Rahul Gandhi's BJY may turn out to be a Bharat Chodo (Quit India) Yatra

Rahul Gandhi's Yatra is very much non-serious and one should not be piqued by this observation

Rahul Gandhis BJY may turn out to be a Bharat Chodo (Quit India) Yatra

HYDERABAD: Rahul Gandhi's excursion to Hyderabad has ended and is progressing in Telangana, as he is marching towards Maharashtra. Replete with a lot of fun elements, including Bharata Natyam performance, folk dances including traditional ones like Bathukamma, some gully cricket with boys, beating of drums, the Gandhi scion's 'long march' provided, and is continuing to provide, entertainment to motley onlookers.

Rahul Gandhi's amusement spree peaked to its crescendo with his incredulous self-flagellation with a whip along with Congress MLA Turpu Jayaprakash Reddy at Sangareddy on the road. The "pothuraju" video went viral.

Gandhi's walkathon caused traffic diversions and jams for some time — in a nutshell some inconvenience to the general public. But that's okay.

The multiple colourful pictures released by the Congress and the numerous tweets by Telangana PCC president A Revanth Reddy exposed inadvertently how childlike and non-serious the Yatra is. Take a dekko at the tweets to get the full complement of the 'beer and skittles' during the Yatra.

Even Rahul Gandhi has been enjoying every inch of his trekking through Telangana in the last five days. It will be curtains down to his saunter in the State on November 7.

Coming across as a fitness freak, the not-so-young Gandhi sported a pleasant smile throughout, meeting and greeting onlookers. He has entertained the people all along — once suddenly sprinting and once walking. The regimen always began before the crack of the dawn and the season too added the necessary warmth to the cold mornings. His daily walk usually is stretching to a distance of over 25-30 km.

The oldest president Mallikarjuna Kharge had to collect himself to visit Hyderabad to "bless" the youngest former president of the Grand Old Party of India, the Congress.

It's too late for Kharge to be saddled on the Congress throne, though for a derisory stint, while it is too premature for Gandhi to become the former president of the oldest political party that metamorphosed many times and is now on a political ventilator.

He holds press conferences in between to provide news content too, apart from click-baits for YouTubes and web stories for websites. He called KCR's proposed national party, BRS, an international party, forgetting that his own party is universal.

Shamelessly he gave scope for many leaders to consider occupying the opposition space in India, without caring for campaigning in states like Gujarat that are going to polls in just a month and excluding those territories from his padayatra. Brave man.

The former Congress president, who refused to become the Prime Minister in 2009 when the opportunity beckoned and who shied away from staying in the post of the Congress president and always took a fascination for being addressed as the "former president", Rahul Gandhi told the media that the Bharat Jodo Yatra was not meant to cover every State. Then, how is it Bharat Jodo? No one knows.

He had taken 'stroll' twice in Andhra Pradesh – once in Anantapur district for a day en route to Bellari in Karnataka – and another in Kurnool district for three days en route to Telangana – and ended as a non-serious affair. In a press conference in Adoni, he had supported the Telugu Desam standpoint of Amaravati as a capital and loathed Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and his rule.

Congress is a party of 'formers'. Former is the backbone of the Congress. Thus, the two living Gandhis have buttressed the idea by becoming former presidents.

Most leaders are former ministers, former MPs, former Chief Ministers, and in many states like Andhra and Tamil Nadu the party itself is a former political formation. During his Telangana promenade, Gandhi met two film actresses - Poonam Kaur of Tollywood and Puja Bhat of Bollywood – who also are former movie stars.

He posed for photographs with many sporting fancy dress to welcome him and his walkathon is indeed an R and R – Rahul and Recreation.

Why is it non-serious?

Rahul Gandhi's Yatra is very much non-serious and one should not be piqued by this observation. The reasons are legion. Apart from his indifference to campaign in Gujarat, where he would have made some difference or at least highlighted the people's resentment towards the BJP regime in the State as also at the Centre if he had done Padayatra in the original "Gandhi's land"; he doesn't want to showcase himself as the national alternative to Modi.

Look at the route map of his Yatra that exposes the shallowness of the Congress spin doctors.

He began his tour at Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, a State where Congress has a marginal presence. Gandhi went to Kerala and one should have no qualms about it, for it's this God's own country that turned out to be a face-saver for him, as he lost his traditional bastion – Amethi.

Karnataka tour is understandable, for his party is working hard to catapult back into power. He tried to stitch the differences between former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the CM aspirant D K Shiva Kumar.

The Congress is an unwelcome party in Andhra Pradesh for myriad reasons, while it is dissipating in Telangana. His derisive remarks against KCR's Bharat Rashtra Samithi move evoked a sharp reaction from working president of the TRS, K T Rama Rao.

Rahul Gandhi's observation that anybody could call their party national or international did not augur well for his stature. For, he has never objected to the claim of being a national president of a national party by his 'secret friend', Telugu Desam's N Chandrababu Naidu, even though the party has no semblance of becoming a national party at any cost as per the definition of the Representation of People Act. At least, KCR has a plan and is contemplating contesting the elections in neighbouring States.

How long would M K Stalin continue to support the Congress or whether he is still kowtowing to the Grand Old Party is dicey. Jagan will never in his wildest of dreams endorse the Gandhi family because he would never excuse the Sonia-Rahul "sin" perpetrated against him. Maharashtra has long slipped out of hands of the Congress. And, Rahul Gandhi cannot dream of getting his party anywhere closer to power in Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, or Jharkhand. The Congress has completely vanished from the political firmament in the largest Indian State of Uttar Pradesh.

With so many regional satraps vehemently opposed to the Congress, how can the party muster popular support and take on the mighty BJP which has grown like a monster-, spreading its tentacles with the chief objective of gobbling up the Congress. Given a chance, the BJP wants to eradicate the Congress and root it out without leaving even traces.

With so many odds poised against him and his party, adult-youth Rahul Gandhi with his salt-and-pepper beard only is adding up to his physical glamour. Could he shun his proclivity to do the vanishing act at the end of every mission, usually elections? Will he repeat the disappearance after the end of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, by ludicrously going away and turning the long journey into a Bharat chodo (leave India or 'quit India' in another format) Yatra, for a junket to a foreign land.

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