Rahul Gandhi has a lot to learn from Manohar Parrikar who made his way up the party cadres through sheer dint of hard work. The best takeaway for Rahul Gandhi from Manohar Parrikar is that he rose from the grassroots to get respect of the top party leadership rather than begin at the helm of the party. Although Rahul Gandhi has been traveling across the country and meeting with cross section of people, he has never held a ground level position of responsibility to actually feel the pulse of the people.
Parrikar is an unassuming man, who is a taskmaster. So if Rahul is serious about rising in his political career, he must learn to start from the grassroots. Work hard to make his way up. No doubt, he is already born with a silver spoon but having a silver spoon can only help that much. It cannot give you the maturity and popularity of a good leader.
Manohar Parrikar has done it all: From a RSS pracharak to a Union Minister, technocrat-turned-politician Parrikar is known for his administrative acumen and clean image to leave an indelible mark on the politics of the tiny state. Armed with the party’s populist manifesto during his third stint in 2012, Parrikar cut down the prices of petrol in the State by almost Rs. 11 per litre, the move which made him most a popular chief minister overnight. Social security schemes like Grih Adhar (providing monthly income for housewives) and Ladli Lakshmi (giving financial help for marriage of girl child) cemented his popularity in the State.At the same time, Parrikar earned the ire of his opponents for failing to redress issues like stoppage of mining and shifting of off shore casinos away from River Mandovi near Panaji.
Whereas, Manohar Parrikar began as a RSS pracharak from Goa, in his first electoral debut was defeated by Congress candidate Harish Zantye in 1991. He was first elected to the second legislative assembly of Goa in 1994. Later, he rose to become the Leader of Opposition from June to November 1999. Parrikar became the Chief Minister for the first time on October 24, 2000, but his tenure lasted only till February 27, 2002. On June 5, 2002, he was re-elected and became the Chief Minister again. On January 29, 2005, his Government was reduced to a minority in the Assembly after four BJP MLAs resigned from the House. However, Parrikar proved his majority in the House next month. In 2007, the Parrikar-led BJP was defeated in the Goa state elections by the Congress-led by Digambar Kamat, a former BJP leader.
Parrikar is an unassuming man who had launched a campaign against the Congress-led government on the issue of illegal mining in the state, emerged as the rallying point for anti-Congress sentiments. He was the first BJP chief minister who had publicly said last year that Narendra Modi, the then Gujarat Chief Minister, should be the face of the party in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
And today Parrikar’s popularity is at its height all the MLAs wanted him as the Chief Minister, whereas Rahul has been instrumental in the debacle of Akhilesh Yadav and his Samajwadi Party as an alliance partner in the UP assembly polls.