Rahul Gandhi hugs Modi, stuns all present in the house
While watching Congress President Rahul Gandhi speak in the parliament, reminded me of two individuals of varied interests – Prime Minister Narendra Modi pre-2014 and former India opener Virender Sehwag. The one-hour cameo from the Gandhi scion not only nailed the ruling party, albeit their obstruction on several occasions, it actually gave ammo to all like-minded parties ahead of 2019 general elections.
The speech from RaGa had the feel of Modi’s ‘Abki baar, Modi Sarkar‘. Four years ago, Modi used to draw accolades for his oratory skills and the opposition literally lost the battle then and there. Modi emerged as the only candidate to occupy the 7 Race Course Road bungalow and he did it with a cakewalk in the 2014 elections.
Beginning the speech with a swagger that Sehwag used to show with the willow, Gandhi was off to a flier. “We are a victim of political weapon,” was the first upper cut hurled at the calm-and-composed Modi sitting at the other end. Words just flowed from his mouth as runs used to flow from the dashing opener’s bat on his day.
A ‘Pappu’ would have made stronger comments, but this Pappu-turned-politician didn’t. Clichés of demonetisation and unemployment were just passing mentions. The body language with which RaGa spoke showed that he is no more a Pappu, but a changed politico who is sure to give sleepless nights to the dispensation, particularly Modi.
Just like the Modi mania ahead of the 2014 general elections, Gandhi scion may be the new hope for all the liberals run-up to the 2019 showdown. Accusing the ruling party of lying on the Rafael deal was tactically distracted by the MPs fearing that it may open the can of worms. But not once did that deter the 48-year-old from unleashing more fire only to turn the saffron faces pale.
Though the Prime Minister tried his best to put up a brave face, a sense of despair was writ large on the faces of Modi acolytes. Moment the Rafael deal fiasco was tabled, the desperation of the BJP was something worth noticing. It was a clear case of empty vessels makes more noise. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tried to defend herself and the party, but was feeble. Others ensured pandemonium to avoid further embarrassment.
It is not about the good, bad and ugly as Indian voters are well aware that all are sides of the same coin, but what matters most is convincing speeches in which Modi was best till date. After Friday, this statement no more hold true as Gandhi has posed a tough challenge to turn the tide in Congress’ favour which was reduced to minnows in the last election.
After having a great day in office, RaGa stole the limelight completely while he was done. Having trained his guns to the PM all through, he walked upto the PM and embraced him with open arms with Modi reciprocating in a befitting manner. The gesture took everyone in the house by surprise and the wry smile on Sonia Gandhi’s face said the entire story.
Gandhi’s popularity has gained in leaps and bounds in the last four years which doesn’t have a parameter to measure and can only be judged through elections. Come 2019, the acid test awaits both Modi and Gandhi. It remains to be seen who has the last laugh.