With Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking over Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP) election campaigning in Gujarat, the party is ready to cover major cities and district to counter the so-called web-of-lies being spun by Rahul Gandhi and his colleagues managing the Gujarat Election.
For the Congress it is time to up the ante if it needs to retain the momentum it has gained over a month of electioneering by targeting the BJP-led state government on a number of socio-economic issues including oppression of Patidar’s, marginalisation of OBCs and Tribals, atrocities on Dalits, favouring government stance towards the industrialists and the ‘failure’ of the much publicised ‘Gujarat Model’.
Rahul Gandhi has been campaigning in the state for about a month and has been repeatedly targeting the BJP on socio-economic issues without much credence. Without any substantial and validated data, he targeted the state and central government of the BJP.
However, with PM Modi taking over the campaigning in Gujarat, the whole scenario seems to have changed, with his mastery on oration, is now seen giving it back to the Congress vice president with equal sternness.
In their election narrative, Congress has been attacking the BJP on the issue of demonetisation and other econimic reforms. Congress utilised the Patidar unrest and Dalit anger against the BJP to their advantage to corner the government. However, with the final lists of candidates out, it is amply clear that the BJP has tried to control the damage by giving a good number of tickets to Patidars.
PM Modi began his campaigning in the state from Monday and addressed four rallies in Jasdan, Bhuj, Dhari and Kamrej and targeted the Congress over its misrule of more than 60 years.
PM Modi also replied to Rahul Gandhi’s allegations of faulty GST implementation and the futility of demonetisation by questioning the Congress party about their ignorance over the benefits that demonetisation has brought about in the form of eliminating black money.
On the issue of GST, the PM said it was foolish of Congress to say GST implementation was government’s failure, as the BJP-led NDA government had consulted all political parties and state governments before GST was implemented and that the new tax structure may have had its share of teething problems but is good for the country in the long term.
With PM Narendra Modi now replying to the questions raised by the Congress in his public rallies, it would be difficult for the party to keep the pressure on the BJP. To counter Modi effect, the Congress will have to re-think election campaign strategy.