By Linus Garg
A heightened sense of self-importance and maybe wrong advisors are pushing Rahul Gandhi back to his Pappu days. Maybe he is not as ignorant as he was then, but the way he is going about his business now, it shows that he is trying to be a wise guy without giving a damn about the consequences. He has allowed the BJP to lead him on and now that he has fallen into their trap of concentrating all his energies on Rafale and the surgical strikes, he finds that it is difficult to bring the debate back to the failings of the NDA government.
Take his continuous babble about the Rafale deal. The last straw was when he commented that Anil Ambani cannot even make a paper plane. Rahul should now that investors and industrialists are seldom expected to themselves make things they invest in. Investors seek opportunities and then create the infrastructure to produce things that will give them a fair return. So why make a crass comment like that? Rahul is aiming to be the prime minister. Does he know how to read economic charts, for instance? Obviously not. He has advisors who will explain things to him. Similarly, industrialists employ engineers who get the work done.
Next, take his comment that Modi is weak and is afraid of the Chinese President Xi Jinping. He made this comment because China blocked UN efforts to ban Masood Azhar for the fourth time. By that token, the Presidents and Prime Ministers of all the other permanent members of the UN Security Council – France, US, UK and Russia – are weaker and more scared of Xi. Really, Rahul’s Modi phobia is making him utter words he might regret later.
Then, take his ‘grand’ announcement of reserving 33% government jobs for women. When the BJP had announced 10% quota for the economically weak upper castes, the Congress party had said that it was illegal as it would exceed the 50% limit for quotas set by the Supreme Court. It also said that jobs are not being created so what is the use of more quotas. Where then is he going to find 33% for women and how will it be not illegal and in violation of the Supreme Court limit?
Rahul Gandhi is single-handedly ensuring that the BJP gets away from the tight corner it was finding itself in some months ago by not entering into any meaningful alliances. While the SP-BSP combine has spurned him repeatedly, he has spurned the AAP. If he thinks that Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh will vote for the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections, he is mistaken. As it is, the assembly elections did not give his party a thumping mandate; they just about managed to cross the line. In the Lok Sabha elections, the picture might change completely. His reactions to the Balakot strikes have also been puzzling, to say the least.
All this shows that after a period of sanity, Rahul Gandhi is slipping back to his old ways. That this is happening just before the big elections is going to hurt the Congress hard. Maybe that is why apart from MK Stalin of the DMK, no opposition leader is willing to accept him as the leader of the united opposition.