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Tuesday 7 April 2020

Rahul Gandhi’s Intemperance Costs INC Dear Again

About 48 hours before campaigning in the Delhi Assembly election was to conclude, the Indian National Congress (INC) repeated an old mistake by making a personal vulgar comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was known that the prime minister would not let the opportunity go. However, Modi chose the Lok Sabha instead of a rally to hit the opposition party and their leader Rahul Gandhi back.

The prime minister, during his speech in the Lok Sabha today, while responding to every issue raised by the opposition, threw a rib-tickling jibe at the son of INC president Sonia Gandhi that was as much of a political message as it had the BJP supporters in splits. Without mentioning Rahul Gandhi, Modi took the winds out of the sails of the politician who seems to have taken a sacred vow he would never grow up.

Addressing a public meeting at Hauz Qazi in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi had said yesterday, “You see this Narendra Modi speaking? He will not be able to get out of the house after six months. The youth of India will beat him so much with sticks, they will demonstrate to him that this country cannot move forward without giving employment to the youth of India.”

With not an iota of sense how much this intemperance would cost his party, the INC MP from Wayanad of Kerala said in the Matiamhal rally, “The atmosphere of the country has deteriorated in the last five years. Did you notice this? The peace and brotherhood that was there before are there no more. If even a 10-year-old girl sitting in the crowd understands this, it means everyone will understand it.” Before this, he had asked a baby girl Aakriti sitting in the crowd whether she felt that the atmosphere in the country had been deteriorating, lessening the gravity of his allegation.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, without naming Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha, said, “I heard the manifesto of a Congress leader that in six months, he will beat Modi with sticks. It’s a challenging job; so I understand they need time for preparation. I have decided that in these six months, I will increase the number of Surya Namaskars I do daily so that my back gets the strength to withstand the blows of sticks. The way I have been listening to dirty abuses for 20 years, I have made myself abuse-proof. I am thankful that I have been given six months for my own preparation.”

On this comment of Prime Minister Modi, Rahul Gandhi tried to say something in the house, but his voice sank in the uproar. Meanwhile, Modi seized the opportunity to hurl another taunt at Rahul. He said turning towards the opposition benches, “I have been speaking for the past 30 or 40 minutes. The current has reached that side now.”

As the BJP MPS burst into a guffaw, Modi struck again. He quipped, “I know there is this problem with some tube-lights!”

Before this, Rahul Gandhi had bid adieu to women’s votes with his ‘rape in India’ remark in December 2019. Even before that, he had annoyed nationalists with the remark “Main Rahul Savarkar nahin hoon.”

Whenever personal remarks have been made on Modi, he has benefited from it. Rahul Gandhi must know this very well. BJP had taken advantage of the vulgar remarks on the prime minister when Mani Shankar Aiyar of the INC had blabbered before the Lok Sabha election of 2014 and Gujarat and Karnataka elections in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Rahul was the president of the INC during the two assembly elections. He tried his best to rectify the mistake, but the public gave him a clear message that they do not tolerate such language.

Taking a lesson from this, Rahul had given strict instructions to the leaders of his party in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh elections not to comment on Prime Minister Modi. The people rewarded Rahul for this correction and today INC governments are running in all these states.

After this, even during the Lok Sabha election, Rahul Gandhi and the leaders of his party could not control their impulsive tongues, the consequences of which are before all.

Once again, however, during the Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi was seen very rarely in the campaign. It made the INC score better than what it does with him leading the campaign.

The people of the country do not want to hear vulgar words for the prime minister. They could not even accept the BJP’s decent, non-abusive description of the then-premier Manmohan Singh as “the weakest prime minister” in 2009.

The INC is repeating this mistake again and again while Prime Minister Modi and the BJP leadership have been successful in cashing in on the loose cannons of the opposition. The last thing a struggling Congress in the Delhi assembly election campaign needed was a speech by Rahul Gandhi. It’s time he put both his feet permanently in the mouth. This time to gag himself.

VS Philip
VS Philip
Retired government servant based in Ranchi

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