The battle between the BJP and the Congress that has been willy-nilly is set to metamorphose into one between Narendra Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, and Rahul Gandhi, the Congress party’s not-willing-to-be-PM candidate for whom helping the poor is far more important.
On Monday, BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi trumpeted the successful rally that Modi had addressed, which, according to him, sent the hearts of the ‘secular’ Congress into gloom.
An hour later, Congress spokesperson Bhaktacharan Das adulated the speech that Rahul had delivered at a rally in Udaipur, Rajasthan and quoted Rahul as saying that he would let his own dreams to be set aside in order to fulfill the dreams of the Dalits, adivasis, the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and the minorities.
Das said for such a man the post of prime minister does not amount to much. He said Rahul’s sentiments and views were that of a national leader and not that of a mere politician with prime ministerial ambition.
It looks like that the BJP will be projecting Modi as PM in an aggressive manner and the Congress will counter it with the rhetoric that Rahul is not interested in pushing himself as a prime ministerial candidate though it is there for him for the asking. The Congress, it seems, want to create a narrative based on party president Sonia Gandhi’s refusal to be prime minister in 2004 as the paradigm which her son Rahul is keen to continue.
The BJP wants to treat this potential renunciation on the part of Rahul as a sign of his lack of qualification to be PM. And the Congress wants to project Modi as a power hungry politician.
The spokepersons of the two parties will be fighting a proxy battle on behalf of the main protagonists of the parties. The BJP is only too keen to create the Modi-Gandhi duel, but the Congress wants to deflect it with the argument that Rahul does not desire to be the prime minister, and he does not battle the likes of Modi.