack of buzz of the sort that preceded Obama, Sarkozy and Jiabao, Medvedev has come for much more than a Russian bear hug.
Among the 15-odd bilateral agreements expected to be signed during the two-day visit, Dili is excited about the new areas of cooperation such as pharmaceuticals, oil sector, culture and education, among others. Clearly, the "special" relationship with Russia is still a comforting constant in a changing geo-political landscape.