As the poll fever rises ahead of the Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat Assembly elections, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has intensified his attack against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre. Ever since he delivered his speech at the University of Berkley in the US, Rahul Gandhi, who is likely to take over as party president soon, has been grabbing headlines for his pointed attacks on the government’s economic policies. Apart from his speeches which are critical of the PM and his policies, Rahul’s Twitter avatar has undergone a remarkable makeover. Unlike in the past, his tweets are now often laced with witty one-liners. Recently, he created quite a buzz on social media when he posted a tweet of his dog Pidi on Twitter.
Not only Congress leaders but also opposition parties have also begun to see a shift in Gandhi’s politics. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut recently opined that people are interested in hearing what Gandhi has to say. “The people of the country are now interested in what Rahul Gandhi says and who he meets. This means that Rahul is emerging as a leader in this country,” Raut said. The Sena is in alliance with the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra.
Taking on the government for the “twin-torpedoes” of demonetisation and GST, Gandhi recently said, “Narendra Modi fired two torpedoes at the Indian economy. The economy survived the first torpedo, but the second destroyed and sunk the economy. The first torpedo was note ban, the second was the badly implemented GST.”
The Congress has planned to mark November 8, the first anniversary of demonetisation, as a “Black Day”, by holding nationwide protests. Meanwhile, Gandhi has dubbed GST as “Gabbar Singh Tax”, in reference to the famous Bollywood villain in Sholay.
Congress GST= Genuine Simple Tax
Modi ji’s GST= Gabbar Singh Tax =”?? ???? ???? ?? ??”
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) October 24, 2017
The party’s renewed communication strategy, especially on social media, has also played a role in the Congress’s growing popularity. Gandhi, who has close to 4 million followers on his personal account, is reportedly garnering more traction in terms of the number of retweets, as compared to Modi, who has 35.6 million followers.
Gandhi had even acknowledged reports of his rising popularity with a post of his dog, Pidi. He had tweeted, “Ppl been asking who tweets for this guy..I’m coming clean..it’s me..Pidi..I’m way [image] than him. Look what I can do with a tweet..oops..treat!”
Ppl been asking who tweets for this guy..I’m coming clean..it’s me..Pidi..I’m way 😎 than him. Look what I can do with a tweet..oops..treat! pic.twitter.com/fkQwye94a5
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) October 29, 2017
On the personal front, when asked about marriage last week, Gandhi had said he “believes in destiny”. “Mai destiny mein believe karta hoon, jab hogi hogi (I believe in destiny, it’ll happen, when it’s meant to happen),” the Congress vice-president had said, in response to a question from boxer Vijender Singh at a function.
Gandhi’s interest in Aikido was recently discovered after the Congress’ verified Twitter handle re-tweeted photographs of him practicing the Japanese form of martial arts.
In the pictures, the 47-year-old is seen honing his technique with trainer Sensei Paritos Kar.
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