Can Rahul baba lose in Amethi?
A few minutes before I started to pen my blog, a senior police officer telephoned me and said , ‘Rahul Baba is losing elections.’ Somehow I refused to believe him. How can Smriti Irani’s 30 days of campaigning and Narendra Modi’s 40-minute public rally in Amethi tear into Gandhis’ 28-years-long association with this area? The cop’s cryptic answer was , ‘This is what is called a wave.’
That the people of Amethi are unhappy with the Gandhis – especially their close lieutenants- became clear in 2012 when the Congress, including high profile candidate Amita Singh, wife of Raja of Amethi Sanjay Singh, lost in three of its assembly segments. The first family had taken the defeat seriously – as proven by Priyanka Gandhi’s aggressive campaigning on her family seats- but did nothing to alleviate their complaints in the 24 months that they had in hand. Perhaps over confidence made them complacent.
For two years, there was a friendly government in the state, which was supporting the UPA at the Centre. There was no reason why Mulayam Singh Yadav and his chief minister son Akhilesh Yadav would have denied them some basics like roads and power that seems to have become a major poll issue in 2014. May be the SP goverment would have given the favours on a quid pro quo basis. But there is nothing new in this practice! Second, with power in hand at the centre, revival of industries that his late father Rajiv Gandhi had set up would not have been difficult or for that matter training of educated unemployed youth in the core sectors of the new Paper Mill or Petroleum Institute would have aided in creating jobs for the locals – a long pending demand of the people there.
The fact is Rahul never thought at the micro level as he was engaged in larger issues like scripting the land, food and health security bills, the advantage of which would flow in years to come. Sadly, when people demand basics like power, road and water, the politicians talk about largesse. The people here had started cancelling their power connections as the electricity remained elusive even otherwise while the inflated power bills were regular.
It’s hard to believe that it’s the same Amethi where the opposition used to find it difficult to hire a building for their party office or hoist their flag. What should worry the Gandhis is not that Narendra Modi got responsive crowds but that the people are not only vocal but vocal against them and they are willing listeners to even Kumar Vishwas. It’s hard for the oldies to extricate themselves from the four-decade old association with the Congress and the Gandhis, but the young are restless and not willing to remain bonded to emotions.