When shows of goodwill and bonhomie replace the daily mudslinging, we get a glimpse of the truth: politics isn’t usually personal. The outpouring of support for Arun Jaitley — who’s in the US for a medical check-up — demonstrates that.
Arun Jaitley and Rahul Gandhi have said some pretty unflattering things about each other in the past year.
The Congress boss shot off tweets about “Jaitlie”. The finance minister called him a “clown prince” and the grandson of a “dictator”.
But if Rahul Gandhi is peeved at all, it didn’t show when news broke that Jaitley was in the US for a medical check-up. He said he was upset.
“We fight him on a daily basis for his ideas. However, I and the Congress party send him our love and best wishes for a speedy recovery,” Rahul Gandhi said. “We are with you and your family 100 per cent during this difficult period Mr Jaitley.”
He wasn’t alone. P Chidambaram — one of Arun Jaitley’s predecessors in the finance ministry — said he was “deeply disturbed” and wished him a quick recovery. “As one who has known Mr Jaitley as a colleague at the bar for many years, and later as a fellow MP, I think I speak for all lawyer friends and MPs in conveying our good wishes to him,” said Chidambaram.
Scroll down his Twitter feed, and criticism of the Modi government abounds.
Other top opposition leaders — Omar Abdullah, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Salman Khurshid — also wished Arun Jaitley a quick recovery.
Wishing and praying for speedy recovery @arunjaitley Ji!Rahul Gandhi
I’m upset to hear Arun Jaitley Ji is not well. We fight him on a daily basis for his ideas. However, I and the Congress party send him our love and best wishes for a speedy recovery. We are with you and your family 100% during this difficult period Mr Jaitley.
Short memories and tough skin are essential items in the neta’s survival toolkit. But when the kit is zipped up, and shows of goodwill and bonhomie replace the daily mudslinging (during a birthday or a personal emergency), we get a glimpse of the truth: politics isn’t usually personal.
Case in point: a recent photo of former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje greeting her nephew (and Congressman) Jyotiraditya Scindia after her election defeat, gave us serious family feels.
Meanwhile, sources said Arun Jaitley will be back by the weekend. This is his first overseas visit since his kidney ailment was confirmed in April last year. Even now, he’s tweeting and blogging; he posted a piece called ‘The Compulsive Contrarian and his Manufactured Logic’ today.
A general election is due — so when Jaitley comes home, don’t expect him to go easy on his well-wishers.
Inputs from PTI