NEW DELHI : The Congress has discarded its age-old policy of no personal attacks or character assassination in the political discourse, as seen from Rahul Gandhi’s daily charge of personal corruption against Prime Minister Modi; fourth time on Saturday in his public rally at Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh.
His decision to go for a sustained personal attack on Modi stems from a realisation that nothing would dent his popularity so long as people believed that he is a man of impeccable integrity. Instead of attacking the BJP or his government, the party leaders have been asked to mount similar personal attack on Modi across the country.
Rahul told the party leaders that Modi has won the perception war with his reckless demagogic offensives and the only way he could be countered is to show his misdeeds with evidence to persuade the people not to treat him something like the God to believe in whatever he says. He thinks that alone will dismantle the kind of image Modi has built for himself.
Delhi Congress President Ajay Maken on Saturday led a massive demonstration at Jantar Mantar here, asking the Prime Minister to stop “palayan” (exodus) from the industrial hubs hit by the demonetisation and chiding him for not replying to Rahul’s questions.
Though the 2-day demonstration was planned to protest against the retrenchments by the industries in the National Capital Region, its thrust was on the PM not replying to Rahul’s charges. “Rahul Gandhi ka jawab do, 65 crore ka hisab do (Reply to Rahul, give an account of Rs 65 crore),” read the banners carried by the protesters. Only on Friday, the party’s student wing NSUI had demonstrated questioning Modi on the alleged payoffs to him by two companies.
Asked why the Congress has given up the restraint on the personal vilification, a young party leader said: “Dignified response from our side is taken as timidity and hence this tit-for-tat response.” He said the party can’t forget the way Dr Manmohan Singh was vilified by the top BJP leaders when they were in opposition and even now the senior ministers have been leveling charges against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul in the Agusta chopper scam and the National Herald case.
The Congress leaders said the personal attack against Modi will be intensified in the coming days as neither he nor his party BJP has answered to the pointed questions raised by Rahul. l