Total Pageviews

Follow by Email

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rahul: Oh so clever

Rahul Gandhi has had to bow to his party's sensibilities and tell the whole world that the Congress will not sit in opposition.

The U-turn at Tuesday morning's press conference was prompted by alarm in Congress circles that the heir apparent was abandoning the fight midway. In deference to Congress wishes, Rahul indulged in some bravado: Manmohan Singh will be PM after May 16 and BJP has given up the fight.

If Rahul had stuck to the campaign speech script, he would have done his job. He tried to be too clever by half and ended up confusing his party even more.

  • He said that he had ideological differences with the Left but could work with them. "I am sure the Left will support Manmohan Sigh as PM." He discovered a reasonable amount of "common space" with the Left.
  • He said that a lot of opposition leaders have done good work. He named Chandrababu Naidu and "Mr Nitish". Why did he leave poor Naveen Patnaik out?

The outcome of his first attempt at realpolitik has been laughable.

  • He has conceded that the Andhra results have been bad for Congress. Hence the certificate to Naidu.
  • He has left Lalu Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan high and dry even before polling is over in Bihar.
  • He has ditched Mamata Bannerjee by holding out an olive leaf to the Left. She is apparently furious. I learn that the forthcoming joint meetings with Sonia and Rahul may not happen.She has told Indian Express that if the Congress reforges any alliance with the CPI(M), she is out.
  • The Congress is giving the impression of being an unreliable ally.
  • Rahul's national security doctrine: "Empower the villagers and terrorism will end in 15 minutes". Now, why did no one think of this before?
  • The CPI(M) is jubilant. It sees Rahul baba's hand of friendship as proof that it holds the final veto. It is also thrilled that the Congress-TMC alliance is coming unstuck even before the polls are over.It has raised its expectations from 30 (at the start of the campaign) to 45 seats. Karat's own hands within the party have been strengthened.
  • The BJP is thrilled that the Congress is nervous. It is concentrating single-mindedly on picking up every possible seat. There is a healthy unity in the BJP I haven't seen in a long time.
  • Just after the press conference, Nitish decided that it was time to scotch the speculation once and for all. He told his circle (which included one gentlemen who was the "source" of all the speculation about a JD(U)-Congress tie-up, that he saw no reason to ditch the BJP at this juncture. It was after that its spokesman Shivanand Tiwari appeared on various channels. Nitish and Arun Jaitley also decided on a common "thank you but no thank you" response to Rahul's praise of the Bihar government.

I can't predict what effect Rahul's pronouncements will have on Phase 4 voting. But it seems to me that Rahul is making the same mistake Sharad Pawar did: concentrating on post-poll games even before the voters have done their job. I wonder why Pawar is so quiet now.

Of course I am ignoring the gush-gushness of the TV groups who were beneficiaries of a Rs 400-crore bailout package by the Financial Institutions last week.


Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed that Rahul Gandhi's press conferences are a lot like that of George W Bush's? The moment he goes one inch away from his prepared spiel, he goes all goofy and makes ridiculous remarks.

campaign said...

quite agree that Rahul baba made a mistake. Good analysis by drawing parallel between Mr Pawar`s decision and Rahul`s foolishness.

I wonder if there is any PR agency for Rahul baba`s image makeover.

Know the verity said...

"Of course I am ignoring the gush-gushness of the TV groups who were beneficiaries of a Rs 400-crore bailout package by the Financial Institutions last week."

This is what we need to do with Rahul also. Just ignore him. I wonder why Arun ji and other senior leader were reacting to Rahul's fake bravado. He is not a big "leader". We need to treat him as a momma's boy, a naive who is a product of dynasty... So the next time media wallahs ask us to react to Rahul's comment tell them: We don't give importance to kid's view. .something like this should be our answer.

Sudhir said...

"Of course I am ignoring the gush-gushness of the TV groups who were beneficiaries of a Rs 400-crore bailout package by the Financial Institutions last week."

What are you talking about when you say the above statement? Can you please elaborate because I guess most of the ordinary Junta do not know about this.


Mohan said...

