Rajat Sharma

Seating Rahul in the sixth row at R-Day parade was not a good idea.

Aaj-Ki-Baat_frame_42857 (002)I did not like that  the national president of India’s oldest political party  was made to sit in the sixth row at the 69th Republic Day parade at Rajpath. Three times that visual appearedon TV and it didn’t leave a good taste. Why should national president of India’s oldest party not be given place in the front row? One argument forwarded was  that its nothing new. In the past BJP presidents Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari were offered seats in the 11th row with the bureaucrats.  And the government was carrying on the same tradition. But if that is true why was Sonia Gandhi offered place in the front row during last three years of BJP government. Why did this change for Rahul Gandhi ? The second reason that was given was that Rahul was never a minister at the Centre, and that’s why he was given a seat at the back. Then the question arises: Sonia Gandhi, too, was never a minister, and yet she sat on the front row at the parade for the last three years. All these reasons that are now being given are meaningless. We should understand that Rahul is now the national president of India’s oldest political party and he is the head of the main opposition party. The role of opposition in a democracy is vital. The opposition should get its due respect. Those in the government, at whatever level they be in, should keep this in mind while deciding about seating arrangement. The common man, who watched the parade live on television, may not have liked seeing Rahul sitting in the back row. One should however praise Rahul for opting to sit at the back row, despite knowing a day before that he had been allotted the fourth row. He attended the parade, and he did not look annoyed. He did not make an issue out of it, when he was asked to sit in the sixth row instead of the fourth. One should appreciate Ghulam Nabi Azad, the leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, also for sitting with Rahul at the back and not making any fuss about it. I think that it would have been appreciated by public if Rahul was given due respect irrespective of how Congress government treated past BJP Presidents.

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