M A I N   N E W S

BJP big meet today; Rahul, Aiyar’s barbs set the tone
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 17
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and his senior colleagues’ (particularly Mani Shankar Aiyar) attack against the BJP and its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has set the mood in the saffron camp for the two-day national council that begins here tomorrow.

The BJP’s top leadership, which met here today to finalise poll plans for 2014, has decided to take on the Congress over its “lack of confidence” in winning the next General Elections, citing “its reluctance to field Rahul in a direct face-off with Modi” as an example.

“The Congress wants to enter the ring without a captain. The party’s reluctance to field Rahul against Modi shows it is not confident of winning the General Election,” senior leader Shahnawaz Hussain said, terming the grand old party’s decision as an “admission of defeat” even before entering the fray.

“The Congress leaders today talked of ‘haar ya jeet’ (win or lose). The reference to ‘haar’ proves their lack of confidence,” he said.

PM Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s discourses at the AICC meet were closely followed by BJP leaders gathered for a closed-door national executive meeting, the last before the 2014 elections.

While their anti-BJP and anti-Modi remarks will naturally come under fire at the saffron party’s open meeting at the Ramlila Grounds on Saturday and Sunday, senior Congress leader Aiyar’s remarks mocking Modi’s tea vendor status is an issue that is expected to draw the maximum attention. Sources say it will be highlighted and magnified as the Congress’ elitist attitude and disdain toward the weaker sections.

Experiencing the “feel good” factor again after the recent AAP turmoil, the newbie will be advertised as an ally of the Congress. The ‘Congress ka haath aam aadmi ke saath’ slogan will be interpreted as ‘Congress ka haath Aam Aaadmi Party ke saath’. “We are careful of the Congress and its allies, including the NCP, the BSP, the SP and the AAP,” said party leaders.

The BJP cadres were feeling disheartened with the growing support for AAP, but the newbie party’s internal mess has proved lack of established cadre, principles and ideology, sources say, adding the attack against AAP will be directed through the Congress to prove allegiance between the two.





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