It is almost like comparing apples and pears – so unlike in aspect, track record, performance and personal attributes are these two men. And yet Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi are virtually pitted against each other as Prime Ministerial candidates for the next general elections. How does RG stack up against NaMo (an altogether trendier and more unique diminutive) as an aspirant for the country’s top job?
Is Rahul Gandhi Prime Ministerial material – how does he rate on the same parameters as Narendra Modi as a possible Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 elections?
RAHUL GANDHI’S IMAGE
He has a good boy image. He has several things going for him – he is the scion of India’s premier political dynasty, he is young, good looking and comes across as terribly earnest. Much of India worships him and hails him as a savior; but then it does so for anything with a Gandhi surname. If at public rallies and other gatherings he commands large crowds, this owes itself less to his oratorical skills and more to the reverence people have for his ancestry.
His image is also an aloof one. Though he may stay the night or two in the hut of a Dalit person and make politically correct noises, he is seen as inaccessible and unaccountable. The media has a special grouse against him for this reason. He does not give interviews, he does not issue clarifications, and he doesn’t answer questions about himself. He doesn’t feel he has to have his own mouthpiece website and mobile application to make himself more accessible to people.
His Facebook page bears the legend
There is a work that my father had started, a dream he had dreamt.
I come to you today saying…allow me to turn that dream into reality
Apparently his favourite quote is,
Aam Aadmi Khe Badte Kadam,
Har Kadam Pe Bharat Bulund !
Nice, lofty sounding even, but doesn’t give you the sense that this is your go-to person when you have a problem on your hands.
RAHUL GANDHI’S TRACK RECORD
Rahul Gandhi may seem extremely well intentioned but does that translate to an effectual administrator and visionary leader? Here’s the main problem – we simply don’t know! He has held no public office of import and accountability that would give us any insight into his abilities. His being a Member of Parliament and office holder of various posts within the Congress party don’t give us any real insight.
We can also not give him credit for the congress win in Karnataka – that was a verdict more against B S Yeddyurappa and less for the Congress. Congress’s resounding rout in Uttar Pradesh occurred in spite of Rahul Gandhi’s earnest entreaties.
RAHUL GANDHI’S HURDLES
He faces very different hurdles from NaMo – whereas Rahul is unquestioningly accepted and his candidature taken for granted by many adoring party colleagues, Narendra Modi faces opposition from within his own party. Whereas Rahul Gandhi is surrounded by unquestioning sycophants of all ages and hues, Narendra Modi is surrounded by apprehensive colleagues looking to accomplish their own unfulfilled ambitions and political agendas.
RG’s hurdles are his inexperience and his inaccessibility. His own party, hamstrung by scandals of corruption and poor performance is a mill stone around his neck – his unwavering support system but also his biggest handicap. He does not have the type of popularity that NaMo commands. A recent survey reported that 43% of India wanted NaMo as PM; RG was a rather less popular choice.
So come 2014 (or earlier; Indian politics is ever unpredictable) who will you, the voter choose?
Image Source: IANS