Tuesday, 17 May, 2022
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Rahul Gandhi needs to learn from RSS if he has to defeat BJP

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Rahul Gandhi has turned out to be more conventional and much less imaginative than his mother Sonia Gandhi in his politics.

In the run up to 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi would tell his party workers that “badlaav ki aandhi” (storm of change) was blowing but they should not hold the cycle tube aloft and expect it to be filled with air. They had to pump it, he would say, exhorting them to reach out to the people.

Contrast it with the response of a top Congress functionary during an informal media interaction Friday. “Jab hawa badalti hai to kuchh kaam nahin aata (when the wind changes its direction, nothing works). What happened to the India Shining campaign in 2004?” he said, dismissive of the BJP’s preparations on the ground.

The contrast defines the approach of the two parties as they brace themselves up for the next general elections: the ruling party still riding on Modi’s popularity but back to the grind, and the opposition party caught in a time warp. Except the replacement of the old clique with a new one, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has turned out to be more conventional and much less imaginative than his mother and predecessor, Sonia Gandhi, in his politics.

He is trying to emulate her 2004 strategy to defeat the BJP in 2019. If she managed to overcome Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s popularity and charismatic appeal by cobbling up alliances with regional parties, he would do the same 15 years later. If she picked up Jairam Ramesh to oversee the party’s poll preparations in the war room, so would he. If her narrative was centred around socio-economic deprivations in rural India, so would his. Copying the mother’s political tactics is not necessarily a bad strategy, but the only problem is Modi is not Vajpayee.

Also read: Unmaking the Modi mythology bit by bit is Rahul Gandhi’s strategy for 2019

Congress ka hukka to kab ka bujh gaya, par hum hain ki gurguraye ja rahe hain (the tobacco pipe that the Congress is got extinguished long back, but here I am, still trying to blow it),” says a character in Kashi Nath Singh’s brilliant political satire, Kashi ka Assi. Many veteran Congressmen are quoting it today. They are not much impressed by Rahul’s theatrics in Parliament or his shoot-and-scoot tactic to target the government.

Modi government may have lost much of its sheen and a section of people, especially unemployed youngsters and small traders and entrepreneurs, may be growing impatient, but there are no alarm bells ringing for the BJP. The Congressmen, as Modi mentioned to his party men, are just holding the cycle tube aloft.

Now that Rahul is humming Kishore Kumar’s “Pyaar baante chalo” to friends and foes alike, he may like to put aside his views about the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and study how it works on the ground to help the BJP – that is if he does not see the tireless efforts of Modi and his ministerial and party colleagues making any impression on the people.

In poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, the RSS observed Swami Vivekananda Day from 1-5 January by organising ‘run for awakening Bharat’, elocution and painting competitions, and speeches by ‘eminent personalities’ in 112 colleges and educational institutions. In Vidisha, a jagran was organised in which over 37,000 people reportedly participated. The RSS organised a ‘Rashtrashakti Sammelan’ in Chhindwara on 23 January in which around 14,000 people from 90 villages reportedly took a resolve to protect the “panch matas” (five mothers) – one’s own mother, the Narmada, Mother Earth, Gau Mata and Bharat Mata.

If Rahul goes to the RSS website, he will find details of scores of such programmes being organised in different parts of the country on any given day. He may have questions about the true objective of such exercises, but he can’t deny their importance in terms of public outreach.

Look at the activities of the Congress Seva Dal. Its headquarters in New Delhi is busy compiling a list of its office-bearers and members across the country; it didn’t have one. The Youth Congress and the NSUI hold token demonstrations, preferably in New Delhi, for the Congress president to notice and that’s about all there is to say about their activities. And, has anyone heard of what so many other AICC cells and departments – for farmers, fishermen, intellectuals, OBCs, and Dalits, to name just a few – are doing

Also read: ‘If Rahul Gandhi can be everywhere, why can’t Suhana Khan be on Vogue cover?’

The Congress is naturally critical of Modi for always being in poll mode and doing everything in governance to earn political capital. Opposition leaders curse the ruling party for what it does, the latest being the NRC, to polarise people and communities to capture power.

Rahul and his party leaders have been countering the BJP-RSS designs aggressively and vehemently by posting tweets and holding press conferences – and by visiting temples. And if there is still anything left to be done to dislodge the NDA government in 2019, the Congress president has outsourced it to Mayawatis, Akhilesh Yadavs and Mamata Banerjees.

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  1. Rahul Gandhi should have been pushed aside if not kicked back by Narendra Modi when he awkwardly hugged himshowing his massive buttocks to cameras.Is this the way he shows respect to country’s prime minister.and this buffoon shouting utho,utho should politically bury him for ever.

  2. Your article same as Sonia gandhi 2014 mindset,imaginative….atalbihari and modi they are both different personalities from same ideology.
    Atalji like Gear 1, For car Gear 1 is important, but its for starting ,we donot use when we on highway.
    Modiji learned a lot being CM,people like you talking & debating modi day and night…means bande me dum hai….recently i travelled my village from london…its in telengana rural area… TRS voters, i asked the ladies r u getting LPG WITH big smile they said yes…24 hrs powersupply….best roads…i asked them do you know who is modi…they said this time their vote to modi only…this is ground reality…i know siddarthvaradarajan trying his level best to tarnish modi image through print…But MODI reached with his development project to poor village people before your ” print” reaches

    Rahul and his party too faraway…
    They will be either in Tihar or runaway from india
    Siddharth varadharajan get ready pack up back to USA….start writing
    articles on TRUMP..try ur luck there

  3. First,this man is not ABOVE BOARD.ruined the banks by sanctioning 38 lacs CRORES to cheaters with a SHARE in his pocket.Herald properties theft an open DISHONEST action disqualify him for even for the post of a peon in banks.integrity , trustworthiness,sincerety and honesty are in born QUALITIES..He is a regular world worst LIAR.

  4. 1. I think Congress President and his colleagues who are all opposed to RSS ideology and politics of BJP would have to work hard to defeat BJP. Congress and other political parties opposed to would do well to find out why BJP has succeeded (a) in widening its base to many States and (b) in electoral politics, by achieving substantial increase in number of voters. 2. I say that no great purpose will be served by saying that RSS is anti-democracy without doing anything to politically counter RSS ideology and BJP’s so-called divisive politics. 3. It is a fact that Congress can no longer depend on support from Scheduled Caste (Dalits) and Scheduled Tribes (SC & ST) communities and Muslims, two sections of our society who were earlier Congress supporters. Situation has changed during last two decades and other political parties have succeeded in wooing Dalits away from Congress. 4. In this context we have to ask two questions: (a) How realistic are chances of Congress President Rahul Gandhi becoming Prime Minister after 209 Lok Sabha elections? What is today’s strength of parties, which were part of UPA when UPA government was in power for ten years? (b) Would former UPA partners be willing to accept Rahul Gandhi as a leader?

  5. Rahul Gandhi doesn’t know what he’s talking. Winds are change are their always in life. He should realise that his party is suffering most due to no vision, poor dynastic leadership and losing political space to regional parties and BJP. He seems to be carried away by so called opposition unity which is imaginary and may benefit regional parties at congress expense.

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