Rahul Gandhi returned to India on Saturday after what turned out to be a fairly long vacation — at least some (if not all) of which was spent in Europe.
The Congress vice-President had left the country on June 13, mere days after grabbing headlines for his antics in Madhya Pradesh following the violence in the state's Mandsaur district.
Rahul Gandhi takes a motorcycle to Mandsaur (Source: PTI)
At that time, he had passed on the baton of protest against the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led state government to his fellow Congress party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who swapped Rahul Gandhi's motorcycle for an open-top truck and subsequently, a police van, which he rode in a fashion that people who've seen Mad-Max: Fury Road will find familiar.
Jyotiraditya Scindia atop a Police van (Source: Twitter)
Following that tumultuous period, Rahul Gandhi spoke at a National Herald event in Bengaluru. And the next day, he issued the following tweet -
Unlike the 55-day sabbatical of 2015 during which he'd gone incommunicado, this vacation wasn't accompanied by radio silence. His @OfficeOfRG Twitter handle remained active throughout, and just as well because the Nehru-Gandhi scion's 47th birthday fell on June 19.
He tweeted on various sporting events concerning India, including Cricket, Badminton and Hockey...
...and also caught up on some reading -
Coming to some of the biggest talking points, Rahul Gandhi did tweet about the Presidential elections, backing the Opposition parties' candidate Meira Kumar — though a tweet can hardly be quantified as a backing in an election of this nature. The Congress VP will have to lend his weight in a more focused manner if he really wishes for Kumar to defeat the NDA's candidate, Ram Nath Kovind.
Finally, he seemed to have been a driving force behind the Congress' boycott of the GST's rollout in Parliament House on Friday. While party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Anand Sharma and Jairam Ramesh made the announcement, Rahul Gandhi was the one who launched the most stinging broadside at the government -
It's important to note here that while the criticism was loud, it wasn't substantiated by any technical reasoning. The Congress' decision to not participate in the midnight event in Parliament also meant that President Pranab Mukherjee, who had played a significant role in the landmark GST's long road to realisation, was left high and dry by the party and political family he had represented for decades. The President is scheduled to demit office on July 24.
At the end, however, it emerged there was a sense of symmetry to Rahul Gandhi's vacation. Just like how he left after attending a National Herald event; he also returned, 19 days later, right before another National Herald event.
Now, if only GST's rollout can be as perfectly executed as Rahul Gandhi's vacation.