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Sonia a better campaigner than Rahul Gandhi
Tuesday April 15, 2014 10:27 AM, Kaleem Kawaja,

In the 2004 election when BJP/NDA government was ruling at the Center and five years of rule had made them arrogant and cocky, they were running their India Shining campaign with massive publicity.

Sonia Gandhi

BJP was claiming that in the poll they will receive 300 or more seats. Congress party leaders being in the opposition were demoralized and thought that there was little hope.

At that time Sonia Gandhi built up her confidence and barnstormed the whole country to campaign for Congress and oppose BJP. Several journalists at that time and later wrote that often Sonia will go to rallies in far away places without the top Congress leaders showing up.

She spoke in imperfect Hindi that caused curiosity among the people and the BJP guys made fun of her. But she did not get discouraged. In the heat of April-May she traveled very extensively and kept up a punishing schedule of rallies on top of rallies.

Her passion for keeping India a composite and secular nation showed through her strong speeches. In her speeches she challenged the people of India to discard BJP. And they did in 2004 causing a shock to BJP.

In the current campaign for some reason Sonia kept a low profile and gave opportunities to Rahul Gandhi. But for some reason Rahul's speeches lacked the strong element that we saw in the 2004 Sonia.

In fact it was Kejriwal who made strong and unrelenting attacks on Modi and BJP through out the month of March when Congress leaders were not challenging them strongly enough. That emboldened the top Congress leaders. Since the first of April we are watching that Rahul's criticism of Modi and BJP has become sharp and direct.

Taking a leaf from Kejriwal's speeches, Rahul has started drilling holes in Modi's Gujarat development model, and asking pointed questions. Also Sonia has started travelling throughout the country making strong speeches confronting Modi and BJP on their many weaknesses and false claims. Indeed Sonia's speeches in the last few days, especially in Kerala and UP remind us of the 2004 campaign Sonia.

Sonia's speeches are making BJP and Modi very uncomfortable as they know how it overturned them in 2004. Despite being an Italian by birth and being a housewife until 2004 when she plunged into politics, Sonia's sophisticated and dignified personality, her courage and sharp words remind people of Indira Gandhi.

And that is how she has a big effect on people. It is good that after much delay the young man Rahul has dispelled hesitation and finally found his voice and has started going strong on BJP. And Sonia has returned to her 2004 form of the Indira style "give them hell" rallies.

Even though Kejriwal and Sonia/Rahul are against each other, their onslaught can discredit the massive and super-expensive Modi campaign that is full of so many untruths and that masks so many deficiencies in their record.

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