Our Take

Too little, too late

Too little, too late
If the idea was to tame the last 100 meter dash of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the campaign sprint to the hustings, then bringing in Sonia Gandhi to lend an emotional heft did not quite work for the Congress in Karnataka. In fact, bringing her out of hibernation was too little, too late, too stretched. By her own admission, Modi wove magic with words and the Congress supremo knows she cannot exactly cast a spell with her own brand of oratory. Sure she demanded action on farmers and talked of Lokpal and corruption but the arsenal seemed to lack an arrowhead.
If she indeed intended on making a brief but potent statement then she could have come better prepared with development alternatives and even drawn on the Congress templates that had been retouched and reclaimed by the BJP. Particularly after Karnataka CM Sidaramaiah threatened to sue the PM for Rs 100 crore — which was gimmicrkry that at least headlined poll season — Sonia’s counter to Modi’s whipped up roadshow seemed flat, futile even.  Also at a time when Rahul Gandhi has finally expressed his willingness to be pradhan sevak too if given a chance in 2019, the party should have focussed on sharpening his speeches than resorting to tropes. The Congress has for long been maintaining that the state campaign should focus on local issues but with Sonia bringing in national issues like the BJP, even that pitch was diluted. If the Congress is promising freshness then it should stop relying on jaded formulae. 


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20 May 2018 | PNS

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