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November 2017 Edition of Power Politics is updated.  Happy Diwali to all our subscribers and Distributors       November 2017 Edition of Power Politics is updated.   Happy Diwali to all our subscribers and Distributors       
Issue:Sep' 2017


Rahul has arrived, politically!

Malladi Rama Rao

Rahul Gandhi is here to stay. BJP and its extended Parivar cannot wish him away. Rightly, they had taken him seriously from Day One of their stay on Raisina Hill, but assumed that as a part of the Congress party's Babalog, he has less stamina to withstand the rigours of Indian politics and may overtime slowly fade away. That has not happened.
Now BJP and Co., are witnessing something they were unprepared to hear or see – spring in Rahul's stride. The recent visit of the scion of Congress party's first family to the United States of America has done wonders to the fortysomething. What all the ageing aides at 24 Akbar Road could not do, the family faithful, Sam Pitroda achieved by presenting Rahul before an audience which was sceptical as also fanning.And on his return home, the Shahzada has demonstrated that he has that spring tide not in a small measure but substantially.

Sam Pitroda Rahul Gandhi is surprising the acolytes and critics alike with his pointed tweets one too many every day. The tweets, the barbs, the digs and the jibs have the ingredients that can fire up the faithful. And invite ridicule for their unalloyed naivety and for their absurdity of clever by half approach. If so, what? The Congress party has gifted itself a figure who is recognised all over India with a talking point that can command nationwide attention.


Manmohan Singh The blitzkrieg from Bharuch in Gujarat to Bilaspur in Himachal is winning the perception battle aided in no small measure by the young egg-heads, some of them direct imports from the Ivy League universities. And the so called reluctant politician (he was never reluctant at the first place, Manmohan Singh knows it better, and it is a tag gifted by in-house spin-doctors) who had made himself a part-time law maker, has since become a full-time political entrepreneur.
The Hindu Hrudaya Samrat or his camp could have easily put spokes in the way of 'son rise'. They did not. It is possible that the thought did Chankya with a ruthless streak masked behind an image of indecisiveness.


PV Narasimha Rao Cut in the same mode is the Robert Vadra mania. A good talking point but has proved to be a Saddam Scud. Who will take the BJP seriously when what all the partyled governmentat the Centre could produce (through its leaking roofs) is an e-mail tracked air tickets booked by an arms dealer for Vadra's foreign jaunts long months ago. What happened to Ops Squeeze targeted to unearth his land mafia dealings in Rajasthan and Surprisingly, the BJP leaders, who do not miss telling the nation that not hit them. For two reasons. One the image the TRP hungry TV has grafted on Rahul Gandhi. Two, the motor mouths in the Parivar, many of them unknown names, are giving a byte for byte mostly at prime time on the Channels speaking for the nation and for the Republic. So a belated out-of- box thinking ended up with borrowing a leaf from theHalf Lion's (PV Narasimha Rao's) armoury – Bofors ghost. Whoever gave the advice to exhume the Bofors did them no good. Obviously they did not read history, much less the Congress history which has reduced Rao to no more than a footnote, though he has been acknowledged as the 20th century Haryana? For three-years the BJP has been seated in the driver's saddle in both the states. But where is the clinching evidence to nail the brassware dealer- exporter?

RAHUL SPEAK & TWEETS - "Modiji, don't try to 'demon-etize' Tamil pride" (on BJP demands for cuts in Tamil film, Mersal). - "Modiji quick; looks like President Trump needs another hug" (from you) as US Prez hailed American-Pakistan relations). - Women are never seen in Sangh Shakhas. - BJP inaugurating our (UPA) projects. - Modi will promise to bring the moon to India by 2030. - If Modiji cannot address farmers and youth concerns, he should say so, and the Congress will come and do it in six-months. - Cong failed, PM also failing on job front. - It is shameful for the Modi government that the statute of Sardar Patel will be made in China. - When Amit Shah's son's company has grown 16000 times, Modiji has gone silent. This is Modi's Start-up India and Made in India. - If voted to power in Gujarat, Congress will waive the entire debt of farmers.

Robert Vadra In a manner of speaking the BJP's plight today is no different from that of Mandal messiah, VP Singh and his part-time Sancho Panza of the day, Jaipal Reddy. Both had learnt the hard way that Bofors boasts could get fans butoffered no crutches to survive in the political minefield of Hastinapura. Tempting to say, therefore, that whoever has authorised or masterminded the Vadra centric probes deserves to be placed in the Parivar's Hall of Shame. they were the victims of Indira Gandhi's authoritarianism of emergency days have not learntfrom the Janata party's adventure to penalise the iron lady under the aegis of Shah Commission, and the Janata Home Minister Charan Singh's plans to arrest her with neither a Plan A nor a backup Plan B in place.


