Hours after Rahul Gandhi's speech at the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) this morning, Congress spokesman PC Chacko felt the need to 'explain' his speech and defend it against all detractors. Our question is, why?
During his press briefing, Chacko said, "Rahul was explaining basically, the kind of India he is visualising. The aspirations of the youth of India. It was a speech that looked at inclusiveness, the kind of growth he envisages. These are all very very important issues".
Yes well... thanks for letting us know. But does the Congress have so little confidence in what their leader is saying, that they need to back it up with explanations?
And as always, there had to be a clarification on Rahul's "Whether or not I become PM is irrelevant" comment. "Rahul's philosophy is empowering the poor. So when he said he doesn't attach importance to who becomes PM, doesn't mean that he won't be the Prime Minister", said Chacko.
The defence of the speech, may have been warranted given that the BJP attacked it, asking what Rahul Gandhi had done in the last nine years to reverse the myriad wrongs he was listing in India. "He was building up the party so we can do tomorrow what he talks about today", said Chacko before almost indignantly saying, "People should be 'inspired' by Rahul's speech. It was a fresh speech, not the usual jargons you have to hear." (You can read a detailed analysis of his speech here)
However the Congress party's need to defend - almost coddle Rahul in public - is not a new phenomenon. As Firstpost editors Sandip Roy and Lakshmi Chaudhry noted,
"In the end, it matters little what Rahul says — or fails to say — because, as always, Mummy knows what’s best for Munna. And by that we don’t mean just Sonia Gandhi. Rahul may be chewing on weighty issues of ‘empowerment’ and ‘elitism’ and ‘organisation’ but as far as the ultimate mommy dearest — aka the Congress party — is concerned, he may as well be chewing gum.
“If Rahul does not aspire to be Prime Minister, that is his view but we want him to lead the country,” said a dismissive Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi. Rahul baba doesn’t like High Command culture? No matter, “Rahul is our high command,” declared Alvi. Except this high command can be safely ignored like one does a babbling child. Just weeks ago Rahul snubbed Uttarkhand CM Vijay Bahuguna in public for raising the Rahul for PM chorus. “I don’t want to hear such things in future,” he said. “We need to focus on the organisation.”
His party’s response: “Yes, yes, beta, whatever you say… Now do you want a gold sherwani or a black one for your coronation? Maybe one made of parachute silk?”