oppn parties Fighting Fire With Fire Will Be Disastrous For The Congress

News Snippets

  • 84 NDRF teams have been despatched to 23 states to tackle the flood situation
  • Three persons lynched in Bihar after being accused of cattle theft
  • Delhi police seize a consignment of 1500 kgs of heroin and busts a cartel of Afghanistan-Pakistan narcotics dealers with links to the Taliban
  • Supreme Court gives 9 more months to complete the Babri Masjid demolition case trial
  • Priyanka Gandhi not allowed to meet the families of the dead in the Sonabhadra firing, arrested
  • ICC inducts Sachin Tendulkar in [email protected]@@s Hall of Fame
  • Stock markets bleed for the second day. Sensex crashes 560 points
  • S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, says Pakistan should release and repatriate Kulbhushan Jadhav immediately
  • Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala asks the Speaker to hold the trust vote latest by 1.30 pm today
  • The Government sends a list of 24 questions to mobile app company that runs video app TikTok seeking answers for anti-national and obscene content carried on the platform
  • Sarvana Bhawan founder P Rajagopal, serving a life term for murder, dies in a Chennai hospital
  • SC allows time till July 31 to the Ayodhya mediation panel
  • IT department attaches "benami" plot worth Rs 400cr in Noida. The plot allegedly belongs to BSP leader [email protected]@@s brother and his wife
  • Dawood [email protected]@@s nephew, Md. Rizwan Iqbal, was arrested from Mumbai airport as he was waiting to board a flight to Dubai
  • Trouble brews in Bihar JD(U)-BJP alliance as Bihar police asks special branch officers to keep tabs on RSS activities
Even after indicating that the trust vote will be held today (he said he cannot delay as he had to face the world), the Karnataka Speaker adjourns the assembly until Monday. Voting is likely to take place on Monday
oppn parties
Fighting Fire With Fire Will Be Disastrous For The Congress

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
If its latest strategy in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh can be taken an indication, the Congress has decided to fight fire with fire. As Rahul Gandhi visits Bhopal for a road show today (17th September), the city is plastered with posters describing him as a Shiv bhakt, taking a cue from his Mansarovar Yatra, complete with him pouring water (thankfully not milk) over the Shiv ling. This is a new strategy as the Congress had previously shied away from such overt display associated with religion, especially Hinduism, to preserve its secular credentials.

While this must be a conscious decision by the Congress to prevent the BJP from consolidating Hindu votes, it is fraught with danger. The Congress has always relied on the solid backing of its minority vote bank, cultivated gingerly through the years. If it now indulges in in-your-face Hindutva to fight the BJP, it might anger the minorities. Then obviously, the Congress will be left na ghar ka na ghat ka. For, the party can hope to add a few hundred Hindu voters through the Shiv bhakt stance. But the loss of minority voters can be much more and it will be disastrous for the party.

Hence, instead of fighting for the Hindu votes, the party should follow its old stance of appealing to all classes of Indians by being secular and liberal. The Congress suffered in the last elections for five well defined things –anti-incumbency, the massive scams under UPA II, lack of charismatic leader to counter Narendra Modi, divided opposition and Rahul Gandhi’s image of an unprepared leader. This time around, the BJP will suffer anti-incumbency, the Congress has got many favourable court rulings in the scam cases, the opposition is working towards being united and Rahul Gandhi has shed his pappu image to emerge as a workable alternative to Narendra Modi. Hence, the party must not queer the pitch by wooing just the Hindu votes.