The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) row appears to have provided fodder for the BJP to tide over Opposition attempts to corner the Modi government on fringe uprising, poll debacle and other issues ahead of assembly polls in five states.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP brass will invoke nationalism and the government's achievements during campaigning in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, to counter Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for backing the praise of terrorist Afzal Guru, hanged in Parliament attack case, said party sources.
The party is of the view that nationalist versus anti-nationalist agenda will gain currency in state elections of West Bengal, Kerala and Assam, where the BJP will confront the Congress and the Left parties. Leaders from both the sides had come out in support of students who had raised slogans against the hanging of Afzal Guru.
The BJP thinks by being aggressive against Rahul Gandhi, it will politically seize similar controversial move of another Congress leader, Digvijay Singh. Singh had ended up embarrassing the Congress and was lampooned by people for his controversial remark about the sea burial given to Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden by the US forces after killing him in Pakistan in 2011, recalled a senior BJP leader.
"However big a criminal might be, his religious traditions should be respected while burying him," was Singh’s comment from which the Congress had distanced itself.
The party has decided to launch a country-wide campaign with the catchline “We love India”.