Critics have criticised Rahul Gandhi for lacking good judgement and political stupidity. It can refer to actions or statements that harm the interests of the country.
One of the most prominent examples of Rahul Gandhi’s political stupidity is his comment on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that occurred in Delhi after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In a 2014 interview, he stated that “some Congressmen were probably involved” in the riots. Many accused him of trying to absolve his party’s role in the riots. He also failed to take a firm stance against the perpetrators of the violence.
Another example of political stupidity on Rahul Gandhi’s part was his “suit-boot ki sarkar” comment during the 2015 budget session. He criticised the ruling government for being a “suit-boot ki sarkar” despite wearing designer suits himself. This led to accusations of hypocrisy and lack of self-awareness. His own privileged background made him susceptible to the same criticism he was levelling at others.
Furthermore, Rahul Gandhi lacks leadership qualities and strategic thinking. This was evident during the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Ghulam Nabi Azad On Rahul Gandhi
Ghulam Nabi Azad, a former Congress veteran, triggered a political row on Monday by alleging that Rahul Gandhi has ties with “undesirable businessmen.” The BJP asked Gandhi to clarify the “serious charge” made against him. The Congress hit back at Azad, alleging that he “falls to new depths” to demonstrate his loyalty to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with every passing day. The Congress said that Azad’s contemptible statements on the Congress’ leadership reflect his desperation to remain relevant.
Azad made the allegations during an interview with the Malayalam News channel Asianet News on Sunday. Referring to the Gandhi family, he said that even Rahul has associations with businessmen. The entire family has such associations. He would go, even outside the country, to meet people who are undesirable businessmen.
…their entire family (the Gandhis) have all along had association with businessmen, including him (Rahul Gandhi). He (Rahul) goes abroad and meets undesirable businessmen…
– Ghulam Nabi Azad
Rahul Gandhi must explain who are these businessmen he meets and for what purpose? pic.twitter.com/2juk0GlvhW
— BJP (@BJP4India) April 9, 2023
On the previous day, Rahul Gandhi had taken a swipe at some leaders who had quit the Congress in recent years and joined the BJP, while continuing his offensive against the government over the Adani issue.
Azad has been giving a series of interviews, slamming the Congress leadership and the party, coinciding with the launch of his autobiography. He said one has to be “spineless” to remain in the Congress party and made disparaging remarks against Rahul Gandhi, squarely blaming him for his ouster from the party.
Rahul Gandhi, Adani And Hindenburg
Following the release of the Hindenburg report on the Adani Group, Rahul Gandhi and the opposition have maintained their focus on the issue, accusing the government of granting undue benefits to Gautam Adani. Rahul linked Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kiran Reddy, Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Anil Antony, along with Azad, to Adani, all of whom were former Congress leaders who had joined the BJP.
Azad’s response to Rahul is anticipated to put him on the defensive. The BJP may use Azad’s criticism of Rahul to inquire about his connections with various overseas businesspersons. Rahul is known for spending considerable time abroad.
Azad’s rebuke of Rahul fits into the BJP’s broader strategy to discredit Rahul. He is adamant about a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) investigation into the Hindenburg issue. He is also dissatisfied with a Supreme Court-ordered inquiry.
Directionless As Always
Just before Azad criticised Rahul, opposition stalwart Sharad Pawar had defended Adani and stated that there was no need for a JPC inquiry. Rahul is also facing criticism from the G-23 group of veteran Congress leaders who are unhappy with his leadership of the party. This criticism from party insiders will be embarrassing for Rahul, particularly if they attempt to downplay the Adani issue.
With his Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul aimed to not only revitalise his party but also to emerge as an assertive leader. He dreamt of leading a possible opposition front against the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
However, it now appears that Rahul’s focus on the Adani issue could backfire on him. With Pawar, one of the most important opposition leaders and an alliance partner of the Congress, distancing himself from Rahul on the Adani issue, and Azad questioning Rahul over his own connections with businesspersons, Rahul could not only become isolated but also be left grappling with controversies arising from his own past.