In barb for barb, Cong takes on BJP at election rallies

In barb for barb, Cong takes on BJP at election rallies

In the election strategy helmed by party vice president Rahul Gandhi, the Congress is not pulling any punches when it comes to countering Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aggression on the campaign trail.

Congress leaders have paid back in equal measure, often matching barb for barb and acronym for acronym of Modi’s stinging criticism of the party and its leadership in more than a month-long election campaign in five states.

As Modi mocked Rahul’s purported reference to selling ‘coconut juice’ from Manipur in London, Congress leaders went into an overdrive to describe the prime minister as a “habitual offender in telling lies”. Congress circulated video clips of Rahul’s election speech to stub out Modi’s coconut juice jibe.

“Rahul Gandhi’s video is universally available. You must watch it... He didn’t speak about coconuts, but about pineapple juice. Prime Minister Modi is just making up things,” said Randeep Singh Surjewala, incharge of the AICC communication department.

Surjewala hit back at the BJP, dubbing it a ‘Bahut Jhoothi Paathshala’ (School of Lies) and describing Modi as a “professor in the art of peddling lies”.

“Modi should stop being the professor of lies and must apologise not to the Congress alone, but to the entire nation for misleading the people by falsifying the words of the leader of the principal Opposition party,” he said. At a rally in Maharajganj on Wednesday, Modi had ribbed Rahul over selling Made in Manipur coconut juice in London and setting up “potato factories”.

Rahul’s coconut juice remarks could be traced to inaccurate reports in a section of the media about his speech in Manipur.

“You grow lemon, oranges, pineapples here. I want a day when someone will drink pineapple juice in London and see Made in Manipur on the pack,” Rahul had said at a rally on Tuesday. It seemed the BJP managers had picked certain inaccurate media reports to ridicule Rahul.

On the campaign trail, when Modi dished out the acronym SCAM to refer to the Samajwadi Party, Congress, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati, Rahul tried to turn the tables, saying SCAM stood for Service, Courage, Ability and Modesty.

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