Congress Making Fake Controversies Because Its Election Strategy Is Failing: Jaitley

Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India), July 25, 2018 | Go to article overview

Congress Making Fake Controversies Because Its Election Strategy Is Failing: Jaitley


New Delhi, July 24 -- The proposed federal front is more than eager to script the second part of the 'Congress-mukt Bharat' (Congress-free India) campaign, and the best-case scenario for the party is to become a tail-ender in such an alliance and concede to it a large political space, Union minister Arun Jaitley wrote in a blog on Tuesday.

The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader wrote that the Congress was also engaged in an implied battle with the federal front to reclaim the minority vote, but by redefining secularism as a euphemism for majority bashing, the Congress is antagonising the majority against itself.

Use of phrases such as Hindu 'Taliban' and 'Hindu Pakistan', he said, are intended to help the Congress against the federal front to reclaim the minority vote, but this also is likely to backfire. Both phrases were used by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who first said India was in danger of becoming a Hindu Pakistan if the BJP is re-elected next year. After he was bitterly criticized for that remark, Tharoor wondered if a Taliban was emerging in Hinduism. The Congress leadership tried to distance itself from the remarks.

"As equal participants in the Indian electoral process, the minorities have a constitutional right of a vote. But so does the majority," Jaitley wrote in his blog.

The minister claimed the Congress knows about the danger of the next election becoming a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's performance, and said the popularity gap between Modi and his competitors is very wide.

The Congress, he said, is either non-existent or a poor third or fourth in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Tripura, parts of the North-East, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Delhi and Tamil Nadu. These states account for 50% of the Lok Sabha seats, he said, adding that Congress may have to concede seats in several other states to its allies. "It is, therefore, faced with the prospect of effectively contesting only about 225 seats where it will face a direct clash with the BJP," he said.

"If the first part of the Congress Mukt Bharat was scripted by the BJP, the federal front is more than eager to script the part-2 of the same. Its message to the Congress is clear - 'you will have to support us; the other way is not possible,"' the minister wrote. …

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