Gandhi Vs Godse is the Congress narrative for 2019 Lok Sabha elections

Chandigarh, March 12: The 2019 contest that is to decide as to which course India is to take has been given ideological context by Rahul Gandhi with the slogan Gandhi Vs Godse, that is love against hate. This slogan has been raised from Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

The Congress president articulated this line following Congress Working Meeting in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mahatma  Gandhi was gunned down by Hindutva leader Nathu Ram Godse. Hindutva is the divisive political ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak  Sangh. The country has witnessed divisive agenda during these last five years as never before since 1947. Of course, the Congress too used the Hindu card in 1984 but paid price for the same.

The BJP is using the patriotic fervour card that was expected following the air strike on Balakot in Pakistan after the Pulwama bombing. This card along with sharp polarisation is the RSS-BJP formula.

For the time being, Rahul has avoided falling into the trap of fighting on Modi’s turf. He has focussed on performance of the Modi government and failure to fulfil the promises. The BJP has little defence on these issues that concern the common. Air strike can be an emotive issue mainly in the cow belt. But then hard realities are different.

The contours of the fight emerged today as the opposition just refused to join hands for a Mahagathbandan to give straight fight to the aggressive BJP with Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati declaring that her party would not have alliance with the Congress. The opposition fort  has already started crumbling.

At another level, however, the fight is now taking the shape of Rahul vs Modi. The biggest advantage that Modi has is the organisational structure of the RSS that has been fine-tuned during the last five years. No other party in the country has such massive back-up. The agenda of the RSS is not just to facilitate victory of the BJP but implement its own agenda of Hindutva in this diverse country.

The failure of the BJP government on the issues that directly concern the people is too evident going by the deepening  agrarian crisis and failure of the economy to generate employment.  It is in this context that the Congress promise to waive farmers’ loans and guaranteed minimum income are important.

Priyanka Gandhi made her first public appearance at the party rally after the CWC meeting and she dwelt on love vs hate agenda invoking Mahatma Gandhi.

Drawing ideological battle lines is one aspect of confronting Modi-RSS-BJP juggernaut. The Congress continues to face problems at the organisational level as many of the party leaders continue to live in the past and failed to grasp the changing social reality. Rahul Gandhi has to carry this baggage.

What is positive is that the Congress has come out with a positive agenda  against jingoistic agenda of Modi and his BJP. Economy had not done that badly during 10 year rule of the Congress under the command of Dr Manmohan Singh.

At the same time, the Congress just can’t confront Modi at its own.

It has to be a straight fight.

Jagtar Singh


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