January 11, 2019

Rafale is a Bad Political Investment


Sumit Kumar Gupta,
Ramanand,

The campaign for 2019 general election has kick-started with much fanfare from every political party in India. All the political parties are working on their forte while passing vitriolic remarks on other’s agendas. Meanwhile, when the main thrusts for BJP’s canvassing for election are development, people’s welfare and different projects, the Congress is still roving its boat on Rafale issue. The last few days witnessed how a political party is itself losing the momentum which it has gained after assembly election. From the commencement of the parliament, Congress party is only focusing on one defence deal and that has been severely dealt with by the apex court of the country. The slew of problems lies with the bedrock of the Congress. They have become completely oblivious of the legitimate issues in the public domain.

Ever since Rahul Gandhi has taken the charge to lead the Congress, he is desperately trying to make some sense through his speech, arguments and reasons but he has failed miserably in making an impact in the political arena.  At the beginning of this month, he received mixed results (when he was able to win Chhattisgarh comfortably, 2 states with narrow margin and Rajasthan and lost Telangana miserably). But after the win, the brouhaha created by Rahul Gandhi on Rafale Deal is no exception to his otherwise flunked political gimmick. He is pretty much muddled in his questioning and the first question he should be asked is “what is your question?” He has been continuously beating around the bush with no specific facts to back them.

At the core of the opposition to the Rafale deal were charged that the Modi government had knowingly overpaid for the Rafale fighter jets and promoted crony capitalism. But these allegations were silenced by the recent judgment by the apex court. The bench while answering the questions rose said that it had studied the matter “extensively” and that it was “satisfied that there is no occasion to doubt the process [of signing the Rafale deal].” The bench also added that “We are satisfied that there is no occasion to really doubt the process, and even if minor deviations have occurred that would not result in either setting aside the contract or requiring detailed scrutiny by the court.” The bench further commented that “We find no reason for any intervention on the sensitive issue of purchase of 36 defence aircraft…. Perception of individuals cannot be the basis of a fishing and roving enquiry by this court, especially in such matters.” “We do not find any substantial material on record to show that this is a case of commercial favouritism to any party by the Indian government,” said the Supreme Court, knocking down the allegations. Thus, it can be safely said that the issues raised in this controversy are complete falsity of wild, baseless and politically motivated allegations.

After the air of suspicion got cleared by the apex court, instead of poking his nose here Rahul Gandhi should start focusing on issues that relate to the public importance and are indispensable for the development of this country. Rather he is adamant on blowing something out of proposition which will once again prove that he is still a novice in defining his political strategy and paradigm. He, along with the whole Congress Party, is trying to divest all his political energy on an issue that should not have been an issue in the first place.

The utter failure of Rahul Gandhi can be seen in the recent heated exchange between Arun Jaitley and him in the Lok Sabha. Further, to bolster the arguments from the government side, our Defence Minister has already made it crystal clear that there were no discrepancies in the Rafale deal. It has been corroborated that he is exposed in front of the public. It can be conclusively said that in the garb of this deal, the whole Congress Party is trying to duck their face in the Augusta Westland issue which is becoming a centre-stage issue of widespread corruption that happened during the reign of UPA.

Rahul Gandhi is trying to pass the time and he will not be able to stand properly till the general election arrives in our country. He doesn’t have any political message for the people and lacks utterly in engaging leaders on public issues. 

Ergo, it is high time that Rahul Gandhi and his party need to sit down and should analyse the political strategy before making baseless allegation which yield futile results. They need to address the public and should focus on the matter pertaining to the people.

A smart politician is one who understands the importance of timing and relevance of the issues. The Rafale could be a trigger point in staring of NDA regime but it is not the good choice or better optics to go with General election. The public is not reacting on the charge of the Congress party because they know it is not directly connected to them or they are not finding any serious evidence in it. Farmer issue, Unemployment, Development issues or failure of policy decision could make some movement as it is directly related to the public. But RG is only misusing the Congress party’s political energy and time in Rafale at the crucial juncture of 2019 election. This could cost him heavy price as it gives the impression that his party does not have any serious issue for the poll.