The reasons are simple. First and foremost, no credible evidence was provided how the deal benefited either Modi or his party. No money trial traces of any transaction. In Bofors case, it was clearly established that the Commission was paid to middlemen. Simply alleging that contract was awarded to his ' close friend' is not enough unless established the prima facie evidence of pecuniary benefits from the transaction. Awarding the contract to newly started company is the only ground on which entire narrative was built up. Awarding contract at the expense of public sector company,HAL may not cut much ice because now a days 'public sector is sacrosanct' concept is not holding much ground globally, also gradually in India. More particularly, the allegations coming from Congress party is blessing in disguise for Modi. Most of the defence deals in India were done by Congress and there were wild allegations of corruption in these deals. The live case is currently investigated Augusta helicopter deal. Modi successfully brought back middlemen from Dubai which itself enhances his image as crusader against corruption. So, the narrative built on the Rafale deal did not create desired impact in the election campaign.
Secondly, public at large still believes that Modi individually is honest. This clean image of Modi in the minds of public is coming in the way of building narrative against Modi as 'Chowkidar chor hai'. The strategy of Rahul Gandhi and his core advisers in developing this strategy did not cut much ice. Instead, they would have developed narrative on social issues, unemployment and rural distress. It is a strategic mistake by Rahul Gandhi.
Third, Rahul Gandhi is speaking loosely without proper home work. To illustrate, he is quoting different figures on different occasions at different times on Rafale issue. Whether it is price of single aircraft or benefit to Anil Ambani , his quotes are vague and casual. Even if argument sake, Anil Ambani is accommodated, it could not be Rs.30000 crores. Total offset value is around Rs.30000 crores. And there are several off set partners to execute this Rs 30000 crore projects including public sector undertakings like DRDO, HAL etc. Anil Ambani is one amongst them. So, quoting figures casually without credible evidence does not carry weight. Similar is the case with NYAY scheme. Rahul Gandhi in his first press conference informed that the NYAY scheme is a top-up scheme and exclusively Union Government scheme. Then, there were briefings with different version. Even on mobilisation of resources for the scheme, lot of ambiguities were cropped up. Another casual way of talking is about Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. He quotes vague figures about their dues as no two figures match. Serious politicians can understand the hollowness in his utterances and treat him lightly. Similar is the case with crop loan written offs. He never tried to answer the questions raised by Raghuram Rajan or other economists with regard to the rationale of the concept. Instead, always tries to play to the gallery by comparing the loan write offs with bad loans given to Vijay Mallya and others. Such approach from a top leader-in-waiting to hold PM post is not appreciated by political class and analysts. The recent comment on Supreme Court's interim order on review petition on Rafale is live example. The way he misinterpreted the interim order landed him in trouble now. His mother though not well versed with subject knowledge was able to manage by not speaking much. Whenever she has to speak, she depends on write- up prepared by her inner circle. In contrast, Rahul Gandhi spoke frequently but without proper home work. This made him lighter weight and laughing stock in the eyes of contemporary politicians.
Even he could not carry due respect among Mahaghatbandhan leaders. Mamatha Banarjee ignored him when he criticised her in public meetings in West Bengal as if it is not worth to respond. Mayavathi never had spoken few good words about him. Except Tejasvi Yadav , Stalin and Chandrababu Naidu, may be because of their political compulsions, other leaders never recognised him as their front leader. The present elections is a test case to prove his credentials. If Congress crosses hundred mark in these elections, his prestige will automatically enhances. Otherwise, there is a threat to his leadership within Congress. Already, a section is murmuring about change of leadership from Rahul Gandhi to Priyanka Gandhi. The pressure will be mounted if Congress strength do not reach three digit mark in this election. So, this election is crucial to Rahul Gandhi to establish as future leader. Political pundits are keenly watching the outcome of elections. It is one way survival test to Rahul Gandhi.