Winter Session comes to a T20-like close

The BJP is failing in its strategy to contain Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi. After many false starts, Gandhi seems to have hit a purple patch, so to say, with a concerted attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his steadfast refusal/discomfort to speak on demonetisation in the House. He has for several times spoken about it outside, including, most famously, at the Coldplay concert.

Winter Session comes to a T20-like close

Watching Parliament proceedings on the TV has almost become like watching a Test match, batsmen and bowlers get about their business and the umpire, sitting high up on a chair in Parliament, adjudicates. Sometime the appeals get jarring.

But during this Parliament session, the batsmen (government) have had a rough day. The demonetisation has ensured that the opposition (the bowlers) will not bowl, ensuring the whitewash of a session like many others during UPA2. The senior BJP leader, who led illustrious walkouts, is now on the verge of breaking down because 1) nobody listens to him 2) nobody wants to listen to him and 3) everybody wishes he just quits and stays home.

The BJP has stuck to the script, though it modified said script repeatedly with new reasons being cited as the main one for going in for the political suicide that demonetisation is.  It was like people finding new reasons to walk or eat eggs or something, the lack of planning showed up. This is despite I&B Minister Venkaiah Naidu brazening it out, trying to ride on nationalist sentiment when Ghulam Nabi Azad said demonetisation had killed more people than Pakistan has in Kashmir. “Soldiers at the border….” That has become the trump card of all excuses, point to the soldier and make it a nationalist thing.



And for the first time ever, the BJP is failing in its strategy to contain Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi. After many false starts, Gandhi seems to have hit a purple patch, so to say, with a concerted attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his steadfast refusal/discomfort to speak on demonetisation in the House. He has for several times spoken about it outside, including, most famously, at the Coldplay concert.


With Rahul Gandhi insisting on having evidence of corruption by the prime minister, all that the government should have done is tell the Congress scion to say it and get it over with. But, instead, the party fell victim to the same nonchalance that was flaunted by the very shrewd Mani Shankar Aiyer in the run-up to 2014 Lok Sabha polls when he made the chaiwala remark, which was amplified and used by the Modi campaign.

Some called Rahul Gandhi a joke, some said he makes such useless claims, generally dissing him. One BJP twitter czarina went a little off-base leaving room for the Opposition to gather steam. Duly, the Opposition met. With Rahul Gandhi being flanked by the pristine Sudip Bandopadhyay of Trinamool, the opposition leaders met the media with Rahul taking the mic.

To which, the CPI(M), that party which turned away from UPA1 after the trust vote over the Indo-US nuclear deal and the primary opponent of the Trinamool, said Rahul Gandhi was the Speaker of the Opposition.

Maybe the margdarshak can read between the lines and comprehend the signs. Has he seen the making of Opposition unity? With Modi meeting the BJP parliamentary party tomorrow and the Congress MPs keen to meet the PM, the staid Test-like Parliament proceedings have got the energy and crackle of the last few overs of a noisy T20 match. It is the last day of Parliament’s Winter Session on Friday. The nation wants to know what Rahul Gandhi has to say. Grab some popcorn, whichever side you support.