If Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala is to be believed, Rahul Gandhi is all set to become lead the alliances for the 2019 General Elections. Stressing on the ‘unity of opposition’ he said Gandhi is the only person who is capable enough to lead a victory against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In an interview with Press Trust of India, Surjewala has reportedly said that the country wants to see Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Minister. Taking a dig at Prime Minister Modi, Surjewala said that there are only two types of models in India, one which is Modi model, where Modi changes his clothes six times a day, other is Rahul Gandhi model, where focus is on simplicity and clarity.
Ironically the statement on clothes comes days after Gandhi was under fire for donning a designer jacket in Meghalaya. While Congress leader Renuka Choudhary dismissed it by saying that the Rs. 70,000 jacket Gandhi was wearing could even be found for Rs. 700, Congress disowned the jacket by calling it ‘borrowed’.
However recently, Surjewala’s statements seem to be a sneak preview of what is in store for 2019 elections as far as Congress’ approach is concerned. When the controversy had erupted over Rahul declaring himself as ‘non-Hindu’ at Somnath temple, Surjewala had addressed a press conference and declared that not only is Rahul Gandhi a Hindu, but a Janeu-dhari Hindu.
This was a hint about Congress adopting soft Hindutva as an electoral strategy, which worked for them in Gujarat where they scored a moral victory. Congress has since continued with its soft Hindutva strategy and of late has appeared confident after winning in Rajasthan by-elections.
Surjewala’s statement is a reflection of a confident Congress, which has sent a message that other parties have to play second fiddle to Rahul Gandhi. The statement also comes at a time when there have been reports of Shiv Sena deciding to go solo next year after meeting ‘brave and powerful leader’ Mamata Banerjee. This could be a clear sign to the likes of Mamata Banerjee and others who might be thinking of a bigger national role that Rahul Gandhi is the only acceptable choice.