This Press Conference by the Rajkumar of the Congress Party is the best thing that could have happened to us. In this Press Conference, Rahul Gandhi all but admitted defeat and threw in the towel. His blatant pleadings to the Left are indication enough. Usually Congress Party minions are the ones who plead with the left publicly - Pranab, Digvijay etc. When the dynasty itself condescends to the level of mere mortals and begs for an alliance with the left, we know the Congress is in trouble.

But what irks me the most - nothing in the whole wide world can stop this neophyte of an incompetent politician becoming the PM of the country one day. It might be 2014, 2019, 2024 etc, but it will happen. That is unfortunately the world we live in.

Anonymous said...


I completely agree with you. This press conference seems a monumental blunder compounding previous small blunders by Digvijay Singh and Priyanka as far as the Congress electoral strategy is concerned

Rahul Gandhi’s first Junior KG day at the school of Politics is completely naivette and nothing else. If the Cong strategists felt he was a man of great ideas and vision , they would have started projecting him long ago. Thus by all accounts, this has to be classified as a most desperate move , hoping against hope that the Gandhi face would come up trumps against the harsh ground reality of heavy anti incumbency, against the harsh electoral arithmatic going completely awry for the UPA/Congress in Bihar, Andhra , Maharashtra , Jharkhand, Assam and gradually playing out in TN, which is yet to vote.

It has to be viewed as a last ditch effort to shore up alliances and somehow, launch the yet unlaunched Gandhi to save the battle.

It appears and most probably will turn out to be a blunder of monumental proportions.They had to launch him in a big way sometime, only the timing was very bad. If they had launched him when the going was a bit good, he could have carried the people on his convictions. The entire political spectrum must have been astonished at this display of naivette.

My gut feeling is that after the so called IB analysis was out after the 3rd phase, it has rattled the Congress and they are unable to do anything coherently. First Priyanka says it is neck and neck, then Digvijay Singh says they are ready to sit in Opposition. Then they realize these minor blunders, start planting news about Nitish through the friendly media. When they realize that it is not working, someone high up decides to jump the gun and launch Junior in a big Press conference. However while Rahul smiled a lot , was graceful to few journalists, net net he put his foot, his shoes and socks into his mouth like no one else.

However while Moily and Ashwini Kumar keep parroting that he is highly refreshing, his ideas came across as age old. More than 18 - 20 years ago Rajiv Gandhi talked about huge leakage in populist give aways, and Rahul is repeating the same thing. He also talked about lack of inner party democracy. He talks of change of the system of which he is the product

A series of self goals it was one after the other. The BJP strategists must have got stunned at the nature of the blunder rolling out before their eyes live on all major TV channels. The reply to one lady journalist on total lack of inner party democracy in Congress was replied with some experiments in Punjab and Gujarat. She actually nailed him, he was clearly irritated at her. He asked her to study Punjab and Gujarat Youth Congress.

Another journalist nailed him on the distribution leakage, asking what they did for 5 years and prior to that also for a long time. He again spoke of the whole thing as a process of change and not an event occuring overnight. I remember Rajiv quoting this when he was back to the wall fighting VP Singh on Bofors.

What is politically immature is the failure of Congress to realize that the India of 2009 is not the same as the India when Rajiv ventured into the scene accidentally. The voters dont have patience with any politician , they arent interested in any excuses or long drawn processes where 5 paisa out of a Rs 1 gets converted to 10 paisa out of Rs 1 and lands in their lap as largesse.

Secondly voters are tiring of populist giveaways. They seem to desire Bijli, Pani, Sadak, Haspatal , School etc. It is clear in state election after election in recent times. Bihar, Karnataka, Delhi, MP, Chattisgarh have turned tables.

The Left and BJP spokesmen had a field day tearing into Rahul.

Mamta Didi must be squirming and vowing revenge , but will be unable to say anything , since voting is yet not over in Bengal.

Mr. Jaitely had the last laugh. He indicated that Shekhar Suman might lose his deposit thanks to Rahul Gandhi’s bachpana. (3 seats of Bihar yet to vote)

harish k said...

