From his failed trials to induce democracy into one of the most nepotistic parties to becoming its president, Rahul Gandhi has seen many elections mandatorily followed by rejuvenating holidays. The rising stardom of Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot is the testimony of how he failed to change the course of the party’s plunge into new political and electoral depths.
When he was initiated into politics, I think it was Nitish Kumar, who advised him to become CM of UP and gain some administrative experience. Though his sycophant followers decried the suggestion saying the Prince was a national level leader and a born-administrator, Rahul had the realisation that he can never become CM of UP, for he would never be a state election.
In 2006, Rahul campaigned for his mother and Sonia won with a record margin of 4.17 lac votes. Attributing win on home turf to her son, Sonia appointed Rahul General Secretary of Congress and in 2007, he becomes ‘Star Campaigner’ for UP elections. Apparently, our Bhai Log of UP could see through him and his party got drubbed by winning only 22 out of 403 seats.
In 2008, there was Kalavati, who perhaps represents the seriousness (or the lack of it) in Rahul’s brand of politics. A widow of a farmer who committed suicide in 2005 became a national emblem of farmer’s woes. The irony is, despite telling her story in the parliament Rahul could not ensure any help from his government. She was given ₹30Lacs by Sulabh International. She even tried her hand in politics and failed.
Ditto with Sunita Kori, in whose house Rahul Gandhi spent a night during his Dalit tourism spree. She belonged to Amethi constituency, which he won in 2009. Soon her husband was given a job with the government – only to get fired after ten months. She tried to work for Congress and perhaps it was the reason why her husband was fired. Her house was burnt down – allegedly by SP workers. No help from Congress. Gayatri Prajapati, an MLA belonging to Samajwadi party constructed a permanent house for her family – of course, adhering to his party’s philosophy, the house did not have a roof. Worst was yet to come – when Rahul chose the same SP as an ally to fight assembly elections. Sunita became a classic example of what happens to those who enter Congress. Like the elephant-apple that was eaten by an elephant, she became a shell without anything inside.
When the skeletons of scams started tumbling out of UPA-I cupboard, there was a clamour that Rahul Gandhi be made the Prime Minister to pressurise Manmohan, so he would not dare to stray from the party line. When Pranab Mukherjee was elevated to be the first citizen of India, even Manmohan requested Rahul join the cabinet. But, the wise young man knows the unnecessary restrictions such a post would put on his ‘free-spirit’ and refused to become a minister. After all, what is the point of sitting with those, who would come to his home and explain their decisions? However, he famously declared: Power is Poison. Those who wondered why Rahul was a Shiv Bhakt, this was the incident that possibly made him a Shiv Bhakt. Full statement of Sonia to Rahul would probably have been: Power is Poison, but the Kick one gets out of it is simply out of the world.
In continuing his journey of replicating his father’s Mr. Clean image (that was later tarnished by some Swedish newspaper when his photo was published worldwide as a corrupt Indian politician), Rahul Gandhi tore the draft bill prepared to bail out Lalu, a fresh convict from being disqualified from electoral politics. In an act that only Rahul Gandhi was capable of, he joined hands with Lalu and Lalu’s bete noir Nitish in 2015. Of course, people may attribute the political scheming to Prashant Kishor, but Rahul Gandhi should be credited for stopping to pretend being a man with morals.
In between, Narendra Modi came and started ruling India. Congress led by Rahul Gandhi won 44 seats in Lok Sabha, about 10% of seats his father won.
But, then unlike his father, Rahul had no sympathy wave to bank on. Realising the need to improve his charisma, Rahul started a political tour of death – visiting victims of never ending atrocities in India. Whether it was Rohit Vemula or Mohammad Akhlaq, he sensed political opportunity and visited the place. Not only that, he inspired a set of politicians with similar mindset – from Derek O’ Brian to Arvind Kejriwal – to emulate him. Sonia was at last happy. Which mother would not, when people start aping her son?
Expectations of Indian voters, on the other hand were increasing at double the rate of Rahul’s generation of new ideas. When he stood in the line after demonetisation, people asked him why it took him 45 long years to stand in a queue for the first time. Even College girls ragged him and claimed that Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Make in India were working. Meanwhile inspired by their leader, Congress leaders became so complacent they failed to form Governments even in those states, where they won more seats than BJP.
Come 2017, a new version of Rahul Gandhi was presented to Indians. Throwing out his secular or pro-Muslim image, Rahul suddenly remembered someone in his family was a Brahmin once and started visiting Temples. Still, birds of same feathers flock together. He found his best buddies in Gujarat in the form of Jignesh Mewani and Hardik Patel, one of whom declared “Sex is fundamental Right”, while the other practiced it.
Considering how hard it is to bargain with Gujaratis, Rahul’s campaign in the state was something like promoting a B-grade film by Pahlaj Nihalani passing it as Bahubali.
Wait! All is not lost. Rahul just won an election and became another luminary in the long list of his family members to become President of Congress. Someone said that about a thousand applications are normally received even for the post of peon in Animal Husbandry department in UP.
It is not my intention to belittle the post of Congress President, but I am just wondering why Rahul Gandhi did not have a competitor?
So, he became President of Congress and now set his eyes on becoming Prime Minister of India. If Modi or Yogi or someone else, whenever they let their guard down and allow Congress to win parliamentary elections, they would be accused of betraying Indian people – just for letting Rahul become the PM of India. Considering his age, even if BJP rules for two decades, Rahul would be ready to be the PM at the age of 67 and the nation would turn to a Bean show. But, aged with the continuous influx of wisdom, Rahul may choose to nominate someone else as PM. I know Chidambaram was hoping Congress may win in 2019. But, I think both Scindia and Pilot are now trying to behave in a mature way, so Rahul would pick one of them when the time comes.
Meanwhile, we continue to enjoy the show…