"Narendra Modi's thoughts are threat to Indian democracy," says former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot who accused him of provoking communal feelings in the state during the recent elections which Congress lost badly.
Noting that Modi's "Goebellesian" tactics won Rajasthan for BJP, he said that the collapse of Congress in the elections was "more than a surprise". "It is more than a surprise. I feel that there was no anti-incumbency factor and even if it was there, the things would not have been such bad," the 62-year-old leader said in an interview with PTI.
His emphasis was "Modi's thoughts are threat to Indian democracy. It is not the defeat of the Congress but victory for the communal forces."
Congress came up with its worst performance in the elections for the 200-member Assembly winning just 21 seats, far less than the 41 it won in the post-Emergency 1977 election. "The way attempts were made to communalise the atmosphere among the people especially the younger generation through the use of social media. It was a below the belt attack. It was a Goebellesian propaganda of repeating a lie hundred times so that it looks real. BJP and Narendra Modi played politics through such methods. They spread lies and baseless things. It is not in the interest of the country," he said.
Alleging that Modi adopted the Gujarat tactics in Rajasthan, he recalled that in Gujarat, BJP had not given a single ticket to Muslims and had done things that would provoke Hindus to virtually get their vote en bloc.
Besides, he says, that the issue of price rise could also be a factor. At the same time, he took the line that while prices have rose, purchasing power of people has also increased.
Rahul Gandhi is the "natural choice" as PM candidate, Gehlot said when asked as to who could be leading the Congress campaign in the polls.
As Chief Minister, Gehlot was instrumental in organising the Jaipur Chintan Shivir in January which saw Rahul being elevated as the party Vice President.