Both Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi were half right when they attacked the Prime Minister for overdoing his self-publicity.
Was it mere coincidence that on the very day that Rahul spoke of the PMO having been reduced to a “publicity minister’s office”, his kid sister (upon whom the Congress party now pins so much hope) warned Mr Narendra Modi that generating publicity was one thing, delivering on promises was something else. Was there more than a tinge of jealousy to their acidic comments?
For both were also half-wrong in believing they had the capacity to “match” Mr Modi in the game of political one upmanship, and might have to reluctantly concede the latter’s ability to convert into bouquets the brickbats they hurled against him.
Rahul’s allegation of a “suit-boot sarkar” never really clicked in the way that the Pappu image stuck, and a BJP leader has claimed that by opting to take the novel river-route to reach out to voters in eastern UP, Priyanka was actually certifying the progress made in the drive to cleanse the Ganga.
If any further proof were required of Mr Modi’s PR management-skills it has been provided by his “twisting” Rahul’s chowkidar allegation into an accolade ~ he had become the watchman to protect the nation against scamsters like those responsible for scandals like those responsible for swindles pertaining to the allocation of coal blocks, 2G spectrum and the loot of public money during the Commonwealth Games.
The chowkidar has been converted into a figure of some reverence in public perception. To be fair to Priyanka, she has avoided emulating Rahul in the name-calling business, and to be fair to Mr Modi thus far during the campaigning he has not dragged Robert Vadra into the fray ~ allowing the law enforcement agencies to do the work.
Rahul’s bid to convert the purchase of 36 Rafale fighters into a rerun of the Bofors howitzer deal has simply not taken off. Not that there are no questions that need to be answered by the French aviation firm, but essentially because there has been little focus to the fire Rahul has tried to bring down.
He has fired away at random ~ sometimes claiming an exorbitant price was paid, that “friend” Anil Ambani was benefited by a windfall without explaining what “offsets” were to be supplied by the latter.
And he seems terribly confused between details of the two deals ~ the one the UPA had failed to negotiate for joint-production of the fighter with HAL, and the limited-purchase in Mr Modi’s deal.
That the Congress sought fresh ammunition in the revelations in a reputed newspaper proves that its homework was skimpy ~ the silly attempt by the government to muzzle the media by raising alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act is another story, but it does not quite gel with the yarn Rahul is trying to spin. Unearthing scandals is clearly too serious a business for him.