Rahul Gandhi’s forays into the Gujarat election campaign have only been music to the ears of BJP
Anugula Rakesh Reddy
Some imperative hints about how the 2019 general election drama is likely to unfold emerged recently with the main supporters laying down the markers. For Congress, the strategy seems to be one more repackaging of the discredited and rejected Rahul Gandhi brand. The party has embarked the Cambridge Analytica on a PR programme to have us believe that behind that awkward unskillfulness, Gandhi is genuinely smart, thoughtful, conscientious, well-read, energetic and sensitive leader who has been unjustly vilified by the BJP.
Realising the potential of Social Media, Rahul Gandhi has been constantly endeavouring to undertake an image makeover. But he has not only been failing miserably but has been painting a deplorable image of India. Not just Rahul Gandhi, verbal expressions of many other Congress party members are hurting the sentiments of the nation.
Had Gandhi been even a fraction of the leader that Congress and some in media project him to be, the party wouldn’t have suffered such a stunning debacle in 2014 and in subsequent state elections, and the BJP’s efforts to show him as ‘incompetent’ or ‘dim- witted’ would have backfired.
Foot In Mouth
Whenever there is a speech by Rahul Gandhi, it’s more of a terror to the media than to the BJP government, not because of the explosive revelations he makes or the strategic standpoints he lays out, but for the way he gets ridiculed, so that the media houses compete to make posts which rally over the social media.
In order to urge the youth of Punjab to be active in politics, he made a statement— “politics is in your pant and your shit, which by far may be considered as the most bizarre statement a politician has ever made.” He has time and again been ridiculed by people on social media for making statements such as “India is 21st Century Saudi Arabia”, “Poverty is a state of mind” and “Congress is a funny party”.
Former Chief Minister of Delhi Mrs. Sheila Dixit also acknowledged Gandhi’s immaturity. In a campaign during UP elections, he attempted to upbraid the prime minister’s Make in India policy, but he ended up stating that his phone is withal Made in China. In the same campaign, Gandhi, who wanted to blame the centre for
unemployment in UP, embarrassed the then chief minister and his allied partner Akhilesh Yadav by his
Rahul Gandhi had to bear the wrath of the opposition parties after his statement post-Mumbai terror attack he had openly accepted that the Congress government was incapable of securing the nation from the threat of terrorists saying “one percent of terrorist attacks might get through”.
Ever since he entered politics, Rahul Gandhi has maintained his “pappu” image. After one of his pre-election rally in Churu, he had turned out to be a part of memes and cartoons. Trying to annex a communal image to the BJP, he revealed the communal face of the Congress mentioning about his grandmother’s history with the Sikhs. Albeit he tried to cover up saying the Sikhs had been his friends and his sports tutors, the damage was inevitable.
Addressing a foreign crowd which included foreign diplomats, Rahul Gandhi has made statements such as “Hindu Extremism is a bigger threat to India than Lashkar-e-Toiba” and “India is bigger than America and Europe Combined”.
Defaming the Nation
In his recent speech at UC Berkeley, where he was supposed to speak on the topic “India at 70” and the way forward, instead ended up talking on how India is following a path of decline, blaming the policies of the government for the same. He not only admitted to lapses on the part of Congress during UPA-2 rule but also stated that India works only on dynastic politics. A
statesman of his stature making such statements in a foreign country is nothing less than defaming the nation.
In its attempt to blindly oppose BJP on its policies, Congress is damaging the reputation of the country.
The recent statements made by P. Chidambaram seeking autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir is one such example. It is disgusting to see a former central Home minister making statements that are against the secular ideology of the nation.
The event where Rahul Gandhi met the Chinese ambassador during the time of Doklam Standoff, which many experts termed as a self-goal by the Congress party, was against the interests of the nation for many
reasons. Whereas the vice president of the party was diligent doing such acts, many members of the Congress party have expressed their support to the Rohingya Muslims who are a threat to the national security.
Rahul Gandhi maintained that GST, which not only is a revolutionary step to boost India’s economy but also a policy which Congress tried to implement, makes the life of the less privileged tougher. He also termed it as Gabbar Singh Tax. It is disheartening to see the main opposition candidate going advocating the rationale against the development of the nation. Rahul’s false claims about the Rafale Deal benefiting a businessman are damaging the work of the prime minister to boost the defence research and infrastructure in the country.
(The writer is Telangana-based Economist & Director, Center for Leadership and Governance)