It is extraordinary how often Narendra Modi manages to outsmart everyone and take them by complete surprise. And he does it with such aplomb. His dexterity in spotting an opportunity always leaves his critics — politicians and all the others — fuming in rage and outrage. And I am sure Modi has a hearty laugh each time. Fooled them again, he must be saying to his friends, if he has any.

And, I must confess, I too find it very funny. It’s almost like a Tom and Jerry cartoon where Jerry always outwits Tom and leaves him fretting in frustration. The latest example of this is the Sengol. It’s amazing the use that Modi has made of it. Modi with the Sengol has been like Rashid Khan with his deceptive googlies. The Opposition with its boycott has taken a swing, missed and been stumped.

After all, it had lain there all these 76 years since 1947. Yet, the moment he heard of it, Modi immediately saw how it could be used for garnering political capital.

The strange descendants of Jawaharlal Nehru didn’t even know that the Sengol had been presented to him in 1947 and further that it was in their possession. The museum thought it was a walking stick!

But the moment Modi heard of it, he instantly saw how he could pull off a mighty PR coup. And that’s what’s got the Opposition frothing in the mouth and wringing its hands in indignation. It even foolishly boycotted the inauguration of the new Parliament building, only to have its moral cloak pulled away the moment the BJP reminded everyone of the number of times it had boycotted the President and other major national events held in Parliament.

To top it all off, it turned out that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi — with no locus standi — had inaugurated the Chhattisgarh assembly building. Talk about a self-goal or hit-wicket.