So says Padmashree Rajdeep Sara-desh-hai-hai, Editor-in-chief of CNN (Congress News Network) -IBN.
Neither was it based on whose picture or news items were flashed for the most time on Indian news media, of which he could have been a indisputable winner thanks to the loyal and sycophantic media, lead by Padmashree Sara-desh-hai-hai himself.
The criteria was that no one toured India the way he had done.
One has to admit that his competitors were all relatively static – perhaps stuck with work only in their respective constituency, assembly, parliament or state – at least we are least conscious of when and where they go.
On the other hand, courtesy of the Indian media, we are made aware of each place and each incidence of his visits to different parts of the country and even his most outspoken adversary have to admit that he has travelled a lot – be it for election campaigning or for asking school kids to join politics, or for titillating Aligarh Muslim Universitity students that Muslims can be Prime Ministers. One should also remember that here is this humble, politician who leads by example in the austerity drive by travelling like common people with his pack of SPG guards in possibly vacated compartments, braving a near Panipat battle with stone throwing children. Reportedly one of his trip to Chennai to campaign for austerity cost the Congress party Rs 1 Crore and in another he took a train in AC chair car to Ludhiana and saved a whopping Rs 445.
Who can miss his passion to visit the Dalit’s houses (be it for tea or for night stay) or his untraceable visits to unknown places in Orissa or UP?
And one should not forget that his trips are not restricted to India alone – he does make trips to international places, for example to London to celebrate his birthday.
Surely, Rahul Gandhi has come a lot up in the political ladder in India from the days of his FBI encounter in Boston with his Columbian girlfriend and $200,000 in cash, to be given this honorable accolade.
Only President Obama’s anticipatory Nobel peace prize (chosen within two weeks of Presidency) can be a comparison for this.
New Delhi: Year 2009 was a watershed year for Indian politics. Experts say it was a year which bid farewell to a generation of great politicians and ushered in new and promising faces.
Trinamool Congress chief and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee strode on a renewed wave of popularity to signal the end of the Left era in West Bengal.
Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh rewrote the history of political consistency.
Governance acquired a new dimension of competence in the hands of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Apart from this there is also no denial that in 2009 General Elections, voters overwhelmingly voted for the youth.
One man, who became the symbol of this new trust and represented the generation next of Indian leaders is Rahul Gandhi. He has become the synonymous of political credibility and social sensitivity.
“Rahul Gandhi has been chosen CNN-IBN politician of the year over many of his more experienced colleagues and rivals because no one toured India the way he has in the past 60 months.
Nobody has enunciated a vision of new India the way he has and none has understood the immediate need to bridge the city-country divide the way Rahul Gandhi has. His efforts show that hard work
pays even in the uncertain world of politics,” says CNN-IBN Editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai.