Congress finds its Arun Jaitely in Jairam Ramesh


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News Analysis

By Manish Anand

New Delhi, August 5: Senior print journalists began skipping the Bharatiya Janata Party pressers even before the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020 after the saffron outfit unleashed its battery of rookie spokespersons who had taken their training from the school of rhetoric, with bile fed to them by the television studios.

On Friday, the BJP did not field its media face Sambit Patra after the former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi launched a no holds barred attack on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre, with him calling the regime “dictatorial”, as he illustrated the instances from the history books of Adolf Hitler.

The BJP rather asked the former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to counter the Congress charges.

Prasad, who was unceremoniously kicked out of the Council of Ministers at the Centre, is learnt to be busy with his law practice.

He put out a dull defence of the BJP, banking on stale arguments that the Opposition could not stomach the mandate gained by the Modi-led ruling dispensation.

That argument can be belted out by the BJP leaders even from their deep slumbers.

The media largely ignored the jilted leader’s defence of the BJP.

The BJP’s media warriors after the 2019 mandate have been the likes of Patra, Gaurav Bhatia, Shehzad Poonawalla, besides cameo shows by Union Ministers Meenakshi Lekhi, Smriti Irani, who still believe that their rhetoric applauded by television anchors would help gain the BJP an upper hand.

The print journalists on the BJP beat have been struggling to push their stories, as editors find them full of the rants of rookie spokespersons and lacking in news value.

The Monsoon session of Parliament has nearly been washed out.

The Congress can claim credit for full session washout. This is in contrast to a tired and fatigued outfit that looked a group of men and women bored in their lives lounging on the Opposition benches in both the Houses of Parliament.

The Opposition outfit was further embarrassed by senior leaders from its ranks, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, showing exultations at the occasional remarks of Modi.

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, consisting of the top brass of the Congress, have seen the officers of the Enforcement Directorate, and know well the worst case scenario that they could spend days and months in judicial custody in the National Herald case.

The Congress is pushed to the wall. That gives rare opportunity to the party to redeem itself from inertia, boredom, and ideological bankruptcy.

To retrieve the party from the political abyss, the Congress clutched to the issue of the price rise, which has indeed battered the low-income and the middle classes, while the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman enjoys the liberty of the shrill to not see the dark cloud hovering over the Indian economy.

The Congress has all of a sudden begun capturing the media attention. Television where the party doesn’t send its spokespersons also began covering the Congress protests.

In Jairam Ramesh, the Congress has seemingly found a face and voice who still enjoys goodwill among several media persons for the ways he treated them when he was the Union Minister.

It may be early days, but there are enough suggestions that the Congress has found its Arun Jaitely in Jairam Ramesh.

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