Indian National Congress (INC) vice president Rahul Gandhi wouldn't have thought that his attempt to nail Prime Minister Narendra Modi would backfire, that too in front of almost 2000 college students.
Gandhi's interaction with the students of Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru, gave him some embarrassing moments as they decided to disagree with the Congress vice president's views on prime minister Narendra Modi's developmental initiatives.
While interacting with the students of Mount Carmel College, he asked them about Modi government's two flagship programs 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' (Clean India Mission) and 'Make in India', in an attempt to corner the Modi government.
“Do you think Swachh Bharat campaign is working"? he asked. The reply: loud 'yes'.
Gandhi tried again.
“You think Make in India is good"? the response: a big 'yes'.
“Anyway, I think it's not working. I hear a talk of 'Clean our Country'. Are we serious? Do you see it's working? I don't," he then added.
Criticizing Narendra Modi, Gandhi said, “the only way to transform this country is not through one man, but with every Indian's help, with the participation of the poor."
“Not once has PM called up anyone in the Congress party. Democracy is about conversation," he added.
After the interaction, Gandhi told reporters that the response of the students was not clear.
“On 'Swachh Bharat', half the room said nothing had happened and some said something had happened. On 'Make in India', I think more people said not much had happened, some said things have happened," he said.
With the video of Gandhi talking to students going viral, social media came up with the hashtag “#RahulStumped."
Responding to the incident, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said to the Press Trust of India, “When asked about Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Make in India, the youths of this country said that these concepts are moving ahead and Rahul was shocked. Why was he shocked? Because of the very fact that he has a great disconnect, he does not know the vibrations on the ground. Leave aside the country; he cannot lead the youths of the country."
“This is the way, the leader of the country should interact with the young and the countrymen everywhere — sometimes disagreeing with them, sometimes agreeing with them and answering their basic inquisitiveness on how India should look in 5 years, 10 years and 20 years. Rahul Ji has answered, what no other political leader has done," Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told PTI.