Swapan da,
Dont you think the media instead of slamming yuvraaj's comments on rural development and terrorism, went full throttle on saying he has come out of age blah blah. Burkha dutt was defending his comments.
Keeps me wondering if is this is what coming out of age means, then god save the congress and the country. :)

blogger said...

Please read, and

Seriously, this guy for PM! I mean how seriously ideologically and politically bankrupt are these people to even think of him as a local corporator let alone PM.

Rag M said...

Sir, Any predictions ?

The english Media seems to have sold their body and souls to the Congress Party and have effectively become campaigners for the party.



I do not subscribe to your "healthy unity in BJP" bit. I would surmise the situation as piquant for BJP.

It has to take give cognizance to the words of Rahul, however much you want to trivialize it, by attempting a show of unity.

Think, why was this at all necessary? It was to prove a point at the constant jibes that BJP faced for its "kargil" in Orissa. It does not want to get caught napping again and the dog sniping away at the feet cannot cause "comfort" for BJP.

However I do concede the fact - Congress is nervous that its allies may not do well and trying to woo some "fence sitters" and "opportunists".

doubtinggaurav said...


The comment is kind of rambling so please bear with me.
I am not very enthused by the present elections, I believe this is semi-final and BJP should prepare for final, which will involve.

1. A decisive leadership and process for transition - It is not very commented upon but I think that the atrophy in BJP for last few years is due to a dilemma on which second rung leaders should be projected as PM. A process will be of help.

2. Ending the Congressification - BJP has infected by worst of the Congress culture, overbearing delhi darbar staffed with hanger ons and power breakers with no clue either about policy or no connection with the electorate. If this continues we can say goodbye to BJP. As I see the only recourse for BJP is to foster a tradition of promoting leader like Modi (performer at state level, interested in national problems, charisma for national stage )

3. Regaining public imagination and credibility - BJP has lost its credibility and what is worse the edge among the urban class. It can regain these only by being serious about governance, at present it is more or less devoid of ideas, which is why present election campaign of BJP has been reduced to uninspiring and insipid sloganeering.

4. To neutralize secular-liberal media - BJP must realize that it is fighting a much greater enemy than Congress it is the secular liberal establishment with its tentacles deep in middle class consciousness, if nationalism has to emerge victorious it must vanquish quislings led by likes of NDTV and IBN-CNN

aru said...


So UPA government spent 400 crores for winning opinion polls that too with slender lead.

parasuram81 said...

this is the most ridiculous press conference by any political leader,"enpower the villagers,we can crush terrorism in 15 mins"..most funny.Its increasingly getting obnoxious,the way media is hailing it an evolution of Rahul baba.But on a more cautious note,I do think BJP shouldnt slip in Rajashtan and Punjab or else we are in for a scenario where results in Tamilnadu if one decided,could be curtains for BJP's ally hunt,coz Congress then dump DMK for a straight fwd quid pro-quo situation.I am bothered about Rajasthan and Punjab,,Swapanda could you please share any improvements for BJP here?

Mahesh Prabhu said...

The press conference by rahul gandhi lacked maturity and after making the first statement ,rahul made unwarranted statements clearly indicating that he is fit to party in pubs and not fit to lead India.

Why do NDTV,CNN-IBN highlight his comments. When Modi speaks good, only the bad is highlighted.

Thanks to Rahul for accepting the defeat mid stage,but saying terrorism can be completed in 15 minutes just reminds me of one story.

dad telling his kid about a story on police and robbers..
kid says stop it papa..i know if was policeman i will kill the robber in 10 minutes..

I hope media wakes up and comes to know the reality. This bloddy media is making Rahul THE ICON.

Siva said...

It was sickening to see Sagarika Ghose at IBN fawning over Rahul's statements. She was like a schoolgirl in love, talking about how the second coming of the Gandhi Family would wipe away all the problems this country is facing and how with one swish of his wand Rahul Gandhi will cure us of all the evils facing the country, how he represents the 'new' idea of development based politics and consensus. When all the BJP talks about is development, and the BJP are the ones always working for a consensus.

