Hornet’s nest of advisors is Rahul’s curse

That nobody listens to Rahul Gandhi is bad news for the Congress. But whom Rahul listens to is worse.
Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul Gandhi.File photo | PTI

Ideas and personalities occur twice in history. The first time as comedy and the second as farce. The comedy of the first Bharat Jodo Yatra, a celebrity-studded event with photo ops galore, didn’t leave footprints in the shifting sands of the December state elections. Inserting ‘nyay’ after jodo, defines the farce of his second yatra, which has met its premature end. Obviously another idea whose time came and left.

What is wrong with the ill-fated Hamlet of the Congress party? Hamlet asks his close friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, “Why look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You would play upon me, you would seem to know my stops you would pluck out the heart of my mystery.” The prince of Denmark is betrayed by them, and Rahul has enough Rosencrantzes and Guildensterns to depend on for political advice.

Sam Pitroda: Tech administrator, businessman, food security expert and policy guru is familiar to Rahul since childhood as his father’s close friend. The president of the Indian Overseas Congress is as clued into grassroots politics as a vegetarian is into Chettinad chicken, having announced that Ram Mandir is not the most important issue in India. Great with a modem, but has lousy connectivity to New India’s poll mood.

Jairam Ramesh: He is Rahul’s Jai Ram Mandir where he is worshipped as the battering ram of intellectual ingenuity. Erudite, witty, charming and ever-smiling with a dramatic drawing room silver mane, Ramesh is often seen sitting next to his boss in Parliament, whispering into his ear. We don’t know what he is saying, but it sounds pretty important since Rahul laughs: must be some dad joke about Lalu.

Ramesh has never contested a Lok Sabha election, and basks in permanent Rajya Sabha bliss. A distinguished academic with an MIT stint and many lofty government positions, his pristine white kurta has never soiled a tea shop bench in Amethi. One of Rahul’s main strategists, he mainly gets memes made for the Congress when he isn’t advising his boss on Cambridge speeches in the Congress war room.

Randeep Surjewala: He is Rahul’s mouth and has to eat crow often. He is another fave family retainer who has never won a Lok Sabha election, and is another one of Congress party’s Rajya Sabha refugees. The man who supposedly coined the disastrous ‘chowkidar chor hai’ slogan is a clever backroom mover and shaker, but a dud in the front office.

KC Venugopal: Another Rajya Sabha Zorro, this Malayali politician is besties with Surjewala, and both were given the responsibility for handing out election tickets for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls while the boss was stumping across India. Venu is a member of the Coordination Committee of the INDIA Alliance which is already on ventilator. Will he give tickets to Congress candidates from Uttar Pradesh or Bihar this time is anyone’s guess. The Congress is like a lobster in a boiling pot in a Chinese restaurant, but Venugopal rarely gets into hot water because of his boss.

Jitendra Singh: This Alwar royal is often seen motorcycling in Mussoorie and at Dehradun parties when he isn’t recycling ideas for his party. Consistency is his virtue: he manages to lose elections in his charge: UP, Assam and Odisha. Guess what, he was also the last word in candidate selection in the Madhya Pradesh elections.

That nobody listens to Rahul Gandhi is bad news for the Congress. But whom Rahul listens to is worse.

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