01 March, 2021

The Ra Mo Superbowl?

The novice Rahul Gandhi of old is gone. His probable allies may be less than enthusiastic, but a presidential air is building up around the 2019 contest.

Two Hussars
Rahul Gandhi, say political observers, is trying to fashion a narrative of a presidential-style tussle with Narendra Modi
Photograph by Jitender Gupta & Tribhuvan Tiwari
The Ra Mo Superbowl?

Elections are, in a real sense, about groups. Population segm­e­nts, parties, caucuses, ticket-see­kers, armies of worker ants on the ground…all of it has a collective nature. But sometimes the essential idea of a contest is given flesh to—incarnated—by personages. Faces stand in for ideas: people find them easier to relate to. As the 2019 Lok Sabha elections draw nearer, the battlelines are slowly morphing from shapeless, confused squiggles into something more cogent and compelling. If the dramatic faceoff between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi dur­­ing the no-confidence motion debate set the tone, the aggressive pitch made by the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to take pole position among the Opposition was its validation.

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