Rahul Gandhi who has turned 48 today (June 19), in his rejuvenated avatar, has surprised his critics and his admirers, too. The new-found aggression with which he has been targeting the NDA government at Centre in general, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in particular, is definitely a new avatar of the Congress President.
The new Rahul Gandhi has also taken media by storm. They have gone in a tizzy after seeing the new Rahul Gandhi 2.0. His interviews are not as naive as they used to be. His energy levels have been increased, he seems to more rigorous and determined than ever. He, as President of Congress party, is all set to take on BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
But this sudden change in Rahul Gandhi would not have been possible without an experienced set of advisers and not those who themselves need advice on many matters. But his new moves look more realistic and his line of actions reflects that he is willing to make the fresh start in order to resurrect his own image as well as that of his party.
Most significantly in his emerging strategy against PM Narendra Modi for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul has also taken over the social media by a storm, having understood its power. But on the other hand, BJP’s IT cell is not letting Rahul take all the attention, and they are feeling that it is important to mock him almost on a daily basis.
Narendra Modi’s 2014 Lok Sabha campaign on social media was a big success, well that’s quite tough to be overtaken, but only time will tell if Rahul’s new approach on social media will sail Congress’s ship smoothly or sink it.
It also seems that Rahul has somewhere accepted he can’t match Modi’s oratory skills and has also understood that attacking PM over initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, in an environment high on nationalism, will backfire. Instead, Rahul has now taken a different approach and started criticising the government where it hurts the most: jobs and economy.
Also avoiding the direct battle with Modi, Rahul has now picked another enemy — the RSS. With two defamation cases filed by RSS activists against him, his focus on RSS is understandable. He also keeps on mentioning how RSS grass-root network is helping BJP’s expansion.
But does Rahul Gandhi have an election strategy for 2019? Well, the roadmap is still vague. Although he has roped Congress’ senior leaders and also identified his main enemy. But a handicap still remains: he needs issues to win polls. In conclusion, all these recent events make us believe that Rahul Gandhi has partially, if not totally, moved on from his ‘Pappu’ image. But he needs to be careful because one mistake can lead to hundreds of more ‘Pappu’ jokes.