Prashant Dayal, Ahmedabad: If several Congress leaders including senior politician Digvijay Singh keeps their mouth shut, then it would be good for the party in future. More than BJP’s attempts at pushing Congress away from the people, it is the wrong statements made by Digvijay Singh and other leaders at the wrong time that’s harming the party. During the 2017 Assembly Elections, party president Rahul Gandhi had instructed all his ministers to avoid making personal and derogatory statements against Narendra Modi, yet senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar called Modi ‘neech,’ a low-life.

While Aiyar made an immediate U-turn and said that his words have been misconstrued and misunderstood, Rahul Gandhi took him to task. Digvijay Singh has a record of creating controversy with his remarks in the past. Sometime back, a report by an American organization labeled the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a terrorist organization, much to the jubilation of many Congress leaders. Those leaders jumped the gun without realizing that if RSS was a militant organization all this while, how come the party didn’t realize or acknowledge it during their years in power. Even the detractors of RSS were not ready to believe that it was a militant organization.

The RSS never had the brawn or were equipped to spread terrorism and it still doesn’t. Some organizations, who share the ideologies of the RSS but are not directly connected to it, did indulge in activities that were targeted towards a certain minority community. But they didn’t carry the magnitude. There is a fair possibility of small organizations wanting to act in a tit-for-tat manner, but RSS never had any such group under their organizations to do that. Yet, Digvijay Singh, at the launch of a book written on the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, said that it was the RSS who was behind the attacks.

Digvijay Singh is no fool, but a senior leader who has spent years in the political ring. But his statements are glaringly unbecoming of one. It is not news anymore when policemen shoot dead anti-social elements claiming they were terrorists. But Digvijay Singh gave his two-cents of wisdom even in the Delhi Batla House encounter case. A similar gaffe was done by party president Rahul Gandhi too when he demanded proof from the government of the surgical strike conducted by the Indian Army inside the neighboring country.

Yes, they are called a secret operation for a reason. There were similar strikes conducted by our army even during the regime of Congress, but PM Modi went to town drum-beating the achievements of the army, a move unnecessary and played just to appease his countrymen. But Rahul should have kept mum. It was people like him and Arvind Kejriwal, whose critique of Modi backfired and rather brought people to stand with Modi instead of being against him. Modi knows the pulse of the nation, he and his ministers know what events will bring maximum TRPs and how.

Given the situation, Congress must keep mum now and ensure statements that go against the sentiment of the people are not made by its leaders. Modi knows the pain points of the Congress and thus Rahul must tell his leaders that they should be talking to the people of the country on what the party has to offer, without making any references to Narendra Modi. Because the more Modi is criticised, the more it benefits his mandate. Lastly, the people of the country will know whether the Acche Din have actually arrived or not, by their own understanding and not from the Congress leaders.

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