oppn parties Beginning of the End for Rahul Gandhi?

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  • China bans access to Indian news websites
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PM Modi announces extension of PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, the free ration scheme for the poor, until November
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Beginning of the End for Rahul Gandhi?

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2017-02-25 21:54:52

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
If the Congress was a professionally-managed public limited company and Rahul Gandhi its CEO, he would have either been removed from his job or would have himself resigned after successive failures since 2014. Only in a family-managed company can a scion continue to preside over the affairs despite the company notching up losses year after year, since the family owns majority shares and other stakeholders do not have the necessary numbers to force his ouster. But in politics and for political parties, the pitch is queered by the third force, the people of India. They have seen through the persona of Rahul Gandhi and are not willing to hand his party the reins of even civic bodies, let alone states or the Centre.

The big question is: can a person who fails to inspire the workers of his own party or think of ways to revive the fortunes of his party be trusted with the affairs of the nation. The people of India do not seem to think so. Intelligent people learn on the job and become better. In state after state, the Congress led by Rahul, has bitten dust, allowing the BJP to make inroads where it did not even have a proper office some years back. The states of Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and Assam have rejected it. It has also lost local body elections in Gujarat, Faridabad, Chandigarh, Odisha and Maharashtra including the BMC election.

The problem with Rahul Gandhi is that he has chosen to compete with Narendra Modi not over policies or issues facing the nation but in exchanging colourful remarks which are often in bad taste. For a “silver spoon” by Modi, Rahul comes up with “suit-boot ki sarkaar.” Although it makes for good copy, it also shows his hollowness. People have come to realize that Rahul resorts to these barbs as he has nothing constructive to offer. In his over one decade in active politics, Rahul Gandhi has not suggested even one constructive policy in any area. Pappu is the term being used to denigrate him and supporters say it is used by only Modi bhakts. But in the Hindi heartland, a pappu is a guy who knows nothing, can do nothing but talks the loudest. Modi bhakt or not, whoever calls Rahul a pappu is absolutely right.

If the Congress wants to get back into political reckoning in India, it has to follow some thumb rules. The first and foremost requirement for Rahul and the Congress is not to retaliate whenever Modi makes a personal remark against them. The second requirement is to set up a shadow cabinet that tracks each and every policy of the NDA government with a fine toothcomb. The concerned shadow minister should then point out the errors and, this is most important, suggest what the Congress would have done if it was in power. Thirdly, all the ministers in the shadow cabinet should regularly visit all parts of India and engage with everyone – people’s bodies, trade unions, trade bodies, chambers of commerce and prominent citizens to explain to them where the NDA is going wrong and what alternative policies the Congress has. Sitting in Delhi and talking to the press, or venturing out only when there are elections in a particular state, is not going to solve the problems of the Congress party. If the party is serious about its existence, it has to get down to work. Prashant Kishor is not going to solve its problems. But the problem is: Rahul Gandhi is simply not capable of doing all this. But despite this, his job is secure as no one in the Congress has the guts to show him his place.