Positioning himself as the ideal leader to look forward for development, Rahul Gandhi attacked Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati at Phulpur. Apparently, this attack comes as an irreversible change of the future prime minister who is known for his not so combative tone to match the too sharp-tongued rivals.
The leaders portrayed as icons for the upliftment and development for the backward and the dalit were alleged by him as having no concern for the poor because of their lust for power. Reportedly, this move of him surprised the veteran Congress leaders who are used of only measured words from the apparent heir. He even compared migrant labour with ‘begging’.
However, only time can tell that whether Rahul’s anger will anyway affect the decision of the UP voters when they visit the polling booths in April-May 2012. But according to the leaders, the rally had enthused workers like never before in two decades. That became evident when the Union minister of state Jitin Prasada stated, “The speech spelt out the issues clearly and set the tone for aggressive campaigning against the misrule of Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Rahul took charge of Congress’s campaign in UP in 2008, and visited Bundelkhand and other dalit households in an attempt to strengthen the party. These attempts to reintroduce the party in a caste-polarized and poverty stricken state were termed as pro-poor. But as per the party leaders, Rahul’s tone of attacking the rival party leaders was too soft.
Rahul even talked boldly about the post-Bhatta Parsaul allegations of atrocities on women. According to his allegations, even if someone’s daughter is raped, the FIR would be lodged only for a bribe in order to convey the seriousness of corruption.
However, the use of begging for migrant labour have already been picked up by BJP and SP in order to make it an issue of insult to dalits and backwards who form the bulk of migrant labourers. Post-Phulpur, this aggressive move of Rahul Gandhi is being seen as the strategy campaign for the upcoming four months to get the voters’ attention. And as per a leader, ‘Results apart, the basics are right’.
Report by Indrani Chowdury