Upcoming movie ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ has reignited the debate about how former Prime Dr. Minister Manmohan Singh was used as a pawn by the Gandhi family and made a fall guy. The movie is based on a book by Sanjaya Baru, former media adviser to Dr. Singh, which in part deals with the theme of the tussle between Dr. Singh and the Gandhi family, especially Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
Congress has been up against the movie, but at the same time want to send signals that there was nothing wrong between the Gandhis and their chosen man. Of late, Congress party has propped up Manmohan Singh to issue political statements to target Narendra Modi, and it seems the party wanted the former Prime Minister to undo the latest damage too.
A short video clip shared on social media earlier today suggested how the Congress party could use Manmohan Singh and a friendly media to firefight any possible embarrassment due to the upcoming movie.
The video clip, recorded on a day Congress was celebrating its 134th foundation day, shows Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh cut a cake in celebration. However, just 21 seconds of this clip was enough to make people notice many aspects.
The first aspect was that of media management in wake of the controversy surrounding ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’. A Congress leader is heard in the video saying that this clip showing Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh together should be sent to media:
Fighting the perception battle with PR videos! But failing to execute even that. Don’t miss the background comment-“ये मीडिया को जाना चाहिए”।
Theek Hai? pic.twitter.com/uDEhjqpUTB
— Sudhir Chaudhary (@sudhirchaudhary) December 28, 2018
This set off speculations that the party is really concerned about the Anupam Kher starrer movie and is possibly planning to use media to counter the narrative shown in the movie.
Some people thought that the clip showed how Rahul Gandhi treats senior party leaders as his subordinates, and commented that this shows the arrogance of the Congress president.
Manmohan Singh ke saamne cake aise daal Raha jaise kutte ke saamne biscuit daalte hai… Saw the video twice… Feeling bad for MMS. https://t.co/UwZCmEptDP
— अंकित जैन (@indiantweeter) December 28, 2018
Feeling bad for Manmohan ji. How arrogantly Rahul Gandhi gave him the piece of cake. ??
— Maithun – HMP (@Being_Humor) December 28, 2018
The way how Dr Singh was just touching the knife and how the entire task of cutting the cake was done by Rahul Gandhi himself was not missed by people.
Is MMS that weak or RaGa was like “okay bhai, chaku pakad liya na, ab mujhe de do”? Very symbolic that the asset belongs to me, your role was to just hold the knife temporarily https://t.co/jgMLTgDHSA
— Rahul Roushan (@rahulroushan) December 28, 2018
गाँधी परिवार इनको अपना केक तक नही काटने देते है,
सरकार क्या खाक चलाने दिए होंगे pic.twitter.com/ROaOf6TQFV
— Rishi Bagree ?? (@rishibagree) December 28, 2018
They suggested that it is symbolic of how everything is controlled by the Gandhi family in the Congress party, and others are there just for a show. Interestingly, the trailer of the movie on Dr Singh also creates the same impression.
Reacting to the video, BJP MLA from Gujarat Harsh Sanghavi said that it shows how former PM Manmohan Singh is not even free to cut his own cake.
— Harsh Sanghavi (@sanghaviharsh) December 28, 2018
Few attentive people also noted that first Rahul Gandhi wanted to put the piece of cake on a ceramic plate, but then he changes his mind and places it on a disposable Polystyrene (thermocol) plate, which he offers to Dr Singh.
Check the video carefully:
After cutting the cake in piece #Pappu first about the put the cake piece into ceramic plate (in front of Bora) and sudden he change his mind and kept in thermocol plate (use and through).#AccidentalPrimeMinister https://t.co/NXOCl6CjRh pic.twitter.com/GvNwSIrEwq
— #RΛJΞΞ_VRΛN™ ૐ (@rajee_vran) December 28, 2018
The disposable plate represents the status of Manmohan Singh in the party, people have commented.
Just like the movie, the short clip also generated lots of reactions on social media. Most people took it as an example of how Rahul Gandhi controls everything in the party, and leaders like Manmohan Singh have no authority. People commented on the body language of both the leaders, including the use of left hand by Rahul Gandhi to serve the plate of cake to Dr Singh. The Congress party may have released the video as a PR exercise, but the audio and visuals of the clip have the potential to backfire, going by the reactions.