Rahul Gandhi has always had the image of being a hesitant leader. He is a 47-years-old Congress President. Delhi’s political circles are referrers most of the time to have a “boy”, although this may well have more to do with the relative age of Indian politicians in general than any disrespect for the man. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is 67, a full two decades older than Rahul Gandhi. In general, Indian politicians aren’t supposed to hit their stride till they are well into their 50s. Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah, at 53, is considered young.
Rahul Gandhi has the image of a part-time politician, perhaps because of his frequent (as his political rivals would have us believe) holidays or breaks from work. It has become most important for a political leader to be 24x7xt 365 actively, especially in the context of the BJP, an always-on political party which approaches every election, small and big, with similar intensity. The most energetic manifestation of this, of course, is the prime minister, who remains the BJP’s ace in the hole.
From past several months now, starting from before the Gujarat elections 2018, Gandhi has seemed a different person with the strong personality. Some BJP senior leaders attribute this to a tendency among “liberals”, the preferred four-letter word of the Modi administration. Other, more neutral political analysts, put it down to rising Boredom and fatigue with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in the run-up to the polls.
Karnataka will decide Rahul streak for 2019 General Election
Karnataka had always witnessed a bipolar clash, barring the 2004 poll when former PM H D Deve Gowda-led JD(S) came to occupy the centre-stage of power politics. This time, the probability of a coalition arrangement seems to be high. It is a do-or-die battle for Janata Dal (Secular) as it will be pushed to the brink of political extinction if it doesn’t make it. If JD(S) succeeds, Gowda will go all out to once again show that he has to be an important player in the national political arena.