PM-in-Waiting? Heaven help us!

Posted: March 7, 2012 in Politics
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I thought ascension to the seat of power by members of one family as a birthright was only seen in monarchies. We are seeing it now in a democracy.

Watching Congress leaders shamelessly defending Rahul Gandhi after the party’s disastrous showing in Uttar Pradesh, makes me wonder whether these politicians have any self respect or dignity. I understand these are politicians and sycophancy is the only thing they know, but they were speaking at any moment I expected them to start hanging their tongues out and wagging their tails.

As one heard their spirited defence of the man who they believed was their (not the people’s) prime minister-in-waiting, one wondered whether these seasoned politicians had taken leave of their senses. I mean, it’s one thing to appoint a distinguished economist as prime minister even though he has never won an election in his life, and an entirely different thing to anoint an 30-something upstart as prime minister in waiting just because he happens to be from a family that believes this country is their personal property. It made me nauseous.

Speaker after speaker extolled the virtues of Rahul Gandhi even though his disastrous campaigning had given his party almost the same number of seats as the last time. That the Congress Party is in a shambles in a majority of States is a foregone conclusion and if responsibility has to be fixed, then the Gandhi family has to cop the blame. Yet the sycophants of the oldest party in the country were defending the scion like he had actually done the State of Uttar Pradesh a huge favour by stepping out of his ivory tower to mingle with the peasantry and allowed them to kiss his ring. And just for that they would have to vote for him? Thank God the people of Uttar Pradesh wisely decided otherwise.

Unlike his father who was thrust into the hot seat due to circumstances beyond his control, Rahul has all the opportunities to become a seasoned politician before he aims for the top spot. A suggestion by a news anchor that Rahul first become the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh before looking to Delhi, was quickly turned down by the Congress party’s chief sycophant who said the Gandhi scion was a national leader not a State satrap like Jitin Prasada or Akhilesh Yadav! Both, incidentally are MPs not MLAs, just like Mr Gandhi and have as much opportunity to aim for the PM’s chair as he has.

But according to the Congress party that seat has been reserved for Rahul Gandhi, even if the man has so far failed in his attempts to lead his party to a victory in any state he has campaigned in. What is even better news for people who believe the Gandhis have been lording over the country like it’s their ancestral property and should be shown the door, is that their handpicked nominees got hammered in Amethi and Rae Bareli. Is there a more telling reminder to this family that they are not as loved or admired as they think they are.

If Rahul Gandhi wants to be prime minister he should learn the art of politics and governance before he thinks of applying for the most important job in the country. Running India is not the same as a day at the office. Even a distinguished economist has realised that working at the World Bank was a far easier job!

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