Display of friendship a 'well-crafted strategy'

Display of friendship a 'well-crafted strategy'
The public display of bonhomie and warmth between Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav is a “well-crafted strategy” aimed at galvanising workers of the two parties on the ground and sending a message that the Congress-SP alliance was not “opportunistic” as was being dubbed by their political rivals.

The two young leaders not only embraced each other before the start of the joint press conference here on Sunday but also dispensed with the formalities. Throughout the press conference and later at the public meeting, they addressed each other by their first name without the suffix ‘ji’.

Rahul said that even when the media was writing about cracks and differences between them during the negotiations for striking a deal in the Assembly polls, the two were in constant touch with each other. “Akhilesh regularly asked me about everything through text messages even when there was posturing and positioning,” the Congress leader said.

Congress leader and spokesman Randeep Surjewala set the tone by calling Rahul and Akhilesh the “sons of UP’s soil”. At the public meeting, Rahul said that Akhilesh will be the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. “Don’t say ‘if we form government’... you will form the next government,” Rahul told Akhilesh.

Congress posters have termed the duo ‘Karan-Arjun’ (the Salman-Shah Rukh movie where the two brothers are killed by an evil uncle. Years later, the brothers in an incarnation take revenge).

“It is a well-crafted electoral strategy... the two parties need to sell this alliance to their workers on the ground... a public display of their friendship can help achieve this,” said Dr Bal Govind Verma, a media analyst.

There were reports that at many places the workers of the two parties were not happy with the alliance on the ground and were contemplating withdrawing themselves from campaigning.

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