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Will Congress commit mistake of using Modi as election mascot?

Wednesday July 25, 2012 05:01:06 PM, S. Aziz Haider, RNI News Network

Ground work for the 2014 general elections has already begun? A greater role for Rahul Gandhi in national politics is being envisaged keeping the next elections in mind. Inside BJP, an increasingly greater number of people are seeing Narendra Modi as the future PM-candidate, as it is clear that the previous portrayal of PM-in-waiting for Lal Krishna Advani became an ever elusive mirage. People associated with Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) can be seen even on Facebook and other social networking sites, portraying Narendra Modi as the messiah of the masses (read Hindus). For some in Congress, this is being seen as a blessing in disguise.

How can Narendra Modi’s candidature as PM-candidate be a blessing in disguise for Congress? Can somebody, in his wildest dreams, ever think of a situation where Narendra Modi will be the election mascot for Congress? Yes, it is true! There is a realization within the Congress that Narendra Modi will pave the path for Congress emerging as victorious in the 2014 elections. So if Rahul Gandhi is hoping to play a greater role in the next Government, the votes to form the Government will be garnered courtesy Modi and the great network of his promoters – the RSS. This is the ‘gameplan’ being made by the so-called ‘suave’ and ‘elite’ group of Congress’s ‘think-tank’, whose ‘great planning’ saw Congress ‘gain vote-share’ in the recently concluded UP Vidhan Sabha elections. For those unaware, Digvijay Singh left no stone unturned on journalist Rajat Sharma’s ‘Aaj ki Adalat’ to prove that Congress actually performed well in the Assembly elections.

There is a group within the Congress which is saying that the moment hardliner Narendra Modi will be fielded ‘officially’ as the PM-candidate, all the secular Hindus and in particular the minorities, including the Muslims and Christians, will rally around the Congress, eventually leading to its victory. This group is even saying that Narendra Modi will actually turn into a Congress’s mascot for the elections, thereby ensuring its win. It further goes on to say that there is no need for the Government at present to go out of the way to do something for the Muslims, as they will have no choice but to vote for it, come what may!

Irrespective of the Sachar Committee Report and other similar findings, which prove beyond doubt that the Muslims in the country need a special helping hand to come out of the socio-economic depths that the community is presently in, these Congressmen are bent on proving the opposite. They in fact are harbingers of the same mentality which has brought Muslims to this level post-Independence. For them, vote-bank is more important than good governance and justice.

Not that there are no saner minds left in the Congress! But they are few and at times their view doesn’t count. The shrewd politician that he is, Mulayam Singh Yadav has already announced that Samajwadi Party will be fielding candidates for various Parliamentary seats in Gujarat as well. If Narendra Modi is portrayed as the BJP’s Prime Ministership candidate, Mulayam knows well who best will appeal to the flagrant emotions of Muslims than his party. In return, he will either bargain more for himself in UP or play the role of spoiler in Gujarat and other similar states. If that is the case, why the Paswans and the Laloos and even parties like Peace Party won’t wish to have a piece of the pie?

It will be in the interest of the Congress if it builds the foundations of the campaign on the basis of performance and formulates pro-active strategies to gain votes with performance as the parameter, rather on building a fool’s paradise and relying on the backlash of certain events, which may or may not happen as per the desired plans. Rahul Gandhi will soon play a more important role in national mainstream politics within the Congress but if such Congressmen are left to advise him, the great momentum of support that can be generated owing to his charisma and that of Priyanka, may be lost forever.



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