As everyone knows, the state of Gujarat, along with Rajasthan, has been affected by floods and some of the most affected districts have been Banaskantha, Gandhinagar, Patan, Morbi and Sabarkantha. There have been over two hundred deaths because of the floods and the district of Banaskantha alone has accounted for around sixty deaths. Over one lakh people have been evacuated and rescued with the help of the Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Border Security Force and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
During such grave natural calamities, the least a tax paying citizen of this country can expect from the MLAs, who are the directly elected representatives of the assembly constituencies, is to oversee the rescue operations and ensure that there is minimum loss to human life and property. It is a shame that some of these elected representatives from the Congress party have abandoned their home state during this crisis and are currently having a gala time in the luxurious Eagleton Resort in Bangalore. The Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary and arguably the third most powerful person in the Congress Ahmed Patel is fighting a high profile Rajya Sabha election and if he does not manage to get into the upper house, it would be embarrassing and demoralizing for the party cadre. In order to avoid more Congressmen from joining hands with the BJP, the MLAs have been packed off to Bangalore. This counter-poaching resort strategy is not new in Indian politics and has been tried and tested in Karnataka by BJP and in Tamil Nadu by AIADMK before. This incident again brings into light the known fact that irrespective of the political party that a politician belongs to, our netas value power much more than being of service to the very people they represent.
So, while the common man keeps suffering in Gujarat, the MLAs are having the time of their lives in Eagleton Resort. All their needs and luxuries have been taken care of by the Karnataka Power Minister DK Shivakumar. As per reports by Prema Sreedevi of Republic, dancers were arranged from abroad for the Gujarat lawmakers by Shivakumar and cash was thrown by the MLAs after the dance performance. The lawmakers also went on a Karnataka Darshan, wherein they visited the various pilgrimage sites in Karnataka. While all this was going on, IT raids were conducted on Shivakumar’s residence and a huge pile of cash (around ten crore rupees) was found. On predictable lines, the Congress high command has blamed political vendetta by the BJP and have questioned the timing of the IT raids. But what none of them have thus far spoken about is the pile of cash that has been found. Whether this money would ultimately be paid to 10 Janpath is anybody’s guess. While Shivakumar’s mother has blamed CM Siddaramaih for not ‘protecting’ her loyal son, the CM has brazenly and firmly backed the power minister. In India, aren’t such practices quite normal? How can the IT department question a neta over a paltry sum of ten crore rupees?
While the party MLAs are having fun in Eagleton Resort and DK Shivakumar is being questioned by the IT department, surpassing all limits of sensitivity, the crown prince of the Congress party decided that the time is right for a photo opportunity, one of the very few things that the youth icon has perfected in his political life. So, Rahul Gandhi visited the flood affect areas of Dhanera and Kankrej in Banaskantha district. Contrary to his expectations, he was greeted with black flags by protestors, who were obviously annoyed with their MLAs for deserting them during their hour of need. After leaving the stage in a huff after a brief speech, he refused the bullet proof vehicle that was granted to him by the local police and chose to travel in a private car. He then did his oft repeated drama of talking to the local people and conveying to them that the Congress party is always with them during the crisis hour, unlike PM Modi who is only for the big corporate houses. While all was happening, a stone (according to Congressmen, it was a boulder) was thrown on his car, thus breaking its rear windscreen. Rahul baba, although unhurt, decided to play the victim card and in a tweet written in chaste Hindi mentioned that Modi and the BJP cannot stop him from serving the people and speaking on their behalf.
नरेंद्र मोदी जी के नारों से, काले झंडों से और पत्थरों से हम पीछे हटने वाले नहीं हैं, हम अपनी पूरी ताकत लोगों की मदद करने में लगाएंगे
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 4, 2017
The Gandhi family sycophants like Digvijay Singh, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Ahmed Patel and Milind Deora also saw this as an opportunity to criticize the BJP. The accidental ex-Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, who never spoke when he had to, also condemned the incident by saying that political violence does not have place in a functioning democracy. Prime time debates on television saw the Congress and BJP accusing each other over this incident. While the Congress accused BJP of unruly and violent behaviour, the BJP accused Rahul Gandhi of doing a photo op.
Before Gujarat, Rahul Gandhi has tried the photo op on numerous occasions in the past. Some of the notable instances are during the demonetization when he stood in an ATM queue to withdraw money, his various meals with Dalit families and poor farmers, his Una visit after a Dalit family was attacked, his visit to Akhlaq’s place and many more.
It is high time he and his political advisors understand the fact that people of the country do not buy this drama anymore. The people of the country have not forgotten 2G, Augusta Westland, National Herald, Coalgate and numerous other scams and they have realized that Rahul’s concern for the people is not genuine. He must try something new as this formula is clearly not working.
While it is still not clear whether the perpetrator is a Congress supporter, a BJP supporter or an apolitical common man, one thing is for sure. For any person or a political party, Rahul Gandhi is a dream opponent to have. If Congress sympathizers really think that BJP is threatened by Rahul’s presence and hence resorted to attacking him, they are living in a fools’ paradise. Wherever Rahul goes, the BJP gets benefited as has been seen many times in the past. The BJP will not gain anything politically by attacking Rahul and if the attacker is not a frustrated common man, it is very much possible that the entire sequence of events has been preplanned by the Congress to play the victim card. Yet again. And Rahul Gandhi has perfected the art of the Photo-Ops, which bomb at the political box office every single time.