Worst was when she talked about Rahul's statement that all parties except the BJP are welcome on board, and so doesn't the BJP feel isolated. My foot. RaviShankar Prasad should have said that he is not going to lose any sleep over Rahul Gandhi not being friends with him. Compare this to the BJP, whose position has always been a consensus among ALL parties, including the Congress and the Left.

This 'secular' biased media is really getting on my nerves. Swapanda, please do write a blog post dedicated to this. Don't just gloss over the "gush gush coverage" the media has given the new kid on the block.

Anonymous said...

It's a sad thing for Indian democracy that we have to endure even the possibility of this guy becoming PM. It was hard enough enduring two puppets running the two great institutions of the country (PM and President Patil).

I hope the voters dump this "leader" in the way they have dumped Bollywood's fluffy NRI movies for more realistic fare.

neelakantan said...

Our wonderful media has kept out those brilliant comments out of the minds of the hoi polloi.

The BJP has to get over the Congress sycophants in the media, bureaucracy. Time for a right wing leaning channel - if not on the TV, atleast on the web?

Anonymous said...

Apparently everyone is interpreting to what they would like to hear, when the obvious is only known on 16th of May.

Apparently the verdict is going to be fractal, once again a 20 party coalition would likely emerge out of the ashes.

No wonder why Vajpayee threatened resignation umpteen times, the politics would be competitive only if national parties are in the fray.

Anonymous said...

Siva - Agree with you completely.

It's about time everyone referred to CNN IBN as the Congress News Network.

I think if NDA comes to power, it should just ban its members from appearing on CNN IBN until they become unbiased in their coverage, or maybe appear with a black band of protest tied around their arms like the Japs.

This would be a fitting reply.


Anonymous said... ... ngress.htm
DMK refuses to campaign for Congress, after Rahul's comment

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi's [Images] recent comment about the party keeping all post-poll options open, including an alliance with All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam [Images] chief J Jayalalitha, has angered its ally in Tamil Nadu, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

The DMK, a key constituent of the United Progressive Alliance, has refused to canvass for Congress candidates in the state. The party is apprehensive that the Congress might be quietly wooing its arch-rival the AIADMK.

"The Congress has shown its real colours," said a senior DMK minister in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] cabinet.

The decision to postpone Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's [Images] election rallies seems timely, as senior Congress leaders in the state have been fuming at the Gandhi scion's comments.

Now Congress General Secretary Gulam Nabi Azad faces the task of mollifying the DMK in Tamil Nadu.

After Gandhi's press conference on Tuesday, many DMK parliamentarians and leaders have slowed down their speeches and public rallies in the state.

Congress leaders in Tamil Nadu perceive Gandhi's remarks as childish, and feel that he should have visited the state first to assess the ground realities.

"He hasn't visited the state and hasn't read local newspapers. How can a senior general secretary make such sweeping comments," a senior Tamil Nadu Congress Committee secretary told this correspondent.

"It would have been better if Rahul baba had remained silent. The Tamil Nadu Congress is now sandwiched between Karunanidhi [Images] and Jayalalitha," say local Congress leaders.

DMK cadres in Tamil Nadu have reportedly refused to campaign for Congress candidates, including high-profile candidates like Union Home Minister Chidambaram [Images], who is contesting from Sivaganga and Union minister Mani Shankar Iyer, who is contesting from Mayiladuthurai.

"Doesn't Gandhi know that Jayalalithaa [Images], in her public addresses, claims that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself intervened to save Sonia Gandhi's Italian friend Ottavio Quttarochi. She also alleges that Gandhi has not shed a single tear for the hundreds of Tamilians who are being massacred in Sri Lanka [Images]. With these kind of nasty comments, how can Rahul Gandhi expect the AIADMK to support the UPA," said a local Congress leader.

Trinamool-Congress tie-up in troubled waters ... 90&secid=0

The AICC general secretary, Rahul Gandhi's statement on Tuesday hinting at a possible alliance with the Left could not have come at a worse time for supporters of the Trinamool Congress and Congress alliance.

