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Last Updated : Sep 17, 2019 03:36 PM IST | Source:

Who is Gourav Vallabh and what turned him into an Internet sensation overnight?

Though he was little known among the party’s top brass, his recent showdown with BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra caught the attention of party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

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The clip from a recent debate aired on a national Hindi news channel has gone viral. In the video, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s star orator Sambit Patra is ripped apart, word by word, by Congress newbie Gourav Vallabh.

Who is Gourav Vallabh? Most of us had not even heard of him, until the debate was aired on national television on September 10. The face-off that followed began with Patra discussing the completion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government’s 100 days in power since the conclusion of the 2019 general elections in May this year.

While the BJP spokesperson was presenting how the country is on its way to becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2024, Vallabh decided to cut him short with a simple question – “How many zeros are there in a trillion”.


Patra was referring to PM Modi’s recent statement claiming India will aim to become a $5 trillion economy. He had said: “There is a saying in English – size of the cake matters. This means bigger the cake, bigger the slice people will get. That is why we have the goal of a $5 trillion economy. In the budget, we gave directions to achieve a goal of $5 trillion economy and decisions related to it were announced. We have presented the confidence that we have stepped in the field with a vision of coming 10 years. We will become a $5 trillion economy in the next 5 years.”

Caught off guard, Sambit Patra was unable to come up with an answer to the basic question. In his trademark whataboutery, he quipped that Rahul Gandhi should be asked that question. To save the situation, the anchor intervened and asked Vallabh if he knew the answer, and he replied with the number of zeroes in a billion and a million, too.

While it can be assumed that Vallabh could fire the salvo because he was prepared with an answer, it would not have come as a surprise if we got the same response from him had he been caught off guard also. After all, the 42-year-old was a professor of finance at Jamshedpur’s XLRI Management Institute. An academician, he has a doctorate in credit risk assessment. That apart, he has penned several books and has been associated with banks too in the past.

Born to a family of academicians, Vallabh is the first one in his family to join politics. He was roped in as one of the Grand Old Party’s 10 fresh spokespersons only in January. Though he was little known among the party’s top brass, his recent showdown caught the attention of party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

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First Published on Sep 16, 2019 07:29 pm
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