Not quite the DogHouse
Rahul Gandhi has suddenly acquired a new persona on social media that is somewhat at odds with his hitherto aloof and inaccessible public image. On social media, Rahul Gandhi reacts instantly to events, he is aggressive in taking on the Narendra Modi government and above all, has a wry sense of humour. This was on display last weekend when in response to the BJP claiming he had hired someone to tweet for him, he posted a video of his pet dog Pidi with the tweet that: “People have been asking who tweets for this guy. Am coming clean… it’s me… Pidi... look at me, I’m way cooler than him. Look what I can do with a tweet…oops…treat!” The video shows Pidi balancing a biscuit on his nose before gulping it down. The BJP fielded Congressman-turned-BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma to respond to the video and Sarma immediately quipped, “India does not need a dog trainer.” Another MP joined in the fun. BJD leader Jay Panda posted a video of his not-so-obedient dog Buddy. Stating that “opposites attract, since Buddy has a mind of his own, refuses to obey, or learn new tricks, let alone tweeting. Can Pidi help?” But jokes aside, the video went viral and got good reviews as well, in revealing a slightly impish and fun loving streak in the Congress leader.
Param Sukh Modi
At his annual Diwali bash for journalists, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was at his accessible best, posing for selfies with journos, pulling a TV channel editor’s leg for putting on weight and when asked about his views on the Gujarat polls, he smiled and simply said: “Param Sukh (ultimate happiness).” Clearly, despite all of Congress’ best efforts, he sees a happy conclusion in the coming state elections.
Understatement, Shah style
At an informal chat with journos at the same Diwali get together, BJP president Amit Shah spent almost an hour chatting about Gujarat polls, among other things. When asked about his Rajya Sabha debut, he said he didn’t have much time to think about it as he was focusing on Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh for now. To a follow-up question as to whether his speeches would be setting the party line in the Rajya Sabha, he smiled and then pointed out: “I don’t have to be in the Rajya Sabha to do that!” Touché.