Mar 12, 2012 Anna had made a solid dent in Rahul's image. New York Times wrote on 28 August 2011, 'For Mr Gandhi, the crisis interrupted what was widely assumed to be his own coming out as the new leader of the Congress . . . Instead, Mr Hazare upended the political landscape and Mr Gandhi disappeared for days before his speech in Parliament.' There can't be a bigger setback for Rahul Gandhi than losing UP. He has staked a lot on his success there. I think this may well decide his chances of succeeding Manmohan Singh as PM. This also explains why every change or shift in the political landscape is carefully analysed. Every minor, even perceived, threat to his career is therefore seen with suspicion. I believe that this is what ultimately dictates his attitude and actions to the Anna stir. As things stand, though, it is a lost opportunity. Rahul Gandhi could have seized leadership of the party, established himself as having grown out of his mother's shadow and having become a leader in his own right. The topmost leader of the party, Sonia Gandhi, was ill and away in New York, the four-member team that was assigned the job to take decisions on her behalf was dithering, the party and the government were facing the biggest challenge to their authority since 2004, the prime minister was committing one mistake after another, his senior ministers were blundering, the crisis within the Congress was waiting for a leader, but that leader did not find the issue at hand exciting enough to exert himself. India Today was scathing in its criticism: 'Let alone seize the initiative with civil representatives, he did not provide leadership even to his band of young MPs . . . Rahul could have choreographed these voices (young MPs) into a pressure group within the party. Instead, he led his party to the verge of a nervous breakdown' (5 September 2011). New York Times quoted Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of the Centre for Policy Research, 'This could have been an opportunity for him to assert leadership, instead all it does is raise the question of how much leadership he has shown.' Chetan Bhagat, an Anna Hazare supporter and a very popular English fiction writer, was sceptical of his future. He wrote (Times of India, 10 September 2011), 'Seldom has the scion of the first family been criticized so much. One wonders if he will be the last major leader of the first family, much like Bahadur Shah Zafar.' ... full article Ashutosh on Anna: for Rahul, the UP writing was on the wall - Books News - IBNLive BTW i like this journalist , he reports in unbiased manner..