Congress President Rahul Gandhi is unarguably in his prime as an opposition leader firing one after another salvo on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. he has got a good toy to play with in the form of Rafale deal. He and his coterie understand perfectly well that government cannot disclose all the facts pertaining to this deal due to the issues of national security. This allows him and his party to create confusion among the masses. However, unfortunately for him, people are not ready to buy his bravado as a serious act of a mature politician. With BJP coming with more counter attacks with every passing day, scion of the Gandhi family find himself in a precarious situation where he can neither lead the fight to its logical conclusion no can he leave it halfway.
In such a scenario, Rahul’s theatricks have only contributed to raising the entertainment quotient of the political discourse.
On Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi continued his tirade on Twitter and addressed Air Force officers, the families of martyred pilots as well as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited workers. He said that he understood the pain of jawans, and would work to bring to justice all those who dishonoured and stole from them.
“To every Air Force officer and Jawan who has served India. To the family of every martyred Indian fighter pilot. To every person who ever worked for HAL. We hear your pain. We understand how you feel. We will bring to justice all those who dishonoured and stole from you,” he said on Twitter.
Unlike his past campaigns, Rahul has shown some consistency in attacking the government on the Rafale deal, it must be acknowledged. However, he has already committed blunder by making his party organ, the recently rejected National Herald, to compare the scandal with the Bofors.
On Monday, he said the country’s “chowkidar” Modi snatched money away from the poor and handed it over to industrialist Anil Ambani. “The chowkidar of the country has taken out Rs 20,000 crore from the pockets of the poor, martyrs and the jawans and put it in the pocket of (Anil) Ambani,” Gandhi said at a meeting in the Jais area of his Lok Sabha constituency Amethi. This was one of the oldest statements made by Rahul ever since the Congress Party was relegated 44 seats in Lok Sabha and was forced to sit in the opposition.
However, the Congress’s past is going to haunt the party and Rahul for many days to come. if anything, Sambit patra’s counter attack proved this one thing.
BJP on Tuesday alleged that Congress was pointing fingers over the current Rafale Aircraft deal as it could not receive the kickbacks during the UPA regime and therefore the deal did not materialise. Briefing reporters in New Delhi today, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra reiterated allegations that there was a close link between UPA chairperson’s son-in-law Robert Vadra and controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari whose company has been red flagged by the NDA government. He claimed that during 2016 raids conducted at Bhandari’s places, several sensitive documents including papers related to Rafale deal were found.
Several TV channels have picked up pieces of this story and exposed supposed link between Rahul, Congress and Sanjay Bhandari. These charges are going to stick with the Congress party that has become synonymous with scams, scandals, inefficiency and nepotism. There is a large number of critics who see Rahul Gandhi as a very reluctant and inefficient leader who is yet to come to terms with his responsibilities. It is only recently that he has shown some seriousness towards his job and detractors have pointed out role of individuals like Jyotiraditya Scindia and Divya Spandana behind his makeover.
“After Modi government came to power, we started action against Sanjay Bhandari and his company. Starting as Rs 1 lakh worth company, Offset India Solutions slowly turned big with Robert Vadra’s help. There were raids in 18 places across India in 2016 and important papers including on Rafale were recovered,” Patra said.
The documents also included ‘confidential documents of Ministry of Defence’. “The papers also included proposals to buy mid-air refuellers and defence acquisition council papers. There were minutes of deliberations of the Contract Negotiations Committee”.
Moreover, Pakistan has also shown some interest in this episode and has overtly backed Rahul. With Pakistan being a perpetual adversary of India, no right thinking person in the country will like that one of its political leader is like by Pakistan. Thus, ironically, people tend to support PM Modi rather than dislike him the way did it Rahul’s father Rajiv Gandhi.
Therefore, the fact remains that Rahul’s bravado makes a good show and provides good copy to the paper, good footage to the channel and a lot of kilobytes for the digital media. But on ground, it does not make any impact at all.