Deja Alu: Rahul Gandhi is repeating the same tricks expecting a different result

They say, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing year after year and expecting different results“, and as the latest version of Rahul Gandhi is rolling out, we are getting a strong sense of Deja Vu. Is Rahul Gandhi going insane?

First Rahul tried the travel by train stunt. As we had shown earlier, Rahul had tried this very ploy 4 times in 5 years already. Not only is it boringly repetitive, it is the most common trick of politicians.  While we had earlier blamed the media for regurgitating the same drivel of “Coming of Age” of Rahul Gandhi over and over again, this time it is Rahul who is guilty of repetition.

In his latest intervention in Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi made a statement, which puzzled many people. He was talking on the issue of the closure of a food park in Amethi. First, let us see what he said exactly:

A few years back, I was on a tour in UP, and a farmer asked me: “Rahulji tell us, we sell potatoes at 2Rs a kg, but when our kids buy chips, the packet costs 10Rs and has only one potato. Tell us what is this magic?”

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Rahul Gandhi then explained that the farmers believed that middlemen ate away their potential earnings. The solution to this was his Food park in Amethi, which would bring industry closer to farmers, thus eliminating middle-men. We will come back to the food park, but right now, its important to note that Rahul Gandhi used this potato analogy, in context of middlemen, and claimed that a farmer asked him this question

Cut to 2013. Rahul Gandhi is laying the foundation stone for this very food park. See his speech from that event:

Rahul began his address asking the people about the market price of potato and compared it to the price of branded potato chips. “How much is the price of potato?” asked Rahul. “It’s Rs 10 per kg,” shouted someone from the crowd while some others said “it’s Rs 6 per kg.” Rahul thereafter asked: “What’s the price of 1 kg potato chips.” As the crowd shouted it’s Rs 400 per kg Rahul said, “I know those who work hard in this chain get least (price). I want you to get maximum out of this Rs 400 per kg price.”

The example is the same, the context (of middlemen) is probably the same, but the figures change. Also, while Rahul Gandhi today is claiming this was a question posed by a farmer to him, in 2013, it was question posed by him to farmers, via a speech.

Rewind further back to 2012. This time Rahul Gandhi is in Gujarat, making an election speech. He invokes the same example again. See what he said then:

Rahul: *Asks crowd* How much does Potato sell for?

Crowd: 3-4 Rs

Rahul: 3 Rs? 1 kg Potato 3 Rs? How much does a Potato chips packet sell for?

Crowd: 200 Rs

Rahul: How many potatoes are there in a chips packet?

Crowd: 10 grams

Rahul: Who is losing?

He then goes on say, they (Congress) wanted to set up Cold storage and Food processing plants via FDI, near farmers, but BJP opposed it. So now, the same analogy was used for FDI by Rahul Gandhi. And again, it is Rahul Gandhi who raised the question not the farmer. Also, as the report says, in Amreli, where Rahul spoke, the minimum price for a kg of potatoes was Rs 10 at the wholesale market, and much higher in the retail market.

We go 1 more year back in time, to 2011, and Rahul Gandhi is saying the same things. This time, he was at a meeting in Farrukhabad, the largest potato-growing district in the country. He said “farmers complained that the market price of potato was Rs. 2 per kilo while the big companies sold potato chips at Rs. 10 per packet.” He was again speaking in the context of FDI.

To recap, the same potato-chips analogy has been re-used by Rahul Gandhi 4 times in 5 years:

2011: Farrukhabad – in support of FDI

2012: Amreli, Gujarat – in support of FDI

2013: Amethi – in support of a Food Park

2015: Lok Sabha – in support of Food Park

This is what makes watching Rahul Gandhi go through the motions painfully excruciating. Its like watching a film over and over again, you know exactly what will happen, and you don’t like the film a lot either. Its just plain torture. Rahul Gandhi needs more intelligent people guiding him in his image-rebuilding.

Coming back to the Food Park issue, Rahul alleged that the current Government had scrapped the Amethi Food park out of vengeance. The real reason though was the fact that the project did not fulfil certain conditions, including possession of land within six months of the date of allocation, even after extension of deadline. The company which was to build the food park in fact “informed the ministry that the project is unviable if gas at subsidised rate is not provided for the captive power plant, for which he added there was no provision under the policies for food park”. A Ministry official said, “Even the deadline was extended to two years but the company was not able to fulfil the minimum criteria of 50 acres of land.”

Also on a side note, this food park was to be developed by the Aditya Birla group, an “evil corporate” if one is to follow Rahul Gandhi’s language. So was Rahul Gandhi, who has repeatedly accused the Government of being pro-corporate, of being a “suit-boot” ki sarkar, batting for a “corporate” in Lok Sabha? Time to have some potato chips while this episode pans out.

(Links to news stories via @rupasubramanya)

co-founder, OpIndia.com

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