…Why Rahul Fi­nally Took Full Re­spon­si­bil­ity

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page - SAUB­HIK CHAKRABARTI

IKNEWwhat­my­main­job­was to­day.So,IcalledMan­mo­han around9.30am.MrsSingh­said he’s pack­ing be­cause all the staff were­watch­ingTVand­cheer­ing. Itold­her­geth­i­mon­the­p­hone.He tookhis­time­com­ing,which­has nev­er­hap­pened­be­fore….Ishould have­known­what­to­ex­pect.Any­way,I told­him­my­plan.Man­mo­han,Iam of­fer­ingy­outhe­high­esthonourI­can thinkof,Isaid.BharatRatna,he­said. Iwas­sur­prised,what’shap­penedto Man­mo­han?! SoI­ex­plained—Man­mo­han,you havethe­honourof tak­ingRahul’s place­an­dac­cept­in­gre­spon­si­bil­i­ty­for Congress’de­feat.In­Congress,there’s no­big­ger­honourthantak­ingRahul’s place,Isaid,and­was­con­vincedMan­mo­han­would­jump­forit….Imean,he al­wayshas. Mam­mamia! Man­mo­han­saidno! Forthe­first­time!He­said­whenyou havenopower,you­can’ttak­ere­spon­si­bil­ity. And he told me to read that fel­lowBaru.Somecheek! So,IcalledChi­dambaram.Hep­icked up­on­firstring,well-spo­ke­nand in­tel­li­gent-sound­ing as ever, and I thought­thi­sis­my­man!PC,Itold­him, youw­ere­ourbest­min­is­terand­who bu­ty­ou­can­takeRahul’splace.Tolead Congress,PCaskedex­cit­edly,tobe ourPM­can­di­date­for2019?Ohdear, what’swrong­with­the­sepeo­ple…. No,no,PC,youtakeRahul’splace­and ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for our de­feat. AndPCs­tart­ed­makingex­cuses!

Ma’am,Ididn’teven­con­test,he said…then­he­said­he­has­to­be­with hisso­nand­cheer­himup,then­he­said hehastofin­isha­press­re­leaseon­how hewasa­bet­ter­fi­nancem­i­nis­terthan Yash­wan­tSinha….Who­caresabout that, I told him. PC said all edit page writ­ersdo….Ithinkmoste­d­it­pages are­withus,he­said….At­that­point, I ended the call.

Sad,sosad…but­there’sDigvi­jaya, al­ways­de­pend­able,used­to­beal­ways with­Rahul…but­notevenDigvi­jaya was­ready.He­said­he­was­sortof busy with­thatthing….Whatthing,Iasked him…he­said,ma’am,youknow,that thing.Itold­himI­can’tun­der­stand whathe’stalkingabout…and­he­said there­arethings­big­gerthanpol­i­tics… andthen­herun­goff.And­to­think,we al­lowed­him­to­go­toUPwith­Rahul…. Whoelse?We­havea­press­con­fer­enceataround4.30pm,Idon’twantto takeRahul….Ieven­thoughtof call­ingPranab…in­fact,PC­saidPran­abis theright­can­di­date­for­t­ak­ingre­spon­si­bil­ity, but he’s Pres­i­dent now…can’t re­allyaskhim,canI?Buti­nany­case, whenI­called,hisstaff said­he­was learningafew­wordsinGu­jarat­i­fora spe­cialoc­ca­sion­that’scomin­gup…. Iwould­have­calle­dothers…Kapil, Sushil,Ka­mal…butI­made­upmy mind­to­takeRahul­with­meafter all…be­causeRobert­came­up­tome and­said,mom,Ihave­been­watch­ing you….Ifeel­bad,let­megowith­you and­take­full­re­spon­si­bil­ity….Iwas shocked,scared…re­allyscared….

I called Rahul and said let’s go. Where,mom,heaskedinthatsweet wayof his.Just­come­withme,there willbe­some­jour­nal­ists,don’tworry…just­say,youtake­full­re­spon­si­bil­ity. Full re­spon­si­bil­ity for what, Rahul asked.Howin­no­cen­theis.Iwill­tell youlater,ItoldRahul.Nowjust­come.

AndRahul­saidthat­lineper­fectly. Am­re­allyso­proudof him.

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