Nation Politics 24 May 2019 How Rahul Gandhi los ...
Neena Gopal is Resident Editor, Deccan Chronicle, Bengaluru

How Rahul Gandhi lost plot and Amethi

Published May 24, 2019, 3:17 am IST
Updated May 24, 2019, 3:17 am IST
He maybe taking some comfort from Wayanad as he won the seat by a record majority of 4,31,770 votes.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi
 Congress president Rahul Gandhi

May 23: “I feel like a batsman who has scored a century while his team has lost,” tweeted Shashi Tharoor, summing up the Congress party's conflicted results – decimated across the country but winning 19 out of 20 seats in Kerala and eight in Punjab.

Confronting one of their bleakest political moments, the Gandhis - Congress president Rahul Gandhi, his mother Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra - held a meeting on Thursday to discuss the party's debacle, the second in a row after 2014 with some reporting, Rahul had offered to resign but was persuaded otherwise.

 

He maybe taking some comfort from Wayanad as he won the seat by a record majority of 4,31,770 votes, though he was soundly defeated in his family's pocketborough seat of Amethi.  The bigger question is why he has failed to resonate with the voter, for the second time running.  His temple run set off a meme war, his 'Chowkidar Chor Hai' jibe, resulted in an apology to the Supreme Court, Rafale did not resonate, while farmers and the common man found no nyay in Nyay.

The 2019 results are a marked departure from even the scare he gave the BJP in the Assembly Polls in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. What has changed since? While he may have many years of fight left in him, is it the darbar political culture where the Congress top guns close their ears to their lieutenants on the ground?  Where a Priyanka Gandhi should have been unleashed on Modi's Varanasi, rather than take on a pointless ramble across a state the Congress could never have won.

Missing! The killer instinct? Congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP for their victory, he said on Thursday, 'I had said that during the campaign that 'Janta Maalik hai' and today people have clearly given their decision."

"I respect the verdict. I wish that she (Smriti Irani) takes care of Amethi. My philosophy is that I will respond with love," said Mr. Gandhi, conceding defeat in Amethi.

Love in the time of war? A trifle misplaced?

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