What was the provocation for Robert Vadra to give an interview to a private media outlet? And why now? How do you explain the claim, “I did not need Priyanka to enhance my life. I had enough. My parents gave me enough.” Really?
Of course, there is not even an iota of truth in that claim. For, without the Gandhi link he would still be selling thalis and katoris in some obscure part of Moradabad. He would not have become the cynosure of the entire nation, a member of the elite golf clubs, an integral part of the incestuous Page Three set in the capital. Without the all-important Gandhi link, the real estate czars, who now do multi-crore deals with him, would not have given the time of day even by a common passerby. Only upon becoming Mr Priyanka Gandhi did one Robert Vadra “enhance” his life in multifarious ways he now refuses to acknowledge. Simply put, without Priyanka, he would have remained an anonymous Mr Nobody.
The question as to why Robert gave the interview remains unanswered. And why now? And what does he really mean that marrying Priyanka did not “enhance” his life.
The world knows it did, and in ways he would not have dreamed of. But marrying into the first family of politics, and specially someone blessed with film star good looks, can give any husband a complex. Vadra, all muscle and brawn, would have gone unnoticed even in a crowd of one had he not married into the Gandhi family.
And how do you make any sense of his claim that people are so angry with the Narendra Modi government that they will soon rise in revolt—yes, revolt. And, pray, who are these people? “Business people, real estate people…” Of course, they have reason to be upset because no government has clamped down on their black deeds the way the Modi government has. But that is another matter. If Vadra’s barometer for assessing the public mood is “business people, real estate people” then this government has nothing to fear.
It is true, business people are upset because the government has most fiercely assaulted crony capitalism under which Robert Vadra had thrived, swinging things for his business associates for a hefty commission. Like the land deals he swung in Haryana and Rajasthan.
Frankly, if you were to consider the public utterances of Robert Vadra over the years there can be only one conclusion: He is all brawn, no brain. From the threat to “join politics when the people want me” to calling Indians “mango people in a banana republic”, to the latest about the people rising in revolt against Modi, there is a common strand of half-wittedness. And we are not even talking of the claim about his wife not “enhancing” his life, even if the public taunt is actually meant for Priyanka’s consumption.
LALU PROTECTS FAMILY INTEREST
Politics is all about striking deals. Though Lalu Yadav cannot be enthused about Nitish Kumar projecting himself as the prime ministerial candidate of an all-embracing anti-BJP front, he might still reluctantly fall in line, hoping that it would help him install his younger son, Tejashwi, as the next Chief Minister in Bihar sooner than he had earlier believed. Tejashwi is now Deputy Chief Minister under Nitish Kumar.
If things pan out as Lalu believes they would, soon Nitish would get busy in concretizing the so-called anti-BJP front in time for it to be ready for the 2019 Lok Sabha battle. This would eventually call for Nitish to step down as Bihar Chief Minister so that he can devote all his energies and time to cobbling together an omnibus anti-Modi front. In the normal course, Bihar is not due for a fresh Assembly poll till late 2020. Lalu’s calculation would be to install Tejashwi as the leader of the RJD-JD(U) combine long before that, persuading Nitish to step aside for him to be able to nurse his prime ministerial ambitions. Since, anyway, RJD is a bigger party than Nitish’s JD(U), the latter would not be in a position to stake claim on leading the coalition once Nitish shifts full-time to national politics. Thus, whether or not Nitish is able to realise his prime ministerial dream, Lalu at least would have reclaimed the Bihar gaddi for his own son.
GREAT ACTOR, BUT GREAT MAN?
You feel sorry for Amitabh Bachchan. Yes, we do. By far the best actor that India has had in decades, Bachchan is one of the more self-centred persons in real life. Unlike a Dharmendra or a Mithun Chakraborty, Bachchan’s ways make him one of the more unpopular denizens of the film world. He is known to use people and then discard them with utter disdain. If you don’t believe us, ask Amar Singh.
Though he has denied that he owned any of the shell companies as revealed in the Panama Papers, only the most credulous will buy that claim. Let us recall a small instance.
Back in the days when he was an MP from Allahabad, he donated a couple of crores of rupees to a newly-launched hospital in Mumbai.
And his constituents were left wondering why he wouldn’t donate to an Allahabad-based charity, his hometown, which had sent him to Parliament with a huge majority, defeating the stalwart Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna. You know why? Because making a donation to a Sethji-owned hospital assured tangible returns, whereas giving money to a charity in Allahabad would have yielded zilch from his perspective.
That then is Bachchan the man for you, though as an actor he has few peers in the industry.