Rahul Gandhi has outlined a blueprint to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Sounding the poll bugle in his address at the 84th plenary session of Indian National Congress on Sunday, Gandhi tore into the BJP over an array of issues. The Congress President asserted that it is a battle between truth and lies and likeled this fight to the one between “Kauravas” and “Pandavas”. The tone and diction of Rahul Gandhi were intended to communicate to the party rank and file that the time was right to take on the Modi juggernaut.
Rahul’s clarion call for change comes at a time when the central government and the BJP are at the receiving end over the multi-crore Nirav Modi-Punjab National Bank scam case. Though BJP managed to win Left citadel Tripura, it failed to retain the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s bastion. The Kisan Long March in Maharashtra did not help the saffron party’s cause either. Moreover, elections in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh will be held before the big general elections in 2019. Congress wants to seize the opportunity and Rahul Gandhi intended to communicate the intent to be a pivotal player. By attacking PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi also wants to present his prime ministerial credentials in public domain.
Congress needs to change
Rahul Gandhi, in his 50-minute address, underscored the need for Congress to change if it wants to get back to power. He also accepted the failures of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. He said that during the fag end of the UPA tenure, the government didn’t stand up to people’s expectation and they felt let down by it.
WATCH- Rahul Gandhi’s poll pitch
— Congress (@INCIndia) March 18, 2018
Invest in youth, workers
Rahul Gandhi said that his first job is to break the wall between workers and leaders. He also exhorted workers to pay respect to senior leaders. Aiming to woo the youth, Rahul Gandhi said that he would also break the wall between country’s political system and youth. He also asked leaders and workers not to indulge in infighting ahead of Lok Sabha polls. He said fight, but after elections, please.
Possible alliance with Opposition Parties
Congress has been working out a strategy to stitch an alliance with opposition parties. Gandhi has asserted that the country was “fatigued” and only his party could show the way forward.
Attack on Modi government’s economic policies
Congress has also moved a resolution on the economy. In the resolution, Congress said sustained economic growth was the path towards becoming a middle-income developed country. Former Finance minister P Chidambaram had moved the resolution and asserted the Congress has done it before and will do it again.
Blend of youth with experience
Apart from Rahul Gandhi, Congress has attacked the government over the foreign policy even as former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh raised the Jammu and Kashmir issue. Party general secretary C P Joshi has exuded confidence that Congress will be able to fulfil the dream of a ‘new India’ in a true sense with the support of the youth.
New working committee team
After taking over the role of the party chief, Rahul Gandhi will now select the new working committee. A resolution was passed yesterday which empowers Rahul Gandhi to choose members and select his own team.
GST and Agrarian crisis
With an aim to woo farmers, the party also said that if voted to power, it would come out with a loan-waiver scheme for small and marginal agriculturists. Gandhi has strongly criticised the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and cited a report the country’s GST has the highest tax ceiling.