Rahul Gandhi made a fool of himself once again.
Politicians are accustomed to addressing large rallies and having their every word lapped up by an adoring crowd. Attacks against opposition parties are loudly cheered.
So Rahul Gandhi could not be blamed for thinking he could easily win over a relatively small audience of college students on Wednesday morning. After all, talking to young people is his cup of tea.
But the Congress vice-president was in for a rude shock when he criticised the Modi government’s flagship schemes while addressing the students of Mount Carmel College in Bengaluru.
Fresh off a surprising success in the Bihar assembly election, Rahul Gandhi was in confident mood as he began his speech to students at the women’s college. Casually dressed in a grey polo shirt, his speech was peppered with jibes about the Centre’s style of governance. In an indirect reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said that “one man” could not bring about a transformation.
To get the audience more involved, Gandhi resorted to a tried-and-tested tactic: the rhetorical question. Criticising the Centre’s Swachh Bharat scheme, the Congress vice-president said: “It’s not working, is it? I don’t see Swachh Bharat working. Do you think it’s working?”
“Yes,” was the response from the audience, as giggles broke out throughout the auditorium.
Visibly taken aback with the response, Gandhi asked the question a second time. This time, he was met with a divided house on this occasion.
Eager to save face, he then asked his audience whether the Make In India scheme had been successful. Again, the answer was an overwhelming “yes”. But , as dejection was writ large on the Gandhi’s face, the response eventually turned into a “no”.
The Congress leader did manage a small victory at the end, however, when his question about whether young people were getting jobs was met with a unanimous “no” from the crowd.
Commentary by Scroll.in