P Chidambaram So, even those who areunimpressed by Rahul, and troubled by Rahul -speak or those who have loved to ignore him as the loose cannon cut in the Arvind Kejriwal mode are forced to take notice of him. Reason? India is a two-party state; the Congress and the BJP are pivots at the national level. There is no ignoring this reality as the Yechury- Karat face off over alliance politics, which is another name for the Marxist survival in these days of Moditva, shows. Political pundits of all hues agree that Narenedrabhai Damodarbhai Modi has scripted the Rahul phenomenon. The Modinomics has gifted to the Indian economy – demonetisation on Nov 8, 2016 and

Yashwant Sinha Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July 2017, and offered an unsolicited lifeline to the Congress and other parties. Till this gift came their way, the Opposition inside and outside the BJP was reconciled to let Modi unfurl the tri-colour from the ramparts of the Red Fort for the next seven years. As the Mahabharata says, the

Arun Shourie ruler must listen to every advice and factor in every view. But Modi did not lend his ears to the in-house economist brigade led by Dr Subramanian Swamy. Nor does he have, like Rahul Gandhi, young eggheads at hands to tell him about the pulse of today's India and its youth.
Both he and his finance minister Arun Jaitley found themselves breathless when the attack came from the likes of P Chidambaram, who has an axe to grind against Moditva, wounded-jobless politician, Yashwant Sinha, who sees himself as an elderly statesman, and the marginalised economistjournalist, Arun Shourie, who is in eternal search of subjects for new campaigns.


Narendra Modi Will Narendra Modi weather-thestorm? It is a million dollar question. If his track record in Gujarat is the guide, he may. "My first three years in office (in a five year term) are for the critics, and the remaining two years for me to prove them wrong", he said once shortly after ascending the Delhi Gaddi.
Many of Modi's die-hard fans hope to see lady luck to smile at their Man. They are thrilled by the Wall St Journal's certificate that some criticism (of Modinomics) does appear to be over the top. And that virtually no serious analyst believes that Asia's third-largest economy is in a tailspin as the critics claim. The Modi-Bhakts confidence quotient is cemented by the pundit talk (some pundits?) that visible setbacks will not turn into voter fury in the forthcoming round of assembly elections. Moreover, Congress record in Gujarat is dismal thus far. Yet, Modi is pulling out all the stops. It may bean insurance against the invisible X-factor which comes into play at election time.


Smriti Irani In the interim, however, Rahul Gandhi is in an overdrive to steal the thunder, Hindutva including,from Modi, particularly in Gujarat, which is going to polls soon. Twittereti is lapping up his every word, and the BJP is finding ways to debunk his uptick on the social media. Rahul's resurgence on social media is mostly inorganic and attributable to bots, says Smriti Irani, the Minister for Textiles, who is known for her acid tongue. If so, what? She cannot deny he has carved out an edge with an average number of retweets put at 2, 784 as opposed to 2506 for Modi's tweets. The Congress has been waiting for this Rahul moment. It has gone to town declaring that his tweets are resonating with the people of the country.The message is simple, loud and clear: Rahul is ready for a bigger battle.
Rahul is not bound by the pre- UPA legacy of the Congress. This is an unsolicited advantage that has come his way, largely because of BJP and its allies under the NDA brand have confined their gaze to the UPA -1 and 2. Well, BJP has been harping upon dynasty politics in Congress. But it has not made Rahul's lineage a political issue. It may be because the remarked at a press conference in Patna on Oct 17.He is right and there are no two views. Anyhow, going by what is heard on the Congress beat, the announcement of Rahul Gandhi's name as Congress president could be sooner than strong turf. He needs focussed attention to keep up the momentum till 2019 India is not America. And its elections are not cut in the US Presidential election grove. That is why his campaign to make Youth

Rahul Gandhi campaigning in Gujarat

BJP also has its own quota of dynasties.There is no clarity as to when Rahul will formally take over the mantle of the Congress. Not that it is an issue since he has been leading from the front and pushed his betenoire to the back foot with his very first jibe – "Modi's is a suited-booted sarkar". As Nitish Kumar, the Bihar Chief Minister, and BJP ally, says, Rahul Gandhi as Congress Chief is a settled issue. "I have been hearing about Rahul Gandhi's elevation as party president, which is a settled issue…even otherwise, he is the all in all in his party (Congress)," Kumar most assume.The decks are cleared as the organisational elections have been completed at the state level by mid-October; several states have passed unanimous resolutions in Rahul's favour. So he may helm the party from November.


For Rahul, the concern is not the party crown. It is his anyhow. His priority is to make the Congress and other allies to give up old ways of politics to counter BJP. He has already effected course corrections particularly in Gujarat to challenge the Saffaronites on their very own Congress to follow the American model for organisational elections ended up in a nowhere street. Targeting the PM and demanding explanations for everything under the sun may make him a darling of the social media. Like Kejriwal was for three years with his social media safari. Hammering in Punjab and Delhi local bodies made him to return to basics. Like Indira Gandhi did afterher tryst with emergency and the Janata interregnum.Credibility and communication are what matter in the ballot street. Rahul's Congress has miles to go before it can rest.