It was in December’s assembly elections that the Gandhi sensation first gripped India. His party, the Indian National Congress, scored three stunning – and previously unimaginable – victories in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, wresting the ‘Hindi Belt’ states from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Gandhi is boiling his message down into a digestible list of BJP failures that he says have diminished India’s status in the world, including as a country in which to do business.
He is still chastising Modi’s 2016 move to demonetise 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.
In 2014, Modi’s past as the chief minister who oversaw communal riots between Hindus and Muslims in Gujarat had all but been forgotten. But reports and videos of violence against people who eat beef in India have become a common occurrence.
Gandhi’s defining moment, and the BJP’s unravelling, could come from the Rafale Jet controversy that has engulfed Indian politics. The controversial 2015 purchase of 36 Rafale jets worth $8.9bn from France’s Dassault Aviation has yet to result in a single jet delivered.
Gandhi hasn’t yet been able to detail much of a plan, except that it would have two main economic priorities should he one day find himself in India’s highest office. The first, he says, is tackling India’s unemployment, which rose to 7.38 percent in December, the highest in 27 months. The second, he says, is rebuilding trust in Indian government institutions, including the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
(Source: Arabianbusiness.com YouTube channel)