5 reasons why Rahul Gandhi will struggle in Battle 2014

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Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi is on a whirlwind tour of Uttar Pradesh. After inaugurating a mega food park in Amethi, the leader addressed two rallies in the state on Wednesday. A day earlier at a press conference, he spoke about his party's quest towards winning the Dalit hearts in the state.

Gandhi's programmes in UP are aimed at a pre-emptive strike on rival Narendra Modi's poll rallies lined up in the state later this month.

Gandhi has asserted his authority in the party and has begun the poll campaigning in his own style. But will his mission succeed in the big battle of 2014?

Here are five reasons why he is more likely to struggle.

Confusing distinction between party, govt & individual

First, Rahul Gandhi's distinction between the individual, party and government is quite confusing. His party is trying to woo Mayawati and Mulayam, two key leaders in the Indian political system, while he himself is attacking them on their turf to show that he is one who is above the compulsion of coalition politics.

This stand will fetch the leader little advantage at the end of the day for the Congress is no force in Uttar Pradesh today.

Only Uttar Pradesh won't help Rahul & Congress

Secondly, Rahul Gandhi looks too much obsessed with Uttar Pradesh, may be because of family connections. Seven months ahead of the big polls, when Narendra Modi is touring nook and corner of India, even states ruled by the Congress and other parties, Gandhi's campaigning strategy features UP and states ruled by the Congress.

Can he, for a change, extensively visit states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and West Bengal where his party requires an urgent revival?

He has even not bothered to visit Andhra Pradesh, a state which helped his party to form government at the Centre for two consecutive terms, at a time of serious crisis.

Choice of words remains a concern

Thirdly, Rahul Gandhi's choice of words isn't helping his cause. Whether it is trashing a government ordinance as "nonsense" or comparing the rise of the poor with something called ‘escape velocity', Gandhi is clearly failing to connect with his audience. He is leaving the listeners either unconvinced or confused.

Modi's simplistic vocabulary is proving more effective in this regard. The other day, Modi's speech at a bullion summit was very engaging. The BJP leader has presented speeches customised for his audience on each occasion. Gandhi, on the other hand, is carrying on with the same boring "Adhi Roti Khayenge..." The man definitely needs a better speech writer.

Why silence on corruption?

Fourthly, Rahul Gandhi is never found speaking on the issue of corruption. He speaks about ordinary people, economic uplift of the poor, the opposition's pro-rich policies, but maintains a silence on issues like CWG, 2G, Coalgate, Vadragate or Railwaygate.

If the man is careful about maintaining a clean track record and practices a politics of ethics by trashing a controversial ordinance and slamming other parties' over riots and stalling rise of backward classes, then he must put his own house in order first.

Rahul has shown who’s the boss and now he should say what’s his policy.

Why Gandhi doesn't speak on a powerful Lokayukta if he wants tainted politicians unprotected?

Reluctant on coalition politics

Fifthly, Rahul Gandhi's unwillingness to try coalition politics to improve his party's prospects in states where it is weak. Unless that happens, it is futile to expect that the party will regain a glorious past in key states like Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress follows a two-pronged strategy of wooing regional leaders on the backstage while taking the same parties in the open. After Rahul Gandhi takes over as the chief of the Congress, how much effective will this vague strategy be? Why not admit the weakness and go for a robust coalition-making strategy? A lot of questions are being asked about Modi's coalition-management capacity, but is Rahul Gandhi well-equipped in this regard?

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