While Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is set to lose in 2014, both Morarji Desai and Manmohan Singh sat on the PM’s chair in their eighties. So a 43-year-old Pappu has technically 30 odd years to realize his dream.
The odds are high that he will become PM of India one day. A look at why that would be disastrous if and when it happens…
1. A part-time politician: Pappu is the most inconsistent politician around. He’s out of the country half the time and no RTI application can get you to know how or why. What does he do when he’s totally absent from the public space?
He has one of the lowest attendances in the Lok Sabha and finds it beneath his dignity to ask questions. For him politics appears to be nothing but a debating competition as seen by his many speeches and even that gets low crowds and in some people walk out.
He was absent during key moments like the August Kranti anti-corruption agitation of 2011. Politics is not a part-time job where you can waltz in and out when you want, especially when you are a potential PM.
2. Nothing to show for 10 years: He’s won from Amethi in 2004 and 2009, but then that’s a Nehru-Gandhi bastion. Arguably even his brother-in-law Robert Vadra might win from that constituency.
Apart from that he has absolutely nothing to show. He has never been in State politics. He refused to be a minister in the Union Cabinet when he could have chosen to do so at any time. He has never headed a committee which has made a Bill.
He may have won two elections and attended Parliament every now and then, but he has absolutely no experience in running any sort of government big or small.
3. Foot-in-the-mouth syndrome: Pappu keeps putting his foot in the mouth and is a laughing stock. Just do a YouTube search of his popular videos and you’ll mostly get goof-ups. In an interview with Arnab Goswami which should have revived his image, it ended up denting it beyond repair.
He is also a laugh riot on Facebook and Twitter and there’s a doubt whether he will ever be taken seriously by India.
Sample some of his gaffes: 10 out of 7 youth in Punjab are drug addicts. This morning I got up at night. Politics is in your shirt and pant. India is bigger than US and Europe put together. I’ve lost it. 2 out of 1 kids in Gujarat are malnourished. Rani ki Jhansi…
4. Dynasty in decline: There was a time when the charisma of the dynasty was enough to fetch you votes. Not any more. The last time there was a dynasty wave was during Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984.
For 30 years, the Congress has not touched 272 seats in the Lok Sabha. Moreover in 2004, the Congress came to power not due to Sonia Gandhi’s acumen, but be a series of fortunate circumstances for them.
The victory of 2009 had more to do with Manmohan Singh finally showing his spine during the nuclear deal. If the Congress falls below 100 in 2014, then it would be a Grade 1 disaster for Sonia and Pappu and even Priyanka Vadra, who jumped in for campaigning during the fag end of the elections.
If that happens, then Pappu’s immediate challenge will be to keep the Congress together till 2019 and many senior leaders might well totally lose faith in the dynasty.
5. Incoherent vision: Despite everything at the end of the day if Pappu had a clear and coherent vision, then he still could have pulled it off. But add all his speeches and interviews together and you are left with nothing.
He keeps talking of the system and how it’s closed without realizing he’s the biggest part of it. He keeps peppering phrases like RTI and women empowerment and in the end they mean nothing.
He’s attended the best colleges in the world and he has worked in the private sector, but he seems to have no economic policy or any other policy for that matter.
But the sad part is that he still can become Prime Minister one day!
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The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger. He blogs here.