He began with his coronation as the reluctant prince of Indian politics though the country was always curious about the lesser known scion of India’s most elite political family.
With the coronation, he did certain things and we started knowing and talking about him and the likelihood that he was on the way to become a seasoned politician and the future prime minister started looking more likely.
In addition to and away from the ranting and panting of the airwaves and other news vehicles, he did stir the imagination in a country obsessed with role models and heirlooms. He looked sincere, disturbed on the misery called ‘Bharat’ and was angry on the pace of the 'needed' change.
He was labeled as the angry young man of Indian politics, designated to be the next prime minister if the grand old party of India won the election.
Yesterday, he looked and sounded different, mellowed down, realistic, polite and sincere again, away from the rhetoric that he had been practicing for quiet some time now.
Rahul Gandhi, the ‘angered’ princeling of the Indian political panorama was a soft-speaking person on the day of counting of votes for the five state assembly elections and the reason behind this change (transformation will be a premature term here!) was the drubbing the Indian National Congress (INC)had in these assembly polls. What the Congress party was expecting before the day of the counting was a decimated hope by the afternoon of March 6, 2012.
The Congress party had expected to win back Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur while gaining major foothold in Uttar Pradesh. Goa was always a dicey proposition given the electoral history of the state. Instead, it remained second in Punjab; could not win back Uttarakhand to have a smooth sail and might not be able to form the government there; was decimated in Goa and humiliated in Uttar Pradesh. Winning back Manipur has never been a significant factor in the national politics (another irony for 'Bharat'!).
There are hell lot of factors apart from the ‘Rahul Gandhi’ one responsible for this rout but why Rahul Gandhi is emerging as the singular point of attack has to do with the poor insight and the pathetic campaign management of the Congress party managers as well as the inconsistent political sincerity of Mr. Rahul Gandhi.
EXPERIMENTAL GENESIS BECOMING THE NEMESIS
First it was Bihar and now it is Uttar Pradesh. To make the road to the prime minister's office easily accessible to Rahul Gandhi, the Congress party started projecting him as the leading figure and future of the party. The exercise began with these two states.
The managers of the grand old party of India saw these two biggest states of India as the laboratory for Rahul Gandhi’s experiments on the road to the political supremacy of the Congress party. They forgot the simple fact that there was nothing like a ‘controlled test condition’ in this laboratory. They foolishly ignored the fact that these two states, in more than one way, decide the way the Indian polity moves because of their sheer electoral size and number of parliamentary seats. Together, these two states constitute almost 20 per cent of the Lok Sabha seats and any failure here was going to have long-standing repercussions.
But there was this coordinated, controlled clamour to project Rahul Gandhi as the prime minister of India material by 2014 when the next General Elections are due.
So there he was. Every time. He campaigned heavily. He campaigned angrily.
Bihar was as big a humiliation as Uttar Pradesh is now for the Congress party and for Mr. Rahul Gandhi.
Indian National Congress is almost non-existent in these two nerve centers of the Indian polity. Instead of building a base of regional and local cadres to create a strong organizational structure in these two states, the Congress party banked on the charisma of the ‘Rahul Gandhi’ factor.
A regional leader is always the direct interface to the local vote bank that Rahul Gandhi is not. In fact, he is yet to prove his worth as the national level political figure. He emerged efficiently on the national political scene but started getting defocused even before bolstering his position there. He was there in flashes but lacked consistency.
And from that premature slot, he started slogging on unknown pitches, first in Bihar and now in Uttar Pradesh.
And it all added to his nemesis.