Why Rahul Gandhi is suddenly obsessed with Narendra Modi

Rahul Gandhi has spoken in public three times in the last three days. And every time his focus has been the same: an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Written by Manoj C G | Mathura | Updated: October 7, 2016 5:03 pm
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Rahul Gandhi has spoken in public three times in the last three days. That is unusual. However, on each occasion — be it in rural Bihar on the campaign trail on Saturday, in Delhi, Sunday, at a farmers’ rally, or Monday in the temple town of Mathura in the politically key state of Uttar Pradesh, his focus has been the same: an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In Bihar’s Champaran, a Congress rally to mark the 125 birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar turned into a meet to kickstart the party’s campaign for the assembly elections, Rahul, surprisingly, did not talk about his allies Nitish Kumar or Lalu Prasad Yadav, both of whom skipped his function and sent nominees instead. The entire speech was focused on Modi, his friends and the promises he had not kept.

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Rahul’s `suit-boot’ routine did not change at the Ram Lila Grounds address on Sunday either. Similarly, on Monday in Mathura he did not attack or for that matter speak about the ruling Samajwadi Party and the BSP. He focused on the Congress organization, sending out a message of unity. Even then, he did not forget to attack the Prime Minister.

So is this obsession with Modi part of a well-thought out strategy or is he simply taking him on because he is the face of the BJP and its government? Will this campaign, seen as negative by many, pay off politically and electorally, now or in the long run? The Congress thinks it will work.

Interestingly, there had been a debate in the Congress during the UPA II years on whether or not to attack Modi. An influential section in the Congress argued that Modi, the then chief minister of Gujarat, should not be given too much prominence by being targetted. They feared attacking him constantly would propel him to the national, political centre stage and the focus of the debate. Another section argued that his claims of Gujarat shining should be countered. The debate was never settled.

Today, the party is not that divided. The majority of the leaders agree that Modi should be the target of the Congress attack. His promises to the electorate should be recalled and compared with his government’s performance. They argue that his charisma is on the wane and the Congress should never take its eyes off him.

However, Rahul’s with his `suit-boot’ line of attack is repeating himself far too often. He is pursuing a negative campaign. For instance, he forgot to elaborate on what the Grand Alliance or the Congress would do for the people in Bihar– what would be its agenda of governance? Congress leaders argue Modi and his government have not come out with any fresh policy direction for which the Congress had to present an alternative course.

“They have only messed up. Be it the economy or foreign policy. So it is obvious that there will be criticism. They have tried to destroy institutions, erase the memories of national icons, rewrite history. Where is the positive agenda? So criticism will be there,” said a senior Congress leader who is also a CWC member.

In fact, the reason for his attack on Modi was put bluntly by Rahul himself at his Mathura rally. He said Modi will go down because he has not kept his promises. “But when he will go down, the Congress should be in a position to occupy that space. This should be our work,” he said.

As far as Rahul is concerned, he sees the Congress as the automatic beneficiary of a BJP slide.

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  1. P
    Mar 3, 2016 at 2:35 pm
    In fact what voice Congress party or Rahul has in Bihar politics as the third party in ruling front? Coming to West Bengal, they are going to play second fiddle to a possible support with left to fight two fronts of TMC and BJP while they are fighting with left and BJP in Kerala for a breathing space. If a situation arises in Kerala that they have to form a Govt. with left support to counter BJP, it is almost sure BJP will emerge stronger in that state as well. In many other states Congress is just playing second fiddle to regional parties. Anti-Modi politics and Parliament disruptions will take this party to still more pathetic conditions.
    1. Ameya Dahale
      Sep 21, 2015 at 8:13 pm
      No hi will ever be PM of this country again. And that too because of you Pappu.
      1. R
        Ram Reddy
        Sep 21, 2015 at 7:42 pm
        This MORON must go for holidays or sleep in parliament what ever you try looter your entire family which looted our country more than 60 years shamelessly barking without knowing what is this country is One thing sure your family will be in TIHAR JAIL be prepared PAPPAU please put some brain before barking go to internet and see how many jokes on you haaa....... ask your mom KFC waitress how much money she kept for your family and run from our country haaa......need less to say that you do not have any brain what so ever haaa...... you become ALL TIME JOKER IN INDIAN POLITICS Proud to be TEAM MODI supporter
        1. D
          Dharma Rao
          Sep 21, 2015 at 10:33 pm
          Constantly talking ill of others is the gameplan of barbarians, communists and colonialists. Stopping good people from working is the entire purpose of Nehruvian Command and Control supported by Soviet Style Propoa enabling media.
          1. H
            Harinder Sharma
            Sep 21, 2015 at 11:51 pm
            saffron followers think that they can hide 56" dracula's jumla promises will be forgotten by electorate by abusive Rahul hi who is in the opposition. That trick will no longer work. Rahul hi is asking questions ordinary people like me are asking? What the $u
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