Hug-and-wink tactics don’t work in serious politics. Rahul’s childish prank had overridden his otherwise blitz speech. It will have a lasting memory in the wider public. However, in a larger political context, such diplomatic gestures look absurd during the fiery debates in the ‘live’ House. When Rahul knows Congress cannot win of its own, he would need all tricks of the trade with clinical precision to dislodge charismatic, competitive Modi in 2019 elections. Simultaneously, how Rahul and regional satraps convince each other for the ‘hot’ seat remains an enigmatic dilemma. By all counts, Modi has enough armoury in the BJP-cum-NDA, which will give Rahul run for his money.
Rahul and his party want and believe that he, Rahul, should be the PM in 2019. He has had four years to prepare for this encounter with Modi. Yet, beginning with the meaningless "Suit Boot ki Sarkar" jibe (meaningless because it was ironically only the UPA government that rightly deserved that title) culminating in that totally inappropriate, small time drama of the 'hug hug wink wink', he has not really progressed at all towards convincing anyone that he is anywhere near being PM material, or even capable of being so in the near future. His 'small victory' in 'ramping it up to Ra/Mo' may remain exactly that :a small victory'. But, is that what the voters would expect from either Rahul or Congress? He should shed all such pretense immediately and concentrate entirely on improving upon the pathetic fall from 206 to 44. That may at least help in 2024.