With elections to 17 constituencies in the second leg slated for Thursday, Trinamool Congress on Wednesday yet again distanced itself from Rahul Gandhi's statement saying that the Left and the party are in "opposite corners" of the spectrum and that there could be no truck with the Left anywhere.

While Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee categorically said that her party would "walk out"of the alliance with the Congress in such an event, the Trinamool leader of the opposition, Partha Chatterjee, tried to play down Rahul Gandhi's remark saying that the AICC leader had never said anything like forging an alliance with the Left. "People are trying to create confusion. But our alliance with the Congress is as strong as ever," he told India Today.

However, there is an air of uncertainty and tension in the alliance camp with the second leg of elections only a day away. Trinamool sources said that while Mamata had unequivocally condemned the BJP and called it a communal party, it was strange that a Congress leader of the stature of Rahul Gandhi could be saying nice things about the Left and giving it certificates. In fact, Mamata herself said that the CITU president, M.K. Pandhe's certificate for her saying that she was not communal could just be a ruse to create a rift between her and the Congress.

However, Pandhe, significantly, shortly after Rahul's statement, denied having said that he had called Mamata "non-communal" and secular.

In all, Rahul's statement has stirred a hornet's nest in Bengal and now with Pranab Mukherjee himself saying that as one who had forget the accord with the Trinamool, he had not agreed to any pre-condition that the Congress could not take Left support after the polls has given a new dimension to the alliance problems even before the elections are over. ... 15&scat=16

The way AICC general secretary and young icon of the Congress Rahul Gandhi praised Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu at his press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday made one wonder whether he was speaking deliberately or out of ignorance.

While some Congress leaders say it was just an off-the-cuff remark and should not be taken seriously, others feel that Rahul Gandhi really wanted the TDP to support the Congress after polls. “If that is his intention, Rahul might have gone mad, or he lacks basic political knowledge at all. How can he expect Chandrababu Naidu to join hands with the Congress to keep the BJP at bay? On the other hand, one would believe Naidu can join hands with the BJP to keep off the Congress,” a senior Congress leader from Telangana said.

Some others feel that Rahul Gandhi’s statement, deliberately or inadvertently, demoralised the Congress cadres in the state. “It has completely demolished Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s campaign against Naidu. Luckily, these remarks were made after the elections are over in AP. Otherwise, it would have benefited the TDP much more,” another leader said.

Oldtimer said...

"Of course I am ignoring the gush-gushness of the TV groups who were beneficiaries of a Rs 400-crore bailout package by the Financial Institutions last week."

Is tax-payer money involved in this dole to media fatcats? My blood would boil if it does.

Dhruv said...

Rs 400-crore bailout package??

It will have to be from taxpayer money.... Sonia Gandhi will not bail them out from her Swiss bank money?

The problem is that not a single media house will disclose the beneficiaries ... Chor Chor mausere bhai !!

Imagine what a tragedy if a channel like NDTV is bailed-out from the predominantly BJP supporting middle-class taxpayers !!

Indian woman said...

In its own odd way, it is a pleasure to come from another universe (where pluralism and liberalism are good words) and find the converted busily preaching to themselves. Carry on, gentlemen. Why gentlemen? Because I find it hard to believe there is a woman amidst this frenzy of testosterone. Meanwhile, the rest of us will cheer as the BJP goes down for another five years.

Anonymous said...

First time, commenting on your blog. I love you writing almost except few issues
Rahul statement on left is really a signature of congress old habit of hurting the allies. The pole in congress dominant area in bengal is over, now others are Trinamool areas. Congress want to see Trinamool's lower number of seat, so congress can be revived in bengal and Mamata will be forced to merge her party in Congress.

Anonymous said...

It's possible to create terrorism in 15 minutes but takes 15 years to control. Ask KPS Gill.

JustanIndian said...

Re: IndianWoman

Ma'm, I am sure you are a beacon of liberalism and pluralism and all the chosen ones like you will be proud of your sexist assertions. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Rahul....You dont know what is Politics, Terrorism, National Security, Farmers problems and etc. Having said this, please for the God sake, dont give any public speeches and media statements which are meaningless. ThnX

Anonymous said...

