Rahul goes for media makeover
After having faced drubbing in the just concluded Assembly elections where Rahul’s much hyped magic was an utter failure. All the efforts put in by the Congress poll managers have come to a naught. Over the years the media campaign for Rahul where he was given immense publicity by the TV channels when he visited dalit’s house and stayed with them, worked as labourers and his angry man act just before the assembly polls where he tore an ordinance and called it nonsense failed to revive the Congress party’s fortune.
The top brass of the Congress party which came on TV channels in the evening shows praising his efforts and went at great lengths to convince the nation of 1.2 billion that they have found a future Prime Minister was nowhere to be seen soon after the results came out.
Now, Congress is believed to have hired a new PR companies to re-built Rahul’s career and his image. What kind of PM he would be? Tomorrow he would need a PR company to handle his media conferences. Going by the reports one of the PR companies is expected to handle his tweeter and facebook accounts. One wonders soon we will have a unique PM whose daily office work will also be handled by these PR companies or coterie close to the Gandhi family. If reports are true, Rahul will be also involved with the PR companies with the creation of short films and print ads based on him. This does not come as a surprise after all he had grown up watching uncle AB.
But what was the need for the Congress party to hire PR companies for Rahul. This is not the first time that Congress has lost elections under Rahul’s guidance. Be it UP or Bihar, Congress had been rejected by the voters. Congress party knew from the beginning of assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, MP and Delhi, that Rahul was pitted against a seasoned politician—Modi and stand no chance.
Somewhere deep in their heart Congress had expected to win Chhattisgarh riding on a sympathy wave, which did not happen, in which almost entire Congress party’s state leadership was gunned down by the Maoists. Similarly, Congress was expecting to retain Rajasthan on the basis of tall promises made by Surender Gehlot, yet it lost badly to the BJP. Its loss also in Delhi under the leadership of Shiela Dikshit that too with a glitzy campaign ‘Meri Dilli’ did not work. And here Congress was pushed to third position by a year old party—AAP of Kejriwal.
The AAP has not only formed the government in Delhi with the Congress support but it has also made a dent in the Congress party’s vote bank—Congress ka hath aam aadmi ke saath which looted the nation for over a decade. It is the failure in the just concluded assembly polls which has forced Congress to hire PR companies to revamp Rahul’s image. The worry for the Congress is that it will lose badly at the Centre and might not even qualify to become a main Opposition party in the parliament.
BJP must tweak its election campaign. It no longer has to fight Congress but also AAP, apart from regional parties. Parties indulging in minorities appeasements in the name of secular politics will leave no stone unturned to keep BJP-led NDA out of power and Congress will not hesitate to push the name of AAP’s Kejriwal for PM to halt the march of Modi-led BJP.
The real problem is Rahul Gandhi cannot keep all fractions together with the glue of ‘family worship’. Congress is losing its core votes in many parts of India. The generational change is always difficult with a culture of nepotism. Congress party neither affords to continue with its old structures of feudalism nor able to create new ones to catch the imagination of young voters. With the growing challenge of AAP and BJP getting its act together under the leadership of Narendra Modi, with a clear vision of national security and economic prosperity, Congress will find it more difficult to address the issues of perception. Without grass roots organisational structures, superficial image building hardly helps is the message Congress fails to understand.