AICC national spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi
Tackle BJP's communal politics: This was the brief Congress president Rahul Gandhi gave to the party as it looks to retain power in Karnataka after of the Assembly polls.
"The party's central leadership saw it coming that the BJP would resort to communal politics," AICC national spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi told DH. "Accordingly, our brief is to tackle the BJP's agenda."
Chaturvedi, who is also convenor of the AICC communications department, has camped in Bengaluru to recruit "secular and liberal men and women" as the party's spokespersons. The drive has received as many as 980 applications via email alone, she said.
"If the BJP's star campaigner for the Karnataka election is somebody like (Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister) Yogi Adityanath, one can imagine on what lines they want to fight this election," she surmised.
The party high command is keen on extolling a new narrative - the Karnataka model of governance. "This narrative came naturally after the Gujarat elections, where we fought against the famed Gujarat model on the back of which the BJP formed a government at the Centre. We are now saying, here's a model in Karnataka that is inclusive and that needs to be replicated at the national level," she said.
Chaturvedi said there was nothing wrong about schemes rolled out by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, the party's face for the upcoming polls, catering to the Ahinda (minorities, backward classes and Dalits) communities. "It is the responsibility of the government to uplift weaker sections of the society much as it may be criticised."
She rejected the notion that Siddaramaiah suffered from a poor urban image. "I can tell you on the basis of my interactions with the urban public that there seems to be a consensus that the Congress is the way forward," she said.