What was done in one month was undone in a few seconds by Rahul
Lucknow: Two words uttered by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi have created a flutter in the country and have wiped out what was achieved by him in the month-long journey through Uttar Pradesh which ended last Thursday.
His mother Sonia Gandhi had also used two such wrong words a few years ago before the assembly elections in Guarajat and the result is known to all. The party's rival, the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) had swept the poll and formed a government in that state with two-thirds majority.
Clearly, a political figure has to be careful in choice of words used in a public meeting or rally. Rahul, like his mother, has not chosen the right words which may cause considerable damage to the party in the state which will go to the polls next year. The party can only draw some comfort from the fact that the election is a few months away and the proverbial short of memory of voters may come to its rescue.
The army's surgical strike in the Pak occupied Kashmir (PoK) has been appreciated by most of the people in the country especially because it had destroyed many terror camps and had come in the wake of Uri attack in which several Indian army jawans were killed.
The army's action was lauded even by ordinary citizens and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being praised because he had declared, after the Uri attack, that the attackers would not go unpunished.
In such public hysteria if he or the army is ridiculed the reaction can be anybody's guess. The opinion has overwhelmingly gone against him in particular and the party in general. Modi has not said much on the issue and the news about the strike was broken by an army officer, Director General of Army Operations.
As such, by accusing Modi of "Khun Ki Dalali" he has gone overboard. The word " Dalali" (brokerage) has an association with a deal but there was no deal involved in this case. Perhaps his English school education failed him and he did not find a suitable Hindi word to describe his role. Most probably he wanted to use a Hindi word for exploitation---to convey that he has been exploiting the operation to gain popularity..
Such developments are often exploited by the political parties to achieve political mileage. The BJP or Modi might use it later to earn additional votes in states which will go to the polls next year. But in any way it was not a case of commission or dalali.
More harm would have come to the party if he had made a statement like this on the eve of the assembly election. But the issue may be re-raised by the BJP to get additional votes. His mother had made the same kind of statement during election campaigns in Gurarat which cost the party dearly. She had called Modi " Maut ke Saudagar (merchant of death ) which had hurt the voters so much they went whole hog against the Congress.
Both Rahul and some of his senior party colleagues including former finance minister P Chidambaram have committed a cardinal sin by doubting the authenticity of army report on surgical strike.
It is difficult for general people to believe that the army has lied. They have full faith and support for the defence personnel as patriots and so their demand for an evidence of strike has not gone well with them. The party later distanced itself from these leaders but the damage was done.
Parallel is being drawn with this case with that of the US operation in Pakistan to kill Osama Ben Ladin. No body in that country had demanded a proof although his body was dumped into the sea and no evidence was left by the commandos.
The BJP leaders have rightly pointed out that almost all famous "Dalali" cases which hit the newspaper headlines in recent years like Bofors had Congress links in some way or the other. A party leader summed up his remarks in this connection by quoting an old saying which fits well into the present case ," those who live in a glass house should not pelt stone at others",