After being caught on camera sleeping in class, ahem, the parliamentary sessions, presumably to dream about “the dream my (his) father dreamt” Rahul Gandhi had been allegedly been clicked on a yacht in the French Rivera. The paparazzi pictures by Dean Gomez were sold to the US tabloid magazine OK.
Dean Gomez has no idea who Rahul Gandhi is. He was looking for a scoop on the French Rivera when he saw and clicked photographs of a party on Love’s Folly, a 700 foot ultra-luxury yacht owned by Saudi playboy prince Raha Alim. The paparazzi photographer had been tipped off that Bianca Balti, currently hailed as the the world’s hottest supermodel, who is also incidentally Italian, was also on board Love’s Folly.
Eager to get snapshots of Balti who is set to feature in the July/August 2014 issue of US Playboy cover, Dean snapped almost forty pictures of the party on the deck of Love’s Folly.
The photographs allegedly show Raha Alim , Bianca Balti , Rahul Gandhi with a mystery lady suspected to be his supposed ex girlfriend Noella (who is an Afghan princess and jewellery designer); Siddhartha Mallya, son of Vijay Mallya and a few unidentified women and men on the deck of “Love’s Folly”
What started out as another piece on notorious playboy Raha Alim’s extravagant lifestyle and his suspected liaison with Bianca Balti in Ok magazine became hot news in Indian’s media when CNN released the news that the other two party guests were allegedly Rahul Gandhi and industrial heir Siddharth Mallya.
The pictures have had over 60 million views and 30 million shares from the online edition of OK magazine. Soon after Facebook and Twitter users began to share the now (in)famous pictures. The four pictures, clearly showing Rahul Gandhi have broken the record of Ellen DeGeneres famous selfie at the 2014 Oscars (which was had been retweeted by more than 2.5 million people within a few hours), creating a new record for the microblogging site.
Rahul baba’s pictures have been shared, liked 5.4 million times in the last six hours since CNN broke the news that the Ok pictures featured Rahul Gandhi and Siddharth Malaya too.
In contrast Rahul Gandhi’s FB and twitter account has been ‘temporarily shut down’ and a media blackout has been initiated by Rahul & Sonia Gandhi’s staff.
Congress spokesperson, Rajive Dala has vehemently denied that it is Rahul Gandhi in the photographs taken on the French Rivera. “The photoshoped photographs are a smear campaign against Mr Gandhi who is a dedicated servant of the nation and working hard as a member of the Opposition and for the welfare of the nation and the party,” he stated.
When asked why Rahul Gandhi wasn’t there to defend his ‘good name’ Dala brushed the question aside with a “no comment” and ended the press conference.
In contrast BJP spokesperson Ram Pandey claims, “The shezada is taking a break after the hardship he faced during his fray into mainstream politics, showing his true colours as a princely playboy he is.”
While the photographs have become hot property in the social media, most people are convinced that it is Rahul Gandhi in the photographs. “He looks so cute in the photographs,” gushed Reema Sen, a Makehna’s college student seen wearing a t-shirt with a Rahul Gandhi print on it.
“He is young-ish, cute-ish, rich and if he wants and can party with super models in bikinis on a luxury yacht why not,” defended Dir Singh (23) call centre worker, adding with a wink, “if I had a choice between politics and being a playboy partying with supermodels, I know what I would choose.”
Sushas Palinker, a political science professor in MD University is of the opinion, “Congress needs another leader, Rahul failed to make his mark, maybe its best he lives his life the way he sees fit and lets Priyanka give it a shot at taking the reins of Congress party.”
Palinker may have a point. Rahul Gandhi took the lead to lead congress in the 2014 general elections. We all know how that went. Acche Din just avoided the crown prince, also called “shezada” by his political opponents. Fumbling through the infamous interview with Arnab Goswami, hamming in Hindi in electoral speeches and a lacklustre performance in the elections seems to have taken a toll on the Congress heir and party vice president.
Given that Rahul Gandhi was last seen on 27th July in a public function and since has not been seen in public and is unreachable maybe there is some truth in the risqué photographs on board Love’s Folly.
Only time will tell if Rahul’s folly was parting in the Rivera or playing politics in India.
Ps. One hopes Mummuji does tell him to “jaa jee le apni zindagi” for Rahul Gandhi as an international playboy partying with supermodels has excited a nation imagination far more than his political acumen for sure.