Rahul Gandhi vs Jagan Reddy – Two contrasts in political dynasties
In 2019 elections, many of the high profile candidates belonging to old political families were defeated. A lot of dynasties were taught a lesson for taking the voters for granted. However, there were two dynasts who emerged as the biggest winners – Stalin and Jagan Reddy, and one as the biggest loser – Rahul Gandhi.
Stalin was waiting in the shadows of his father for such a long time that he had already become a seasoned politician on his own merit rather than on his father’s image alone. However, Jagan Reddy and Rahul Gandhi, both had a point to prove. Rahul Gandhi had become the president of the Congress party ‘officially’ in early 2018 and thus, this was the first general election which the Congress party was fighting under his leadership. Jagan Reddy, on the other hand, had the mammoth task of taking on a 4 decade old politician who had been the chief minster multiple times.
As it turned out on 23rd of May, Jagan Mohan Reddy decimated the old wily politician Chandrababu Naidu both in the state as well as parliament elections. There were multiple factors that went against Chandrababu Naidu. He inherited a depleted state in 2014 after the bifurcation. He took it upon himself to correct the injustice done to ‘him’ and his state when for the first time in the history of independent India, the state demanding the partition got to keep the capital city, in this case Hyderabad. His ego was bruised and he wanted to prove a point so he put all his energy into Amravati, the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh.
Rest of the state was ignored at the cost of this Frankenstein-esque like fascination to outshine Hyderabad. Rather than working for the betterment of the people of the state, he was more interested in achieving his personal political ambitions and carve out his legacy (which was taken away in the form of Hyderabad). Then, he committed a sin of tying up with the Congress at the national level as well as in Telangana. The state was just bifurcated 3-4 years back and grave injustice was done to the state by the Congress party for its own selfish political dividends. People had not forgotten that. This proved to be disastrous for him in the end.
However, its one thing to have grievances and its another to turn that into a political movement. Jagan Mohan Reddy did just that with his 3000 km long ‘Padyatra’ like his father. His father’s legacy, anger against Chandrababu Naidu, and the willingness of a politician to do the hard work and not just wait for his ‘birthright’ to fall in his lap; all these worked together to the phenomenal performance of YSR Congress party in 2019 elections. He represented the same ‘hope’ for Andhra people which Narendra Modi represented for Indian citizens in 2014.
On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi led his century old party to its worse election defeat whereby it was effectively reduced to a single state party. What an ‘Official’ debut as Congress president! He lost his own seat from Amethi which was with his family since many decades, he himself was a three time MP from the constituency, that too with over 55,000 votes. Congress party was reduced to the magical numbers of 0, 1 or 2 in as many as 31 out of 36 states and UTs which effectively means that Congress won only 14 seats out of 440 seats, just 3% of all the seats in more than 80% of the area of India.
This is embarrassing for the party which controlled all the 100% areas of this country at one point of time. But what led to such a huge defeat for the Congress party? The answer is Rahul Gandhi and what all he represented. He came across as an entitled prince who wanted to take back ‘his’ throne by any means. He seemed big in name and much smaller in work in front of the work done by Narendra Modi and his dynamic leadership.
He made bad decisions after bad decisions while being in the opposition in these last 5 years. Whether it was to call PM Modi a ‘chor’, or to question the strikes on terror camps,or to stand shoulder to shoulder with those dreaming of ‘bharat tere tukde honge’, or to form government in Karnataka when the mandate was clearly against them, or to question every other institution like EC, RBI, CBI, ED, IT, and even SC.
Whoever advised him to take up these issues did a great injustice to him. Specially when there was sufficient anger in the general public because of half-fulfilled promises, problems due to Demonitization and GST, agrarian distress and lack of sufficient high quality jobs. Government did a lot but still fell short in many of these areas which could have been exploited by a capable politician. But instead going among the public, Rahul Gandhi chose to be a spoiled brat who invented issues out of his imagination.
This gave a message to the public that he is not serious about solving their problems but to achieve his own political goals. On top of that, he decided to call the person who was trying to solve their problems, a ‘chor’. This did not go down well with the citizens of India at all.
If Rahul Gandhi cannot do the grunt work in politics then he should just leave this field as the ‘New India’ does not accept power as someone’s birthright. In fact, this has become that one evil in politics, every citizen seem to hate. Politics is a demanding field that requires hours of hard work every single day for years.
One dynast decided to sit on the laurels of his ancestors and one decided to take his father’s legacy forward with his hard work and the result is for everyone to see.