oppn parties Beginning of the End for Rahul Gandhi?

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  • Corona cases in India cross 4000 and the death toll stands at 124
  • The government decides to double the testing of corona suspects from 10000 now to 20000 in the next three days
  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
India shows solidarity in the fight against COVID-19 by lighting diyas and candles at 9 pm yesterday as requested by Prime Minister Modi
oppn parties
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.