Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has perfected the art of curation. And given how people are gathering at his rallies and giving him a patient hearing, it's clearly having an impact. It doesn't even matter at this point whether the common man is agreeing with the allegations Rahul has been making in public against Prime Minister Narendra Modi or not.
In fact, Rahul has conveniently hijacked information from a petition that senior lawyer and Swaraj Abhiyan's national president Prashant Bhushan had filed on behalf of his client in the Supreme Court. It has given the Congress vice-president teeth to level the strongest of corruption allegations against the prime minister.
On Wednesday, during an address at the prime minister's home turf of Mehsana in Gujarat, Rahul accused Modi of having taken money in bribes from the Sahara conglomerate. He also said Modi's demonetisation exercise will not nab the corrupt money hoarders in India, and target only the honest people instead.
Filing a writ petition, Bhushan's client and NGO, Common Cause, had sought an SC-monitored probe into the documents allegedly recovered following Income Tax raids on Sahara and Aditya Birla groups between 2013 and 2014. The NGO alleged that there were serious evidence of bribes being paid to chief ministers, top politicians and bureaucrats, including a Gujarat chief minister, believed to be a reference to Modi.
"Whatever Rahul Gandhi is saying in his public address in Gujarat, originally belongs to Prashant Bhushan. It was he who urged the apex court for an SC-monitored fair and independent probe into the bribes given by the Sahara and Birla groups to Modi. These allegations are based on the information recovered during I-T raids from diary, excel sheets and computer data. First, Arvind Kejriwal used it to his convenience in Delhi Assembly to hog the limelight, and now Rahul is doing the same in a public rally, but the original author is Prashant Bhushan and Swaraj Abhiyan," Anupam, national spokesperson of Swaraj India, told Firstpost.
But Congress sources have said there could be further revelations to follow. "It's just an appetiser from Rahul Gandhi. Whatever he said today in the rally is based on Bhushan's petition. The main course will come in the new year, ahead of the next session of Parliament. He has saved this 'main course' information, which he may reveal after 30 December. Now, whether it'll create an earthquake, tremor or nothing, only time will tell. The SC hasn't yet dismissed Bhushan's plea, and Congress is keeping its fingers crossed," remarked MD Nalapat, political analyst and professor of geopolitics at Manipal University.
"Rahul wants to project himself as an 'anti-Modi' face, similar to Modi himself, who had been the 'anti-Sonia Gandhi' face since 2006. Rahul's success depends on the failure of Modi's demonetisation move, so he's banking a lot on the after-effects of demonetisation — after the 30 December deadline. If Modi continues to be popular among people, any charge against him, no matter how serious the proof is, will be discarded by people. But if Modi becomes unpopular, any charge, however flimsy, might work. So, Rahul's future depends on the failure of demonetisation," added Nalapat.
Updated Date: Dec 21, 2016 21:49:42 IST