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1-min read

From Vikas to Soft-Hindutva, Rahul Sets Agenda for Gujarat Election

The Gujarat Assembly election, whose result many thought was a foregone conclusion, promises to be a keen electoral battle. A battle in which Congress seems to be setting the political discourse.

Meghdoot Sharon | CNN-News18

Updated:October 10, 2017, 9:26 PM IST
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From Vikas to Soft-Hindutva, Rahul Sets Agenda for Gujarat Election
Ranhul Gandhi joins a dance troupe in Gujarat. (Picture Courtesy: officeofRG/twitter.com)
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Ahmedabad: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's campaign in Gujarat ahead of Assembly election later this year has shown a drastically different image of his, one in stark contrast from his past. Not only has he sought blessings, visiting a number of temples, the Gandhi scion has also engaged people with stinging one-liners aimed at his opponent.

The Gujarat Assembly election, whose result many thought was a foregone conclusion, promises to be a keen electoral battle. A battle in which Congress seems to be setting the political discourse.

One such example is the "Vikas gone crazy" campaign. After a flurry of memes that went viral over the past month, BJP decided to counter the campaign with its own 'I am Vikas, I am Gujarat' campaign. Such has been the impact of the 'Vikas Gone Crazy' campaign that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi reacted to it on his visit to Gujarat last weekend.

Peddling a softer version of Hindutva, too, appears to be a well-thought-out strategy by the Congress. By the end of his Navsarjan Gujarat Yatra, Rahul Gandhi will have visited almost every famous temple in the state. In addition, visits to gaushalas (shelters for cows) are on his agenda, too.

Another distinguishing feature of Rahul Gandhi's campaign this time around is his attempt to engage the crowd in a dialogue. Undoubtedly, he has picked a leaf or two out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's book.

At various stops along the road show, Rahul Gandhi has been asking people questions. For example, "Can you afford the exorbitant fees of schools and colleges? Do you get cheap medical facilities? Are our youth getting jobs?" And when the people respond with a resounding "No", Gandhi has been seen suggesting they vote for change.

And then there is that one question which Rahul Gandhi has asked at every meeting along the road show route: "What has happened to Vikas in Gujarat?" By now everyone knows the answer.

| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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