Former Union Minister, Chief Minister, and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad is in the news once again. But this time, it is likely to cost the party dearly. A statement he made yesterday is already being equated to Manishankar Aiyar’s ‘Chaiwala’ barb against the then prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in 2014, which many believe was an important factor that drove Narendra Modi to power.
Ghulam Nabi Azad said yesterday, with regards to Prime Minister Modi, “Jinka koi vansh hi nahin ho to woh kya karenge?” At a time when the elections are around the corner, and Prime Minister Modi’s popularity is at an all-time high following some of the important measures of the last few months, this statement might prove to be suicidal.
The BJP was quick to pick it. The party tweeted: “Jinka vansh nahi woh kya karenge? : Ghulam Nabi Azad. PM Modi writes one blog highlighting how dynastic politics has undermined democracy and its institutions in India and Congress leaders start hurling disgusting personal abuses at him and his family lineage!” What this indicates is that the BJP will not let this one pass. After the Holi celebrations get over and the party’s candidate list is finally announced, the party will use this statement in its campaign.
Jinka vansh nahi woh kya karenge? : Ghulam Nabi Azad.
PM Modi writes one blog highlighting how dynastic politics has undermined democracy and its institutions in India and Congress leaders start hurling disgusting personal abuses at him and his family lineage! pic.twitter.com/8E0oWaFduH
— BJP (@BJP4India) March 20, 2019
Not only Ghulam Nabi, Congress leader Tariq Anwar said the exact same thing. Congress leader Tariq Anwar on Wednesday said “A person (PM Modi) who does not have a progeny cannot take the legacy of the dynasty forward. In every corner of the world, be it any profession, legacy is taken forward by the people. Modi Ji does not have a successor in the family, which is why he is making such comments”
These statement, like several others that have come from the Congress Party over the years, expose the party’s sense of entitlement. In that sense, these statements don’t really bring anything new to the fore. But what is important here is the timing, and Prime Minister Modi’s uncanny ability to turn anything hurled at him into a stepping stone, especially during election season. Moreover, this entire theme of the entitled elite versus the common man isn’t just a theme that Prime Minister Modi personifies, but a narrative that he has himself strongly pushed into the mainstream discourse.
What this means is that Ghulam Nabi Azad and Tariq Anwar’s insults will not only be treated as a personal statement in bad taste, but much like the ‘Chaiwala’ jibe of 2014, they will be used to vindicate Prime Minister Modi’s pet theme. The ‘Namdaar versus Kamdaar’ narrative did catch India’s imagination, but in the last few months, this has been on display more than ever. An outsider (PM Modi) has not only proven to be a messiah and a protector, he has left the opposition scrambling, unable to present the image of being able to identify with the common man and their causes. At a time when the opposition should have moved away from this debate, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Tariq Anwar have brought it into the limelight again.
In the last on week, we witnessed how Prime Minister Modi completely turned the table on the ‘Chowkidaar’ jibe. The ones who brought it up must be regretting it now. After the arrest of Nirav Modi in the United Kingdom, the jibe has backfired to an even greater degree. This was reminiscent of the ‘Chaiwala’ jibe, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s ‘Neech’ jibe as well. Ghulam Nabi Azad and Tariq Anwar have given the Prime Minister another full toss to hit out of the park, and with many opinion polls already predicting that the BJP will cross the halfway mark, these just might seal the deal conclusively.