Day after Sonia Gandhi flays Narendra Modi, top Congressmen say strategy to demonise PM counterproductive

A day after Congress president Sonia Gandhi flayed Narendra Modi for 'misusing the public mandate' for creating an 'atmosphere of terror', several key faces in the party have called the strategy of levelling personal attacks on the prime minister counterproductive.

FP Staff August 23, 2019 16:11:14 IST
Day after Sonia Gandhi flays Narendra Modi, top Congressmen say strategy to demonise PM counterproductive
  • A day after Congress president Sonia Gandhi flayed Narendra Modi for 'misusing the public mandate' for creating an 'atmosphere of terror', several key faces in the party have called the strategy of levelling personal attacks on the prime minister counterproductive

  • The first to speak out against 'demonising' Modi was former Union minister and veteran Congressman, Jairam Ramesh

  • Later, Congress leader and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi also backed Ramesh, saying PM's policies and actions must be judged issue-wise, not person-wise

  • Shashi Tharoor too came out in support of Singhvi and Ramesh, stating that he had espoused the strategy for over six years now, trying to impress upon Opposition leaders that demonising the prime minister will not be a good idea.

A day after Congress president Sonia Gandhi flayed Narendra Modi for 'misusing the public mandate' for creating an 'atmosphere of terror', several key faces in the party have called the strategy of levelling personal attacks on the prime minister counterproductive.

The first to speak out against 'demonising' Modi was former Union minister and veteran Congressman, Jairam Ramesh. "It is time we recognize Modi's work and what he did between 2014 and 2019 due to which he was voted back to power by over 30 percent of the electorate," said Ramesh on Wednesday.

"He (Modi) talks in a language that connects him with the people. Unless we recognise that he is doing things which people recognise and which have not been done in the past, we are not going to be able to confront this guy," said the Congress leader.

Day after Sonia Gandhi flays Narendra Modi top Congressmen say strategy to demonise PM counterproductive

File image of Sonia Gandhi. Twitter @INCIndia

"Also, if you are going to demonise him all the time, you are not going to be able to confront him," warned the former Union minister, who held portfolios of Rural Development, and Drinking Water and Sanitation ministries in the Manmohan Singh government.

Ramesh sought to clarify that he is not asking anyone to praise or applaud the prime minister, but only wants the political class to at least recognise the traits he has brought to the governance – particularly the "economics of governance".

"Let me tell you it is not a completely negative story when it comes to economics of the governance, the politics of the governance is completely different," said the noted economist, adding "the social relations that have been created out of his governance model is also completely different."

Later, Congress leader and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi also backed Ramesh, saying demonising the prime minister was "wrong" and his policies and actions must be judged issue-wise, not person-wise.

Singhvi tweeted: "Always said demonising Modi wrong. Not only is he PM of nation, a one way opposition actually helps him. Acts are always good, bad and indifferent—they must be judged issue wise and not person wise. Certainly, ujjawala scheme is only one amongst other good deeds."

Shashi Tharoor too came out in support of Singhvi and Ramesh, stating that he had espoused the strategy for over six years now, trying to impress upon Opposition leaders that demonising the prime minister will not be a good idea.

The public criticism of party president's stand, even a subtle one, is rather a rare phenomenon in Congress. The fact that these leader's statements came close on heels of Sonia's scathing comments against Modi was lost on anyone, with most TV channels grabbing eyeballs with sensational ticker heads like 'Congress versus Congress', or 'divide in Congress'

Sonia, while addressing an event marking Rajiv Gandhi's 75th birth anniversary on Thursday, said, "In 1984, he (Rajiv Gandhi) won an unprecedented mandate but did not use that power to create an atmosphere of fear or threaten and scare. He did not use that power to destroy the independence of institutions, trample on dissent and divergent views and create dangers for democratic traditions."

"Today, there are those who are busy inventing a new past for Indians, while Rajiv Gandhi was engaged in inventing a new future," she said. "To him, the past has to be understood in all its complexities to build pride, not to stoke prejudice, to strengthen social harmony, not fuel antagonism and polarise our society, a society whose heritage has been enriched by multiple streams of faiths, beliefs and culture," Sonia said.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date:

also read

Delhi HC issues notice to Twitter over Rahul Gandhi's post revealing identity of rape victim's relatives
India

Delhi HC issues notice to Twitter over Rahul Gandhi's post revealing identity of rape victim's relatives

The Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh while issuing the notice to Twitter only made "explicitly clear" that no notice is being issued to other respondents.

Congress stuck in time warp with Gandhis at helm, no question changes will be merely cosmetic
Politics

Congress stuck in time warp with Gandhis at helm, no question changes will be merely cosmetic

With all possibilities of a major structural and characteristic renovation that Rahul Gandhi’s July 2019 resignation suggested now ruled out, the Grand Old Party represents the order of feudal decadence in the political terrain

Navjot Sidhu pens letter to Sonia Gandhi listing 13 issues in Punjab, seeks meeting with Congress chief
Politics

Navjot Sidhu pens letter to Sonia Gandhi listing 13 issues in Punjab, seeks meeting with Congress chief

Days after resigning as Punjab Congress chief, Sidhu said that his concerns have been resolved and the party asserted that he will continue as the head of the state unit.