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Congress Party’s obsession with Modi

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi seems to have started becoming a bug-bear for the Congress party leader with every passing day.

For a few Congress leaders like Manish Tewari and Digviajaya Singh, he has become a virtual obsession. Even in the Congress party war room, there are more questions and queries about Modi than anyone else.

That is all the more amusing because after all he is just the Chief Minister of Gujarat State who has positioned himself at a higher pedestal through dexterous media manipulation and as the “modern Messiah of dynamism and development.”

The fact still remains that there have been more popular and populist leaders in Gujarat like Madahav Sinh Solanki or even Chimmanbhai Patel whose acceptance and competence in administration was way beyond Modi. Modi may have won 117 and 115 seats for BJP in Gujarat during the last two Assembly polls but he could never match Solanki who brought in 172 out of the total of 190 Assembly seats in Gujarat during the height of his popularity.

Modi has also failed miserably in attracting worldwide business Inc’s attraction through his last 6 Global investment summit, yet a section of Congress leaders leave no chance to take a pot shot at him- whatever be the excuse and issue..

Or, it is just that his acerbic tongue and straight attack on the PM and the Gandhi family sends those Congress leaders shiver down the spine and then they revert and retort back with whatever comes into their mouth.

Or, is it a sign of pure weakness and fear behind this grand obsession against Modi whom the Congress party perhaps sees as the one man who stands in the way of a UPA-3 government.

Or, is it a sign of their helplessness that Congress Vice President is not able to hit back at Modi with the same force and jibe as he does on every occasion by targeting the Prime minister with a new epithet. !

Sometimes it is strange while at times, it becomes totally bizarre!!

AICC Spokesperson called Narendra Modi a Yamraj, the Lord of Death in the Hindu belief system. While the Congress President Sonia Gandhi gave him the title of “maut ka saudagar” during the 2007 Gujarat Assembly elections, which even by the party’s own admission did not serve it well.

A closer look at Narendra Modi’s modus operandi clearly indicates a ‘ method in madness.’ First, during the last 18 months Modi has always targeted three persons-. The Prime Minister, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. It indicates that he considers only these three persons as his political rivals.

Modi does not generally react to the barbs of Congress sharp shooters like Digvijaya Singh, Manish Tewari and even Janardan Dwivedi because he does not consider their comments worth reacting.

Digvijaya Singh has been repeatedly provoking him with numerous innuendos and even went to the extent of digging up details on his” wife who has been abandoned by Modi and was serving as a school teacher somewhere in Gujarat “after Modi made a hugely disparaging remark against Sunanda Pushkar. Yet he did not react. Was that his way of telling that “the Tiger of Bhopal can never match the Lion of Gir ??’

Secondly, Modi is street smart in choosing the topic and pillioring the Prime minister on mostly touchy and sensitive issues. Sometimes, he picks up the issue of Center-State relations while at others he takes up the issue of industrial development or rape against women and gives the impression that he is speaking as the leader of the ‘have-nots”.

This way, he makes the Congress play the ball according to his game and invites all kinds of comments from them and makes them a laughing stock in the public eye. There have been at least five incidents in the past where Modi just pricked the PM on one issue and there were howlers from a batter of Congress persons who took upon themselves the onerous task of defending the party as well as their Leader by hurling the choicest superlatives they could imagine.

Not only this tactic has been is self-defeating for the Congress, but it is also illustrative of a cognitive trap that the party finds itself ensnared in. The fact remains that,” the Congress today just can’t get Modi off its mind. And the more it wants to not think of him, the more it obsesses about him. And particularly after Modi has made clear that he intends to storm the Delhi. darbar, panic has gripped its inmates, says a senior commentator.

Modi has been equally smart in turning the table back on Congress on almost every occasion. Congress leader Digvijaya Singh once accused Modi of spending Rs 300 crore for his image building instead of spending that money on his home state in various welfare schemes. But Modi successfully turned such invective directed at him back by portraying them as a slight on the people of Gujarat, a theme that evidently enjoyed resonance with Gujaratis.

The Congress think tank still thinks that on the larger national stage, Modi will not be able to milk the same sense of asmita emotion that he could in Gujarat. That may be true as well. But then, whats the need to continue the howling match and make the mountain of a mole hill ?

In any case, Modi has met his match in Nitish kumar who his determined to kick the bouquet and dash his dreams of Delhi. But the torrents of comments, quips and quotes by the Congress party spokespersons and leaders only serves to amplify the perception that the party is running scared of Modi.  It ends up being seen as defining its identity on the basis of what it is not – rather than on the basis of what it represents, says another commentator..

It appears that the Congress political strategists haven’t thought this through, which is why the party appears to be clueless about how it should take on the BJP without revealing its magnificent obsession with Modi.

The Congress party War Room located at 15 GRG has a team working exclusively on trying out ways and means to stop the Modi menace in the track. But most of these plans and proposals have been running all over like headless chicken even today.

Actually, this war room warriors have still not thought of the idea to pay Modi in his own way by just dishing out all development data on Gujarat’s Human development index. That would be good enough to nail his tall claims on at least 10 topics.

Or the best way would have been to just ignore Modi and concentrate on the good works done by the UPA II. It is true that UPA II has been more infamous in public view because of a plethora of scams and revelations. Yet there were a few extraordinary measures undertaken by the government which should have been highlighted and reached up to a common man.

Once again, the focus of the Congress party campaign in the forthcoming Parliamentary polls would be to showcase its series of initiatives for the AAM AADMI. But that is quite likely to be overshadowed by the taint of corruption in many areas of governance. Yet, it is arguably less of a losing proposition than the daily manifestation of Modi mania.

It remains to be seen if the Congress party head honchos as well as ‘War Room Warriors’ take note of this and
change the course of the sail into right direction because it is never too late. But then, only a few are ’wise’ while the rest are ‘otherwise’ and it takes a lot of hard work and experience from the ‘ground zero’ to become practical, prudent and ‘wordy-wise’.

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