Rahul Gandhi’s think tank of experts on the budget burnt midnight oil to find flaws with the budget presented yesterday. Next morning when Rahul asked them for a feedback, they all looked sheepish and avoided his eye. The reason was that they could not find any flaw with the budget. Rahul was not happy and left the room in a huff. He wondered what he would say at the press conference that he had called. Surely, he could not praise the budget as that would dent his image.
Finally, he reverted to his coterie of the old guard whose only qualification to fame was that they had latched on to Gandhi name over the years. These four gentlemen went into a huddle and ten minutes later they came to meet Rahul.
Rahul asked them, “So, have you found any problem or shortcoming with the budget?”
The oldest of the four cronies who is known to be a motormouth smiled and said, “Yes Rahul ji, the budget had one very serious and major issue?”
Rahul was happy to hear that and said, “Great, please be quick as media reporters are already trooping in the hall next door.”
The motormouth adjusted his glasses and in a very serious demeanor said, “Rahul ji, the biggest problem that this budget has is that it has no problem. We have to highlight this problem.”
Rahul smiled and said, “I knew it, there had to be some serious problem and thank you. Now I can go and talk to the press.”
A few moments later Rahul walked in the hall next door followed by his four cronies. The press, as always was very eager to hear the Gandhi scion, not because of any pearls of wisdom that were expected from him but to see if he could entertain them with some new ‘rahulisms’. There was a rush of questions from the reporters and Rahul basked in the attention that he was getting. A few minutes later his press secretary stepped in to restore some order in the madness and asked a particular reporter to fire the first question.
Reporter, “Rahul ji, what are your views on the budget and do you think there are any flaws in it?”
Rahul smiled in a bemused manner and after a few pictures had been clicked replied, “You know I have not been afraid of asking question of Mr Modi. He is always scared of my questions. But it is my democratic right and I will continue to ask questions.” As he paused for a few moments to see the effects of his statement, he heard a few roars from the crowd of reporters, “What about this budget, Sir”.
Rahul smiled once again and said, “This budget has a very serious problem.” Then he stopped as the hall went quiet. He surveyed the hall full of reporters as flash bulbs went on and off. Then he said in a very somber tone, “The biggest problem with this budget is that it has no problem. Now you see how big the problem is? The problem of the budget not having any problem is the issue here. I want to ask Modi ji, why does the budget have no problem? Can he answer that? I am sure he cannot.”
The hall was silent for a long time. Then suddenly it erupted as many reporters shouted at the same time, “Sir, how can no problem with the budget be a problem?”
Rahul gave one of his trademark silly smiles and said, “That is exactly what I want Modi ji to explain. Is BJP not fooling the public by presenting a budget where the problem is that it has no problem?”
Meanwhile a leading television channel that is partial to Gandhi name and Congress party was already flashing on its screen “Rahul shreds the budget in a single statement by highlighting that the biggest problem with this budget is that it has no problem.”
In the press conference hall Rahul was all smiles as were most reporters, though for different reasons. The press secretary called for more questions. A reporter from a business new channel raised his hand and asked, “Sir, can you be a bit more specific?”
Rahul looked at him, waived his hand and said, “As you know we are talking about the budget and my statement is about the budget.”
Reporter insisted, “Sir, I mean can you be more specific about different sections of the budget?”
Rahul replied, “See, I am asking the question to Modi ji on behalf of the whole nation and not on behalf of a section of people. So, when there is such a big problem with the whole budget, there is no need to talk of individual sections and clauses.”
Now the reporter decided to have some fun too. So, he said, “But Sir, a no problem budget is actually a good budget.”
Rahul gave him a dirty stare and said, “I think since you are young, you do not understand. Let me explain in a different way. See, in last so many decades have we ever had a budget that had no problems? So, logically is it not a huge problem that the budget presented yesterday had no problems?”
Another reporter pitched in and said, “In that case I think we should be happy and compliment the Finance Minister (FM) for a no problem budget.”
“How can I or the opposition be happy when our problem is that the budget has no problem?” replied Rahul. “Modi ji has once again not taken the opposition into confidence. He should have included some problems in the budget to cater for our needs. He is acting like a dictator and expects all of us to clap for the budget. What about our democratic rights that gives us the right to raise questions? But with this no problem budget he is trying to take away all our questions and in turn our democratic rights. That is why I maintain that the biggest problem with this budget is that it has no problems.”
By now the hall was nearly empty barring Rahul’s entourage and a few security men. At a signal from the press secretary, everyone started clapping and chanting ‘Rahul, Rahul, Rahul.’
One of the last few reporters who was exiting the hall could be heard muttering to himself, “Oh God, how could you be so unkind to Sonia ji. Afterall she is a mother too!” But then God’s ways are strange and how can mere mortals like us understand why he does what he does.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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