Demonising Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks to have backfired for Congress as there appears a divide among the senior and seasoned party leaders. The deviation began with senior leader Jairam Ramesh’s remarks. He has rightly noted that Modi “talks in a language that connects him with the people” and that Congress needs to recognise the work he is doing which Congress failed to get done in the past. He also highlighted Modi’s success in the “economics of governance” through schemes like Ujjwala Yojana that helped him connect with women voters. Jairam also warned against the attitude of running down his schemes noting that this will not help counter Modi. Rather than ganging up against Jairam, Congress needs to re-evaluate why its 2019 campaign failed. No such soul searching exercise has been conducted with the party obsessing over Rahul Gandhi’s resignation. Rahul’s slogans like “chowkidar chor hai” without being able to present a political and economic counter-narrative to Modi boomeranged for the party. With Rahul out of the way, Congress has to return to the drawing board and come up with new strategies. Arguably, Modi is the most popular politician India has seen in decades and there is no one in the opposition spectrum who comes close. Amit Shah is also being groomed as a strong leader and together the two of them understand very well how to sway the masses with political and welfare schemes. Even the economic slowdown hasn’t hurt their standings. Today with getting drubbing in Parliamentary and assembly elections Congress has to go for large scale revamping by returning to the grassroots, rebuilding the party organisation, reviving communication avenues with the masses and not just remain a critique of the Modi government.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper