One might shock why Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi was on a two-week image projection tour to the US this month nonetheless it was with a design. Rahul acquired some good and unhealthy publicity every in India and the US.
The pro-Congress media claimed that he managed to impress consultants in quite a few fields collectively together with his candid opinions and views; the anti-Congress media and social media ridiculed his faux pas, related to his controversial remarks on dynastic politics. Gandhi claimed that dynastic politics was part of Indian society, citing examples from politics, motion pictures, sports activities actions and enterprise. This was reverse to what he had been saying on the concern.
There is a trigger behind Rahul’s first principal political tour of the US at this stage of time. The Congress plans to enterprise Rahul as an alternate to Prime Minister Modi in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. This was in distinction to 2014 when the Congress did not enterprise anyone. Rahul himself admitted that he was ready to be the prime ministerial candidate. Interestingly, he chosen to declare his candidature from abroad soil barely than from India.
“I am absolutely ready to do that,” he said at the University of California, Berkeley, when requested if he was ready to be the prime ministerial candidate of the Congress. Rahul is simply not new to the US, as he has been visiting usually. But this was the first time he was projected abroad as a important prime ministerial contender. This journey was deliberate properly upfront. Sam Pitroda, the chairman of the Congress overseas division and a superb pal of the Gandhi family admitted, “RG visit was planned several months ago to get right people and platform to optimise consultation process.” What he did not state was that it was an practice to re-launch the Gandhi scion from the US sooner than he takes administration of the get collectively later this 12 months.
Rahul clearly wished to familiarise himself with American opinion makers and members of the administration as well as to partaking with the Indian Diaspora. Secondly, the Congress seems to have realised belatedly that even a youthful get collectively like the Aam Aadmi Party and naturally the BJP have numerous assist from the Indian Diaspora whereas the Congress lags behind. Rahul’s go to was meant to activate the overseas Congress, which is form of defunct.
“Overseas Indians wield considerable influence in the American establishment and in India. It is, therefore, important to connect with them,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala recognized.
Though BJP is manner ahead of the Congress in its engagement with the Diaspora in the US and elsewhere, one cannot fault Rahul for making a beginning. While addressing the Indian Diaspora at Times Square in New York, the Congress chief said, “Divisive politics are ruining India’s reputation abroad and NRIs in the tradition of the great NRIs before them should stand up to those dividing India now.”
Gandhi struck the correct bear in mind in his interactions with faculty faculty college students and lecturers every at Berkeley and Princeton. He spoke about his imaginative and prescient for India, the points coping with India, demonetisation, job loss, intolerance, disharmony and political polarisation. He defended the philosophy of non-violence and likewise praised India’s selection and plurality. But what was lacking was that whereas he criticised the Modi authorities, he did not level out what kind of narrative the Congress would supply for voters.
Rahul moreover did not level out how he plans to make the get collectively poll-ready. Rahul had a packed programme. He attended Round Table conferences with eminent Indians and South Asia consultants, hosted by the Democratic suppose tank, Center for American Progress. He had one different closed-door meeting co-hosted by Republican strategist Puneet Ahluwalia and the American Foreign Policy Institute.
At the White House he interacted with Lisa Curtis, who heads the South Asia division at the National Security Council and he gave his inputs on Indo-US relations and Afghanistan protection. But he did not meet excessive administration officers or laws makers. He had an interaction with the US India Business Council and likewise the Washington Post editorial Board. At the end of the go to, he repeated his theme on intolerance.
“I had lots of conversations in my trip. I met lot of people from the administration, I met people from both Democratic and Republican parties, and I met many friends, NRI friends. And I must tell you; I was very surprised because before I could even tell them what I was feeling, before I could even tell them what I was worried about, they told me exactly the same thing. And the single biggest thing most people told me, what has happened to the tolerance that used to prevail in India?”
By and big whereas Rahul might have raised his political profile in the US, the precise job is once more dwelling the place elections are scheduled in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh rapidly. It is a question mark whether or not or not he shall be able to keep the goodwill he has earned abroad as speeches and excursions are often not enough.
What he desires to do is to assemble the organisation, improve the morale of staff and uncover the correct people for the correct job. Another defeat in the ensuing polls will demoralise the Congress staff.