Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is trying to revive his political career and emerge as a “strong” contender for the PM post in 2019. As a part of his renewed efforts, Rahul has taken to the foreign soil to attack the Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But in the process, he has scored a few self-goals that may harm his prospects in the run-up to 2019 General Elections.
Consider this: While addressing students at Princeton University today, Rahul ended up praising Narendra Modi’s ‘Make In India’, saying he liked the concept and wished the Congress had introduced it first. However, he tweaked his wish in a bid to target Modi, saying the ‘Make In India’ programme is currently “not targeting whom they should”. Rahul said he would like to implement the project differently and target “medium and small companies”. “PM Modi feels large businesses should be targeted,” he took a dig at the PM.
By praising the idea of ‘Make In India’, Rahul has ended up giving up a rare credit to Modi government, which the Congress has always denied in the last three years.
During the Assembly elections campaign early this year, Rahul had pitched for his own version of ‘Make In India’ concept in Uttar Pradesh and Manipur. However, his effort couldn’t persuade the voters much in both states. Instead, the BJP banked on Rahul’s failed attempts at discrediting ‘Make India’.
A few days ago while speaking at the UC Berkeley, Rahul had scored another self-goal by making his view on dynastic politics clear. When asked whether the Congress was more associated with dynastic politics, Rahul had said, “Most parties in India have that problem. Mr Akhilesh Yadav is a dynast. Mr Stalin is a dynast and even Abhishek Bachchan is a dynast. So that’s how India runs. So don’t get after me because that’s how they India is run. By the way, last, I recall, Mr Ambanis are running the business. That’s also going on in Infosys. So that’s what happens in India.”
Anti-dynastic politics was one of the major poll planks of the BJP in 2014 and also in this year’s Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections. The BJP scored massive victories on both occasions. Taking the benefit of hindsight, Rahul should be wary of making such casual, generalistic statements on the dynastic rule in the run-up to 2019.