I was a former Congressman out of choice. My family has always supported the Congress from the days of Indira Gandhi to Rajiv Gandhi and even now they continue to put their faith in the Congress. I, however, differ from their opinion while respecting their views. When I mean my family, I am referring to my parents.
I chose to be a part of the Congress because after the drubbing in Goa Assembly elections 2012, I felt convinced that there was an intent from some senior leaders in the Congress to bring about a change. Congress lost Goa due to its leaders facing rampant corruption charges in 2012.
I was happy that Manohar Parrikar formed the government in 2012 with a majority on the promise of eradicating corruption. But I was left disappointed at that time when on the illegal mining front, he changed his stance from illegal mining to irregular mining, thereby raising a serious question on the genuineness of the intent behind the truthful yet vicious attack propagated against the Congress without taking the matter to its logical conclusion and throwing in jail the corrupt politicians and mining barons. As I pen down my thoughts today, SC has quashed all the 88 mining leases that the Goa government granted under the BJP in haste raising a question mark yet again on the intent to punish the culprits of the illegal mining scam in Goa. I know Manohar Parrikar is not corrupt but I felt that when he moved from Opposition to Ruling, he was no longer the crusader against the illegal happenings in Goa but a politician. The change of stance on the casinos was yet another dampener for me.
I joined the Congress because I believed they wanted to change. Under the leadership of the then President Luizinho Faleiro there was conscious effort to reach out to the grassroots Congress workers and people of Goa. With Manohar Parrikar opting for the Centre, Goa was left with a bunch of leaders from the BJP who thought being in power meant that it would be for perpetuity. Parrikar could not shadow control from Delhi and Parsekar – his supposed wing man – grew too big for his shoes that eventually swallowed him in the Goa Assembly Elections 2017.
Congress almost got the game right but because of egos and some behind the door workings for personal interest by leaders in Goa and Delhi, they squandered away their chance to get back in pole-position in Goa.
I can openly admit that I did not do much for the Congress because I did not hold my official position for a long time. Yet some senior Congress leaders though upset with me, will never say that my advice or strategy given to them was wrong. My lack of time spent with Congress would raise a fair moot point that I am not the right person to commit on the overall workings of the Congress. But I am writing this article to share my views on Rahul Gandhi as an aspiring leader from the Congress for the Prime Minister of India position as a an Indian and not someone who held a Congress position.
I do not know Rahul Gandhi personally because all my requests for meetings were never cleared. I rationalised the fact that I am not high on the ladder to merit a listening ear. That ear was never given even during the time when I was so sure that Congress was going to squander away its majority hold in Goa during the 2017 elections.
Interestingly and also surprisingly what Rahul Gandhi has failed to understand that the turn around of the Congress at that election happened because of his two speeches – one in the South and the other in the North – that the majority of silent voters who were not going to vote for BJP, were confused about AAP and angry with Congress, decided to forgive Congress and vote for the party because it did put some new leaders in the fray. For some reason Goa seemed to give Congress a fighting chance.
Of course BJP got a better vote share and that is a political machinations that the smart do in breaking vote-share and increasing one’s own vote share. Like I openly stated on national television BJP outsmarted Congress while Digivijaya Singh was busy holidaying.
To the entire Goa episode, all Rahul Gandhi did was blame the BJP for its political wit.
After my television vent of frustration where I was really upset. I had to let everyone know that it hurts and that its wrong – when the voters gives you a fighting chance and you do nothing, the least you could do is fight back to repose the faith they have put in you.
Nobody cared about the merit on my grouse though they agreed with my reasons and logic but they were all upset with me for laying the blame on Rahul Gandhi. ‘You cannot drag Rahul Gandhi into this, he is the Congress Vice-President’ said senior AICC leader from Goa. Yet another one from Tamil Nadu told me ‘Rahul is our leader, who are you, nothing’. And I kept thinking to myself what wrong did I do in speaking the truth. Did Rahul Gandhi not care for my views and that of some of the people of Goa. Therefore I left the Congress and I don’t regret my decision.
In simple words, I left because if a leader cannot take responsibility for a loss and blame opposition, then it is not leadership but shirking of responsibility.
I cannot comment of Rahul Gandhi as person. He might a wonderful person or an absolute terror. But as an keen observer of politics, I can most convincingly state that ‘he does not inspire me’ to be Indian or arouse that pride in me of being Indian.
To me Rahul Gandhi is the epitome of everything that is wrong in this country. His elevation to President of Congress on pure selection and not election (which he himself advocates) is a mockery of the democratic fabric of this country. It tells people like me who aspire to change India that you cannot become a Prime Minister of India or President of Congress now because that is a position meant only for the Gandhi family or people who fall at their feet. His elevation is not based on merit because if you analyse his thoughts and moot points more often than not they are illogical, defaming India in the need to attack Modi and completely irrational. His position in political life also is not based on his political acumen, strategic thinking or oratory skills but based on a group of sycophants who owe their allegiance to the Gandhi family for the wealth and position they have amassed over the years.
It irritates me to even think that someone like a Rahul Gandhi can advocate about fair play in the interest of the nation or party workers but acts in a manner that you are all subservient to me and my sycophants because the top positions will be for me and whomsoever my family and coterie decides.
Being a Gandhi, Rahul! Does not mean India owes you the PM position. You need to earn it.
The India of today is a changed India. It looks to a leader that inspires. Fortunately for India, Narendra Modi does inspire. He inspires me. I hope that dream of India that he has envisaged and communicated becomes a reality.
Congress too has done a lot for India in its own way. I am not one to criticise Congress because it has over the years taken India forward and along the way made such terrible mistakes which were overlooked because there was no worthy opposition. Today in front of Modi, Rahul Gandhi is not even an Opposition.
I have not joined BJP. I admire the work of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah; there is a lot to learn from their political acumens. But I don’t have a great opinion of many other leaders in the BJP both in Goa and at a National level. In much the same way I also do have a lot of respect for some Congress leaders but my interest has and will always be India First.
If you truly want to do something for this nation and the Congress party, here is my honest suggestion Rahul Gandhi and I am only saying this because my parents continue to have faith in the Congress and because in the interest of democracy we need a good opposition leader to a good ruling leader. In this competitiveness India wins:
Get rid of the deadwood in the Congress. They are like antique furnitures that have no real value just notional value.
Get rid of all the sycophants around you. They continue to keep you focussed on Modi and not on India. Your focus should be India and what can be done for India.
Go to the real workers of the Congress who have for years supported the Congress not because they were paid too but because of the legacy of your grandmother and a bit of your father, take their children and make them leaders while you step back.
Get a better strategist and PR manager.
Do not insult India when you go abroad. India is bigger than Modi, BJP, Congress and you
But most all get over the belief that the Gandhi’s are the only saviours of India. That era is long over. India needs Indians not the Gandhis.
Bharat Mata Ki Jai