Every time there is kissing, someone is bound to start pressing charges and last week, the women MPs of the BJP did just that. They gave a written complaint to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had made an ‘inappropriate gesture’ by giving a ‘flying kiss.’ They demanded ‘stringent action’ against Rahul Gandhi for ‘insulting the dignity of the women members in the House.’
What makes the BJP’s women MPs think they were the targets of Rahul’s airborne kiss? The description of a ‘flying kiss’ or ‘blown kiss’ states — it is a kiss that is used when a person wishes to convey affection to a large crowd or audience, and that is what Rahul did.
Media persons in the House reported that after Rahul finished his speech, he was walking out of the House, not waiting to listen to Union Minister Smriti Irani, who had begun speaking. Peeved at this nonchalant attitude, the Treasury benches shouted at him to stay back and listen to the Minister’s speech. At this point, Rahul turned towards the Treasury benches and blew a kiss before walking out.
The BJP women MPs’ outburst about a blown kiss seems overblown, but Rahul Gandhi’s lack of probity should not be blown aside — his inability to understand the seriousness of business at hand — no-confidence motion.
Rahul Gandhi often shoves his foot in his mouth with erroneous statements or shoots himself in the foot with theatrics. Remember in 2013 when Ajay Maken, then Spokesperson of Congress, was sitting at a press conference defending a Congress-initiated Ordinance, Rahul Gandhi walked in, took over the press conference and said, “My opinion is that the Ordinance is nonsense, should be torn up and thrown out.”
He again dramatically added, “I will repeat it for you; my opinion about the Ordinance is that it is complete nonsense; it should be torn and thrown away.” And then he got up and left, leaving behind a room full of confused media persons and a spooked Congress Spokesperson.
We also remember how he dramatically tore up a sheet of paper to drive home the point at a public rally that BSP in UP was not keeping its promises. Later, the same party became his ally.
Some may recall in 2018 when his party moved the no-confidence motion, Rahul gave a speech. Back then, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “an astonishing performance, tearing apart the Govt’s claims & ending with that unscripted hug that has literally taken the BJP’s breath away #BhukampAaGaya (there is an earthquake).” But…
When there is an earthquake, everything and everyone is shaken, but no one shook except Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who thought Rahul was asking him to get up from his seat as Rahul rushed to hug him. Many thought Rahul Gandhi was asking the Prime Minister to get up from his seat as he felt Modi did not deserve to be the PM.
One cannot be faulted for thinking this considering Rahul rushed towards the PM right after tearing into the Prime Minister while moving a no-confidence motion against him.
While Rahul tried to show he is a man of love with his jappi (hug), we thought the PM who also loves showmanship would try to outdo him by giving him a pappi (kiss).
While many felt it was nice of Rahul to hug the PM, sending a message of love and respect towards an adversary, his wink after the act ruined his chances of walking away on a high note.
The wink showed that his hug was not spontaneous and sincere. It was a gimmicky political move to create a perception that Rahul was all about love and respect while Modi was not. It backfired. No wonder the PM later called it ‘bachpana’ (immature behaviour).
Today India desperately needs an influential Opposition leader who can counter Modi in terms of oration, confidence and seriousness of purpose. A credible Opposition is the need of the hour in India. Instead, we now have a collective calling itself I.N.D.I.A, led by a man who keeps taking two steps forward and one step back.
Now, to say Rahul’s flying kiss insulted the dignity of women members is pushing it too far, but by blowing a kiss, Rahul may have blown the seriousness of the no-confidence motion moved by his party yet again.
Congress party’s repeated moving of no-confidence motion just before elections could be a strategy to relaunch Rahul as the face of the Opposition. It has turned the no-confidence motion into a request for the people to have ‘confidence in Rahul motion’, and Rahul blew it again.
Last time Rahul Gandhi blew it with a hug and a wink. This time he did it with a flying kiss. Guess it’s not in our kiss-mat to have a strong Opposition Leader anytime soon.
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