Rahul thinks that he is a SuperHero/SuperMan of this country to eliminate terrorism in 15 mins. Let me remind you, it is not 3 hrs of Sunil shetty movie to eliminate all bad guys and have some dance/party. I feel he is not serious about his political career.

Srinivas said...


Anonymous said...

Re: IndianWoman
I am an educated(double masters if you would care!)working woman supporting this blog and BJP. Take that..

Indian woman said...

I'm trying to think of a graceful way to say "I told you so"... the five years begin today. In the meanwhile, to JustAnIndian: recognizing identity categories is not to endorse their inequalities. In other words, if one acknowledges that identities of gender, caste, race, religion etc. have historical lineages and lead to differences in privilege, one need not necessarily be charged with endorsing those differences (eg: "You suggest men and women inhabit different social realities? How sexist!"). Capiche?

Anonymous said...

What does Mr. Dasgupta say now about Mr. Rahul Gandhi.

Arvind said...

Double standard of secular media (or vested interest) hates speech by BSP(Muslim) leader of bareli roit fame. No action, no debate by self styled secular media lynching of Varun Dandhi even after one Year.

Arvind said...

Double standard of secular media (or vested interest) hates speech by BSP(Muslim) leader of bareli roit fame. No action, no debate by self styled secular media lynching of Varun Dandhi even after one Year.

Shri Hindu Ji said...

Secularist like abu aazmi(alleged to help terrorist) and CONGRESS Ex MLA Abdus Salam(alleged for helping terrorist) no remose, no action & no debate(by self styled secular media) double standard

Shri Hindu Ji said...

Sanjay Datt, Rahul Bhatt, Abu Aazmi, Salman Khan(Chupke Chupke), Azharuddin(Match Fixing aligation)CONGRESS MP, Abdus Salam Ex Ajamgadh CONGRESS MLA, Aftab Ansari, Mukhtaar Ansari, Ateek Ahmed on the wrong side of the law. No debate in self styled secular media double standard.

Shri Hindu Ji said...

No Action against Meghalaya CONGRESS Minister calling Women ‘vipers’ double standard, No Action, no debate by self styled secular media(self acclaimed champion of women causes).

Shri Hindu Ji said...

Derogatory words use for Indian parliamentary speaker(Dalit) by bihar CONGRESS man no remorse, no expulsion and shamelessly attacking U.P C.M(Dalit) Shows CONGRESS true Color and double standard shame on CONGRESS and on self styled secular media(Self Acclaimed champion of women causes)

Shri Hindu Ji said...

Rape by CONGRESS counselor in M.P. Shame on CONGRESS, No Debate self styled media shame on you also(Self acclaimed champion of women causes)

Shri Hindu Ji said...

Civil Rights of jammu woman are in Danger because of Congress (Traitors) No Debate less Reporting shame on you Self styled secular media.

Shri Hindu Ji said...

Congress has rude this country for most of the time muslims have voted for the congress most of the time. Sachcher Committee and Rang Nath Mishra Committee has concluded muslims are least developed. They have to ask each otheres for the answeres least they should ask for any reservation or special packages. My analysis is congress is a bad influance.

Shri Hindu Ji said...

P.M talks about inclusive growth. what is inclusive growth. Building, Roads, Hospitals, Public Utilities, Primary Schools, Universities, Or Giving Reservation(Exclusively for Muslims) is their any sane thinking.

Shri Hindu Ji said...

Father(late Rajeev Gandhi) & son(Rahul Gandhi) have been trying to Develop Amethi from last 25 years is there an any accountability. Modi ji has developed Surat City from Worst Indian City to 4th most beautiful City(in 8 years) in India. Is there any Comparision. Same on You Secularist and there friends(Self Styled Secularist Media).

Shri Hindu Ji said...

Nana ji Deshmukh(Witren RSS Reader & Socail worker) Donate his body to AIIM's. No Reporting in Self Styled Secular Media they only talked about Jyoti Basu. Why So much antypathy towards Hindus by self styled secular media.