Whether the Congress high command wants it or not, the pre-poll build up ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls is fast turning out to be a face-off between Congress deputy chief Rahul Gandhi and BJP poster boy Narendra Modi.
And no, the venue need not shift to Rajasthan-Jaipur vs a tribal hamlet in Udaipur for the contest to kick-start.
Even as Modi taunted the Congress for “writing the ABC of corruption” at a rally in Jaipur, Rahul projected “the rights-based politics of his party” and the UPA Government to seek electoral endorsement in Delhi.
It was Rahul’s first public rally ahead of the forthcoming Delhi Assembly polls. “Is providing someone with food a waste of money? If money has to be spent, then so be it. For the first time in thousands of years, no one in the country will go hungry,” he said. The Congress scion’s pitch was almost identical to what his mother and Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi had told the Lok Sabha in a more nuanced manner.
“Those who told me, where is the resource (to implement food security), I told them we’ve to find the resource. We’ve to do it,” she had said. Rahul added another dimension to this politics over hunger, though. “We want the poor people of the country to stand on their feet,” he said.
Despite the claims, many experts doubt whether welfare-ism and doles are the “right policy” for the empowerment of the disadvantaged. Rahul, however, seemed to fully back his mother’s vision of rights-based politics, which has come to be the hallmark of the UPA-II over economic reforms.
“When the need to have food security for the poor was discussed in Parliament, the Opposition (read the BJP) spoke against it and said money will be wasted. If this is wastage of money, then we will keep wasting it,” he reiterated.
Well, some parties like the SP criticised the legislation fearing that it would put additional pressure on the states.
In the end, when the voting took place no one asked for a division. Both the Houses passed the Food Bill by voice vote.