Cong admits it should have tamed Modi sooner

Cong admits it should have tamed Modi sooner

Pushed on to the backfoot by a belligerent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) campaign, a section of Congress leaders claims that the party goofed up on its communications strategy, particularly on dealing with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

It was only as the country went to polls on April 7 that the top Congress leadership started sharp attacks on Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. Unlike the Congress, Modi launched a high-pitched campaign since September last year.

“We should have started challenging Modi at least six months earlier,” said a senior Congress leader, nearly admitting that the party had failed to effectively strategise against Modi and the BJP.

The Congress leadership was always in two minds when it came to countering Modi.

Initially, the grand old party took the position that the BJP leader was just another chief minister and found it sufficient to target Modi using Congress leaders from Gujarat – Shaktisinh Gohil and Arjun Modhwadia – whenever he launched an attack on the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance.

There have been times when Congress leaders made sharp attacks on Modi only to be cautioned by party elders. A powerful section of the Congress opinied that it was best to ignore Modi because taking him on directly would give him more publicity.

However, as the Modi juggernaut assumed enormous proportions, a significant section of the Congress is now of the opinion that the party should have launched early and sustained attacks on the Gujarat chief minister. “Modi is a commodity and not a human being. He is being marketed like a product and you see him staring down from every billboard, television station and hear him on radio,” said an exasperated Congress leader.

The Congress seems to have recognised that they can’t continue to ignore  Narendra Modi and, lately, the Gandhi triumvirate of Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka has stepped up their attack on the BJP for trying to concentrate all power in just one man.

Rahul, the Congress vice president, acknowledged that Modi was good at marketing, an area where the grand old party has been found wanting.

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