‘His talk about changing the system is taxing credulity somewhat’

Poornima Joshi | Updated on March 10, 2018

Arun Jaitley

BJP leader Arun Jaitley believes there are contradictions in everything Rahul Gandhi says

How do you view Rahul Gandhi’s pronouncements about systemic and structural changes?

When we were in college, there was always a group of idealistic students who would interminably discuss the state of the nation. As far as I could make out, the system was always the cause of all trouble. The system, therefore, needed to be thrown out or changed. It is good to be young, idealistic and desire change in the system. What we have not figured so far from Rahul Gandhi’s pronouncements is: what precisely constitutes the system and what are the contours of change? Furthermore, Rahul Gandhi talking about changing the system is taxing credulity somewhat.

What do you mean?

There is contradiction in everything that the Congress Vice-President says. He says he believes in democracy when he himself is the product of a dynasty. He says the PM is chosen by the MPs when the Congress has, at least in the last two terms, nominated a PM.

What has happened to Rahul Gandhi is that in the process of graduating from a controlled environment such as delivering a speech written by somebody else to Congress delegates in the AICC to giving a considered interview to a journalist, he has ended up exposing himself.

One does not know whether the system that he wants to change is the system as it prevails in India or the system in the Congress. I presume it is the latter. But then, one doesn’t know. The specifics are not clear; it is all so confusing.

What specifically would you like him to clarify?

I will give you an instance. India’s own route to economic growth leans towards the market, which gives you a growth rate. I think the Left and the NGOs do well to flag issues concerning the weaker sections. The BJP has a specific view on growth rate – strengthening the market, developing infrastructure and so on. What Rahul Gandhi has said so far tells us nothing about how he would like economic growth to pick up, where the money for welfare schemes is going to come from, and so on. He is talking about manufacturing. I would like to ask what steps have been taken to help manufacturing growth.

Do you think he is vacillating on the prime ministerial candidate issue?

These issues actually do not matter. The Congress is facing a rout. The slogans that he is raising make no sense because we now have a young, aspirational India that is looking for jobs, a better life and distribution of wealth. The Congress and Rahul Gandhi have nothing to show or offer after ten years of power.

Published on February 03, 2014

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