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You allowed yourself to be foxed Rahul Gandhi

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Bottom Line: A thick skinned Rahul Gandhi making compromises for winnability can’t be answer to Narendra Modi. Rahul’s misadventure with the same AAP that decimated Congress clearly shows existential crisis of Congress is changing the character of RaGa. 

Rahul Gandhi, General Elections 2019, Challenger to Narendra Modi, Congress AAP Alliance, Delhi PoliticsIn cricket the conventional wisdom suggests that one should not change the natural instinct of a cricketer. A natural attacking batsman Hardik Pandya should not be asked to play the anchor role of a rock solid defence like Cheteshwar Pujara. That is the recipe of a disaster. The same philosophy applies in many other walks of life, most importantly in politics where the change of character could sabotage the battle of perception.

Let’s face the facts first. While Narendra Modi is on an Election Mode all the time and making all compromises (political & ethical) for power, the principal challenger in Rahul Gandhi came to the political landscape as a reluctant politician. At a time when the critics, and even the ardent Congress admirers, started not only questioning him but also writing him off, the world has been witness to a new version of Rahul Gandhi – the leader who makes all efforts to connect with the masses and media.

This has been in contrast to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is always in his trademark arrogance of monologue with the masses and entertaining only those journalists who are in awe and reverence to him. It is Rahul’s humility, despite aggressive election campaigning, that people started liking and adoring; something that made him sweep three State Elections of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. I had raised the point in my earlier column in September 2017 http://www.track2media.com/will-humility-calling-card-rahul-gandhi/.

However, it is not just the humility that separated Rahul Gandhi from Narendra Modi. On the eve of 2014 General Elections, a die-hard Modi fan Arnab Goswami had interviewed Rahul Gandhi only to mock at him. Even then he was forced to admit on camera that “you are not a thick skinned politician Mr Gandhi.” The reference was more of his political immaturity but then it also reflected the idealistic side of RaGa.

The very fact that Rahul Gandhi was not seen as a thick skinned politician was a differentiating factor between Modi and RaGa. At a time when the tentacles of fascism and centralization of powers is making a large section of media, intellectuals and common citizens uncomfortable, Rahul Gandhi as a not-so-thick skinned politician seemed to be an answer.

Alas! The hope is getting dashed now as the existential crisis of Congress is fast turning RaGa into the kind of thick skinned politician against whom he seemed to be an answer. If political morality could be compromised for winnability then how come Congress of Rahul Gandhi is different than the BJP of Narendra Modi? Isn’t it a fact that short-sighted winnability has been catalyst to the ground loss of the Congress in many states in the past? Isn’t this the reason why Congress is today playing doormat to those parties in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh that decimated it over there. 

The existential crisis of Congress might be more in the mind & media than on ground but it has definitely made Rahul Gandhi fast turning into a thick skinned politician. A politician who just wants to come to power, applying all possible means of beg, borrow or steal. Can this new version of RaGa be an alternative to the BJP? Definitely not! Can this short-sighted approach bring Congress back to the power? Definitely Not!

It defies all political logic that Congress went into talks with the same AAP that only recently decimated it in the national capital. AAP leaders’ vitriolic was catalyst to Congress being uprooted from most parts of the country in the General Elections of 2014.

There are a few questions for Congress after its misadventure with AAP? Had the alliance really helped Congress? Could Congress by any stretch of imagination get more than 2-3 seats in Delhi? Could a sizeable share of abusive AAP cadre that is genetically anti-Congress cast vote for Congress? Hasn’t Congress lost its moral ground while negotiating with AAP? Doesn’t it give legitimacy to all the recent allegations of AAP against the Congress? Can Congress afford to play second fiddle to a regional party in capital?

The fact is that AAP had never been serious in its overt gesture for an alliance with Congress. AAP was never ready to give equal political space to its arch rival in its only power corridor of Delhi. The message was always loud and clear: Come and play a second class role to us. The Congress in its desperation failed to read the shrewd gamble of AAP to delay Congress poll preparations with alliance talks. It is noteworthy that AAP had nominated its candidates long time back on all the seven Lok Sabha seats of Delhi.

The delay cost the Congress not only much-needed poll preparations but also the party is still clueless about its candidates on the seats that they thought would go to AAP. Has Congress been foxed by AAP yet again? Well, blame it on juvenile politics, desperate politics, existential crisis, opportunistic politics or sheer shameless politics but the fact remains that Rahul Gandhi has this time allowed himself to be foxed by AAP.

Ravi Sinha

Track2Media is an independent media group managed by a consortium of journalists. We position ourselves as alternative media that stands against both paid news and fake news. We are editorially independent and free from commercial bias and/or influenced by investors or shareholders. Our editorial team has no clash of interest in practicing high quality journalism that is free, frank & fearless. 

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