Presenting his views on Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi’s image bashing by the BJP, Congress MP and former minister Shashi Tharoor has said that the BJP had "very successfully caricatured" Rahul Gandhi but the ploy is no longer working.
He stressed that the people of India now see Rahul as an "effective opponent" to the ruling party.
Tharoor, in an interview to PTI, said, “The narrative had changed very, very clearly in the past few months and people were now openly expressing doubts and misgivings about the performance of the Narendra Modi-led BJP government.”
He added that people are more willing to see the Congress as a viable alternative to the BJP.
"The BJP had very successfully caricatured Rahul Gandhi in the past. That is no longer working because Rahul Gandhi is seen as a rather effective opponent to the BJP...As this changed narrative proceeds, you are going to find more and more momentum behind the Congress," he asserted.
Tharoor said a change was visible with the Congress's recent victory in the by-election in Gurdaspur in Punjab and of its ally in Vengara in Kerala and claimed the BJP's attempts to conduct yatras in places such as Kerala and Gujarat had "fallen flat".
"I also feel very strongly that the people are beginning to ask when is the government going to keep the promises it has made...We are already riding much higher in people's estimation than we were in the April or May of 2014, of that there is no doubt," he added.
His comments assume significance as Rahul is expected to be appointed the president of the Congress party soon.
Rahul Gandhi had last month while addressing students at the University of California in the United States had said the impression that he was a reluctant politician was a result of a campaign against him by the BJP.
"There is a BJP machine, about a thousand guys, sitting on computers that basically tell you about me," he had said.
Tharoor said when Gandhi takes over, there will be "fresh energy" injected into the party.
Noting that there was still time for the general election, Tharoor said Congress's credibility was on the rise.
"I would say that the narrative has changed very, very clearly. People are now openly expressing doubts and misgivings about how the BJP government and Mr Modi are performing," he said.
(With PTI inputs)
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