The new Avtar of RAHUL
He has stirred the moribund party but his return does not signal return of the Congress
Will the verbal onslaught by Rahul Gandhi, who returned quite a few weeks ago from his mysterious sabbatical, strengthen his party? But where is the party. Its return appears as unlikely today as when its last rites were performed following its failure to win a single seat in the Delhi Assembly.
But he has been making so much noise and punching with punch lines given to him by some writer in the genre of the writer of maaut ka saudagar that Rahul has failed to notice that neither he has punched any dent in the NDA or Modi and more importantly failed to stir his party men in comatose state since the debilitating defeat in 2014 General Election.
He seems to have landed in Delhi like a cowboy in the Wild West signalling his arrival with firing forms both hand. He announced his return making much noise over the Land Acquisition Bill and branding the NDA, suit-boot ki sarkar and accusing Narendra Modi and his colleagues as daylight suitedbooted thieves.
But so far in his mad rush to address farmers in different parts of the country and posing himself as their protector and defender, Rahul over-looked the fact that he has a constituency called Amethi, where too farmers have suffered due to unseasonal rains. He was jolted when his last election rival Smriti Irani went to Amethi, met farmers, announced some relief measures along with declaring Amethi MP missing for 52 weeks.
Well he is under siege of his chamchas, parasites who will flatter him to destroy him. Rahul Gandhiâ€™s phrase â€œsuit-boot ki sarkaarâ€, has been praised by his party as one of his greatest hits. His punches might not have resulted in swollen lips of his opponents. But Rahul, of course is unlikely to be unduly disturbed by any adverse reaction to his present avtar. He seems to be enjoying itâ€”he and his speeches are covered almost daily. The news now about Rahul, is far more serious and positive than any other leader except Modi.
Three weeks ago, speaking in Parliament, Gandhi accusing the government of being in cahootsâ€™ with corporate he used another line of attack, â€œYeh suit-boot ka kaam nahi chalne dengey (this service of the elite will not be accepted)â€. Declaring war on the governmentâ€™s land reforms, he said, â€œThis thievery of farmersâ€™ land will not be allowed,â€ declaring that his party will fight the new land rules in Parliament and â€œon the streets, if needed.â€
How long and to what extent Rahul is able to take and withstand missiles from across the Floor is however untested. For instance, a BJP MP in the Lok Sabha taunted him. â€œYou are talking of suit-boot,â€ said Dilip Singh Bhuria, â€œwhat about Jijaji (brother-in-law)?â€
Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal told NDTY, â€œWhen Rahul Gandhi talks about â€˜thieves in suitsâ€™; he is talking about his brother-in-law… Robert Vadra is always suited-booted and he robs farmers.â€ The windfall profit that was conferred on Vadra through these deals was turned into a headline of the BJPâ€™s campaign for last yearâ€™s state election, which the party won.
An observer of an English daily felt, â€˜Gandhiâ€™s odd timing for a two-month vacation left his party fumbling for an explanation during the first half of this parliament session. However, since his return, he has led the Congress effort to discredit the governmentâ€™s land reforms.
â€˜But making noise is one thingâ€”remember the saying empty vessels make most noise, and the thoughtless often speak the mostâ€”and having impact anotherâ€™.
It does not seem so. The saying empty vessels make most noise is apt in his case. He would have been better prepared if he returned into the fold of real politick. He did not first study the famersâ€™ problems before self-appointing himself as their protector. There are many for whom their holding is financially unviable. They would be too happy to take compensation and move on. Most farmers suffer from inadequate supply of water.
Rahul would know the reaction of farmers following the briefing by the Union Revenue Minister in Amethi. And he might let good sense prevail to be able to realise that the land acquisition issue is being stirred more by the Prince for his own political end than to really help the farmers.
His â€˜pretenceâ€™ of being angry politician is also possibly a facade to get rid of the damning impression about him. This is giving him too much intelligence he is not supposed to have, but even unwittingly he could in his angry man avtar do some good to his party.
A commentator analysed well, â€œIn his present incarnation I feel he wants to assure that he wonâ€™t be politician between vacations, he would not be a part-time leader. No doubt that Rahul will try to keep up the pretence.
â€œThe over-enthusiasm displayed by Rahul after his return has earned him the tag of a â€œRent-a-causeâ€ politician. Rahulâ€™s return at best has evoked a sense of temporally well-being in the Congress which had developed cold sweat thinking of a Congress sans the Gandhi family. It has definitely gifted some masala for prime time TV debates, which were otherwise becoming boring without any story of scam and scamsters in the first year of the BJP governance. ….Rahul should remain worried about the point he is trying to prove, not to the nation or the government, but to the Congress – that contrary to what most of you think, I am still in the running for Congress President. As far as the nation is concerned, we all are aware that the next vacation is fast approaching – may be beginning from 19th June, for Rahul has hardly ever celebrated his birthday at his home.â€
The point is that Rahul may still be a â€œscripted politicianâ€™, play and act as per written script on a mobile. But he does perform his antics with some vigor. The seniors are worried that their over-active Rahulji might soon get bored and disappear. So the question â€œRahul between vacationsâ€ around presently vexes them.
The other worry is that he and responsibility have never co-existed. All await the partyâ€™s October plenary session when a new President is likely to be chosen. The fear is that he may yet be fly-by-night politician.
Rahul has been launched by the party so many times, but possibly this is his last chance. For, it has lost all major states so far and it is nowhere in Bihar, UP and West Bengal where elections are due next. So, once the party is wiped out, why would it need Rahul?
For its last rites? Who knows he might be good at that!
By Vijay Dutt