Congress in the dock over Agusta, Ishrat – How does it plan to change the narrative?https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/congress-in-the-dock-over-agusta-ishrat-how-does-it-plan-to-change-the-narrative/

Congress in the dock over Agusta, Ishrat – How does it plan to change the narrative?

Politically cornered on several fronts, the grand old party's cup of woes is full. Desperate to alter the narrative, the party is now engaged in a counter offensive but the question is has it worked?

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Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi. 

Offense, they say, is the best form of defense. Politically cornered on several fronts – from the AgustaWestland revelations to the Ishrat Jahan episode – the grand old party’s cup of woes is full. Desperate to alter the narrative, the party is now engaged in a counter offensive but the question is has it worked?

In the run up to the Parliament session, the Congress was confident on putting the government on the mat. Government had suffered a huge set back in the form of the Uttarakhand High Court quashing imposition of President’s Rule in the state. Half the country was in the grip of drought and the Centre was accused of being slow in responding to the crisis.

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Congress had the damning CAG report on the Gujarat government’s oil PSU GSPC up its sleeve. But the Ishrat Jahan affidavit row and then the Agusta deal gave the BJP the much-needed ammunition, virtually derailing the Congress plan of action. The party could not mount an effective attack on the government on the drought front either. The Congress was pushed onto the defensive and the party is now plotting a fight back to change the narrative.

It stalled Rajya Sabha on the GSPC issue and hopes to take the attack to the prime minister’s door step. Although the GSPC case has failed to garner the eyeballs, a discussion is slated in the upper house and it hopes to corner the prime minister. The party has lapped up the international tribunal’s order on Italian marines to counter the Agusta fire. The party has alleged that the government has cut a deal with Italy and put up a weak defense in the marines case and linked it with the Agusta case. The deal will come up for discussion in Rajya Sabha Wednesday and it is to be seen who wins the day.

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And to top it all. The Gandhis themselves will hit the streets on Friday to protest against the toppling of its governments in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and the government’s alleged failure to tackle drought. The march to Parliament by the Gandhis, it hopes, would turn into a media spectacle and alter the political narrative.