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Sunday, May 19, 2024, 3:25 am

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Poverty-focused speech by Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi
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Elections reveal both the best and worst in politicians. During the Lok Sabha election campaign, lawmakers on both sides of the political divide have not performed well.

As the long election process nears its end on June 4 with the declaration of victors and losers, the negative side is becoming more evident. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments from the podium may have lacked prime ministerial authority. He chose incorrect words. Even if he had to express himself, he could have done so in a more mature manner. The return to combative politics reflected voter fear. The ruling party’s attempt to rally people around communalism and Muslim-bashing during a lacklustre campaign was not the most effective strategy. The Congress party’s focus on caste and wealth surveys appears to favour well-off voters over the poor and impoverished.

The Congress believes that without breaking Modi’s emotional bonds with OBCs and the poor, it will struggle in the upcoming election. Rahul Gandhi’s “stray thoughts” on wealth distribution and socio-economic surveys aim to divide voters based on wealth. Attacking “Ambani and Adani” on the campaign trail may not improve the Congress Party’s pro-poor image, as both industrialists owe their early success to the party. After liberalisation, their growth may have increased significantly, which was envisaged.
During the Republic’s early years, the Opposition used the term “Birlas and Tatas” to accuse the Congress governments of being corrupt. The Opposition may naturally abuse successful businesses in a country with a big poor population.
However, this does not mean that the rise of these industrialists is limited to one political party. Businesses are adept at conducting business with all political parties.

The BJP has used Sam Pitroda, an NRI close to the Gandhis and head of the Congress’s overseas cell, to portray the Congress as a party out to “snatch women’s mangalsutras” and deny their children the right to inherit their parents’ property through inheritance tax.

According to Jairam Ramesh, Pitroda, Rahul Gandhi’s tutor, is known for his unpredictable behaviour. Years ago, he upset the Sikh community by dismissing the 1984 tragedy as insignificant.  The leftist-liberal tilt in the utterances of Rahul Gandhi and other party members does not  fit nicely with the prevailing atmosphere of the country. Having  lived through the heydays of “Garibi Hatao” and ordinary voters tend to shrug dismissively, totally conscious that their socioeconomic situation has visibly improved in the post-liberalization era.

While the Election Commission investigates the complaint against Modi’s use of dog whistles to rally support, further infractions of the model code of conduct have surfaced. A CPI(M) politician in Kerala called for a DNA test to determine Rahul’s parentage. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan appeared to explain his party MLA’s foul abuse. A former AAP leader in Gujarat labelled Rahul as “impotent”. Second-tier leaders from all parties frequently engage in disgusting abuses. Responsible politicians should maintain civility and good manners throughout intense campaigning.

Appealing to a specific group of voters is not beneficial for either the speaker or their audience. Election is not a bloodsport. The grandest festival of democracy should not be tainted by personal attacks or profanities.

ABHISHEK VERMA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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