In a new ad for her party, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has unpacked her strongest attack in this election season on the opposition. Without naming the BJP, Mrs Gandhi said in a rare direct appeal to voters, "Their vision, clouded with hatred and falsehood, their ideology, divisive and autocratic, will drive us to the ruination of our Bharatiyata, our Hindustaniyat." 

"Mrs Gandhi and the Congress should first learn and understand what Bharatiyata is," retaliated BJP president Rajnath Singh in an interview to NDTV. 

Mrs Gandhi's three-minute address to the country ran on television channels last night as a paid-for ad by the Congress. The BJP alleged that she has been forced into centre stage in a bid to avert what polls predict will be the worst-ever election defeat for Congress, after a weak campaign led by her son, Rahul.

Sitting in a book-lined study and wearing a dark red sari, the Congress president did not mention the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, by name.  But her comments clearly targeted his brand of Hindu nationalism which she suggested poses a threat to social peace. 

The BJP is heading for a majority in the election according to NDTV's latest opinion poll - it shows the party and its allies landing 275 seats, 16 more than predicted in NDTV's last survey a month ago. This means the BJP may not need to find new coalition partners after results are announced on May 16. Its existing allies would push it over the 50 percent threshold. 
BJP leader Arun Jaitley said that Mrs Gandhi's televised speech reflects her party's acceptance of Rahul Gandhi's failure as the leader of its campaign. "The idea was to change the principle communicator of the party from the son to the mother. This was an expression of lack of confidence in Rahul Gandhi, in as much as his speeches to the people were not working," Mr Jaitley blogged.

Post a Comment