The biggest battle for India’s political heart has officially begun. Congress President in an audacious attempt at taking the fight to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s door has held a glittering show of strength in his Lok Sabha borough.
The imagery was carefully choreographed to check all the right political boxes. From an ‘arti’ to propitiate the upper castes, to homage at Ambedkar’s memorial to court the influential Dalits, Sonia Gandhi left nothing to chance or ambiguity about her actual target audience.
Moments after she kicked off her campaign one of her closes aides delivered a reality check. Virtually taking the wind out of Congress sails, Raj Babbar said that only a miracle could resurrect the Congress in the state.
The BJP wasn’t far behind in its attempt to discredit the bold move by Sonia Gandhi by asking some uncomfortable questions. For instance if Rahul is the Congress’s future, why is the party looking back to Sonia? Has Sonia picked herself over Rahul because he’s failed to deliver in UP in 2012 & 2014? Why has Congress picked Varanasi over Saifai when the party’s main opponent in UP is Akhilesh not Modi? Last but not least if the Cong really wanted to expose bad governance, shouldn’t it have begun the campaign from Bulandshahr?
The Congress will have to answer some of these questions cogently tonight if it wants to convince voters it is a real alternative looking to win the state and not merely behave as an accomplice in a political plot to spoil Modi’s party.