When the Hoodas threatened to quit the Congress and form their own party in Haryana, when Captain Amarinder Singh asked that he be named the Chief Ministerial candidate for Punjab, when the Shiv Sena and Sharad Pawar sought an alliance to form the government in Maharashtra, Mrs Gandhi was seen as guilty of procrastination.
Those who see the Congress in eternal thrall to Family First say her quick go-ahead for the party to wind down Mr Pilot's place in it has the distinct advantage of removing any competition for her children. Those who are not critics ask what else could she have done, given Mr Pilot's political duplicity. "It was a question of immediate surgery. This decision was right in her face... a decision had to be taken," said a top party leader.