Rajat Sharma

Why voices are being raised against Rahul inside Congress party?

AKB2610In recent weeks, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi raised several questions on the India-China stand-off at the Line of Actual Control. He alleged that China has occupied Indian territory and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has surrendered to China. He even went to the extent of using the phrase “Surender Modi”. Rahul also asked if the Chinese have not intruded into our territory then why were our 20 jawans martyred. He also asked why there was, what he called, intelligence failure in reporting the massive buildup by the Chinese army near the LAC.

The government has replied to most of Rahul Gandhi’s questions through facts, figures and pictures. These replies were necessary because China was taking undue advantage of Rahul’s remarks, and these were creating unnecessary confusion.

Broadly, Rahul and his mother Sonia Gandhi raised three questions: (1) Did the Chinese intrude into our territory by crossing the LAC, and if the answer is no, then why did the brutal clash take place in which our 20 jawans were martyred? (2) Was our intelligence sleeping when the Chinese army was carrying out massive buildup and bringing in artillery and armoured vehicles? (3) Whether Chinese army is still in occupation of our territory?

The government, on its part, has given detailed answers. The Chinese military buildup was a known fact and the Indian army had responded with a ‘mirror image’ buildup from our side in Ladakh. The government has also explained in detail how our army unit led by a commanding officer was treacherously attacked with stones and spiked iron rods, and how our jawans responded bravely and killed Chinese soldiers including their commanding officer.

The question about Chinese intrusions has also been answered. The Chinese troops have withdrawn from several positions, but were yet to vacate their positions in Pangong lake. Latest satellite images and reports indicate that the Chinese army has set up gun positions at the clash site in Galwan valley again, where our army had destroyed their observation post on June 15. There are also reports of Chinese military reinforcements in Depsang Plains. It seems that the Chinese have decided not to withdraw immediately in pursuance of the agreement arrived at the corps commanders meeting on Monday.

One thing is clear: the Chinese did not intrude into Indian territory in Ladakh, but crossed into no man’s land which does not belong to either side. Troops from both sides patrol the no man’s land, and the brutal fight took place on this very spot. This fact should answer Rahul Gandhi’s questions.

Another question that Rahul Gandhi also raised was: Why are the Chinese not revealing their casualty figures? The Chinese foreign minister and defence minister replied to this on Wednesday. They said China has indeed lost its soldiers in the clash with India, but they will not reveal the figures now.

Now that all the facts, figures and pictures have been revealed, Rahul Gandhi may probably not try to understand some of the replies in full. Even if he understands, he may not publicly agree to accept them. Therein lies the catch: it reveals that his intentions are not clear.

Rahul Gandhi is not asking questions in order to arrive at the truth. Had he asked questions about Modi’s strategy at the LAC, it was alright, but along with his queries he coined phrases like “Surender Modi”. He has been tweeting and asking where the PM was hiding, whether Modi is afraid of China. He also tweeted to say Modiji, do not fear, please come out and reply. Had Rahul not made such shallow remarks, he would not have faced the ire of his countrymen and even from his own party leaders.

At the Congress Working Committee meeting on Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi was practically cornered. A party leader from UP, who was formerly part of Team Rahul, said the party must ensure there should be no personal criticism of Modi on the issue of Chinese incursions. Rahul Gandhi flew into a rage and responded “ I am not scare of Prime Minister Modi. He can’t do anything to me. I will continue to criticize him. If people here have a problem with it, let the CWC ask me to keep quiet.” Rahul also said that he noticed many colleagues have avoided direct attack on the Prime Minister.

This is not the first time that Rahul has said that he was not afraid of Modi and he would continue to attack him directly. He had said earliest also that I do not bother what others in my party think.

Since 2014, when Modi became PM, Rahul has been making similar remarks. In the last elections, he used the phrase “Chowkidar Chor Hai”, he threatened that if his party came to power, Modi would be thrown into jail, he also said, if I speak for 10 minutes in Parliament, it will cause an earthquake, he also said, Modi can never speak directly to me by looking straight into my eyes because he fears me.

Rahul Gandhi has been making such personal attacks during every election. The question now related to those experienced leaders in his party, some of whom are now openly saying that such personal attacks against the PM should not be made. Why did this issue come up at all at the CWC meeting?

Rahul probably feels that these old, experienced leaders in his party are cowards and they fear Modi, but the truth lies somewhere else. Most of these leaders have used more tough remarks against Modi in the past, but after losing elections after elections, they have now realized that any direct attack on Modi causes more losses than gain to the party.

These experienced Congress leaders have realized that corruption and patriotism are two issues on which they can’t corner Modi. These leaders know that whenever Rahul took up these two issues before the people, his party faced tremendous losses. These leaders could have stood behind Rahul, had he won elections by making direct attacks against Modi. They would then have levelled more tough personal attacks against Modi. These experienced leaders now fully realize that by describing Modi as “chor” (thief) and “kaayar”(coward), Rahul is harming the party. That is why some of them got the courage to raise this matter at the CWC meeting.

On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi considers himself as a brave chap, and believes other leaders are cowards. He is, therefore, unwilling to listen to reason. During last year’s elections, Rahul alleged corruption in Rafale deal and sought evidence of destruction caused by Indian Air Force attack on Balakot. And now with tensions mounting against China, Rahul is alleging that the Chinese have captured our territory, but he forgot that during previous Congress governments, the Chinese capture vast territory by crossing the LAC.

For Rahul, Rafale, Pakistan, China, USA are not issues, his one-point agenda is how to corner Modi. Because of Rahul’s wrong strategy, the Congress lost two general elections consecutively and lost several states. Rahul lost in his family borough Amethi.

The situation has now come to such a pass that both the young and old, experienced leaders, do not have faith in Rahul’s leadership. The endgame of Indian politics is that no political party or leader can survive for long without power. I have been talking to several top Congress leaders. They tell me in private that the party would not have faced such a worse situation had Rahul not taken such misguided steps. These leaders clearly say that they want a leader who can garner votes for the party. Already, voices of dissent are growing.

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