Did the wrong Rahul announce his retirement?
If it was not for his surname would Rahul Gandhi have been in politics? And, now after the votes are in would he have continued in politics?
I am not kidding, I feel bad for Rahul Gandhi. The more things change the more they remain the same. The voters of UP have not rejected dynasty - 38 year old Akhilesh Yadav is an uber-dynast, they just seem fed up of being patronised by the Gandhi dynasty and the arrogance of the Congress party.
The circus aspect where the deserving poor get the NREGA crumbs that the Gandhi family sends from Delhi, and the entire family turning out complete with grand-children and mother and daughter in matching hand loom saris and staged shows of affection doesn't quite cut it anymore.
And, the Congress party, a pale shadow of palace courtiers, who are parasites on the Gandhi family ensure that politics for Rahul Gandhi remains the same as it was for his grand-mother Indira Gandhi in the last century. They don't understand that India has moved on and that merit is important and entitlement is treated with voter impatience.
So when a puzzled Diggi raja who plays the lesser raja for maharaja Rahul says we think of him as PM, how can he be CM or a minister? Voters are astonished. Similarly when a the ex ruler of Patiala, Amarinder Singh decides to run a lordly campaign with helicopter pit stops and banks on an Akali split to romp home, the voters punish him.
The voters of UP who were called beggars and treated to a viscous caste and communal campaign by a 42 year old leader who looked young but is still trapped in old politics gave him an answer. Parading Sam Pitroda as a caste symbol did not cut any ice. Nor did Salman Khurshid's cold blooded defiance of the Election Commission. An embarrassed Congress party had to deny that Sonia Gandhi was reduced to tears on Batla house. And, this is how the Congress plans to win elections.
Where were the tall local leaders? The demand that voters buy in to the growth story ironically unleashed by the Congress and now disowned. The promise of basic deliverables such as roads, electricity and water. And, actual job creation not doles. They did not exist.
The Congress has long ago got rid of any genuine leaders who are seen as a threat to the paramount Gandhi family. Witness the treatment of Jaganmohan who was treated ruthlessly by a party which has the largest number of hereditary MPs.
SP imports such as Beni Prasad Verma sounded utterly tired and managed to hoodwink Rahul.
And, it is a bit rich to say that the organisation did not exist. After all Rahul Gandhi who does not have a day job has spent all his time working on project UP with mini-breaks abroad.
It's lucky for the Congress party that they have such a heaven sent pathetic opposition in the BJP or Rahul Gandhi might have had to in middle-age make a career shift.
And, all politicians should take a lead displayed by Rahul Dravid. And, a lot of his ex-team mates as well.