For quite some time, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been trying to corner prime minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale issue. In fact, the entire ecosystem associated with the Congress and their Mahagathbandhan mates got sucked into this controversy and have been trying to allege foul play in probably the most well known defense deal. The BJP kept on dodging this issue, making the Congress and its propagandists think that there is something which they could expose, while in fact the Rafale deal is altogether authentic and there is no evidence with its critics to point out any foul play, kickbacks or corruption of any other manner. However, before the Congress could realize, it got totally done in. It wasted all its time, resources and a humongous troupe of propagandists who were a powerful tool for forming public opinion.
The Congress has been trying to create a mountain out of what is not even a molehill. This has done nothing but put to halt all other possible narratives at a critical juncture. We are in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and for the Congress the upcoming polls are nothing less than a test of survival. It must have pressed its entire propaganda machinery into service. then it was taken for a ride by the BJP even as Congress and its ecosystem tried making a scam out of a clean deal. This attempt obviously failed, as it was unable to generate any public anger against the incumbent government.
The Congress has a number of propagators, hardcore supporters and soft supporters across all walks of public life who not only help the Congress in exaggerating key issues, but also in creating illusions which at times turns out to be really handy for its election campaigns. It has a number of such propagators not only across the media outlets but academia and cinema and other fields. Ever since 2014, these elements have been speaking in more of an anti-BJP rather than pro-Congress language. One would remember the turnaround in the Bihar polls and how the Award Wapsi gang had turned the tables on the BJP. It was successful in creating the illusion of intolerance and an imaginary exodus of the minorities. Through constant and relentless propaganda, the Mahagathbandhan was able to score an unlikely victory over the BJP. This shows the prowess of the Congress ecosystem in creating fake narratives and then pursuing them intensely.
The same strategy also clicked for the the anti-BJP forces during the Delhi assembly elections campaign. This time around, the fake narrative of Church vandalism worked in the ecosystem’s favor. While the Congress failed to open its account in the elections, the ecosystem was able to defeat the BJP. Later, it was exposed that there was no communal angle in the spate of these incidents. It was clear that these were strictly local incidents with no communal or planned angle as such. Such is the capability of the ecosystem which helps it in creating narratives out of thin air and furthermore in attaining electoral success.
However, the biggest example of the Congress’ propagandists demolishing the BJP through their fake narrative occurred almost 14 years ago when it tarnished the image of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and defeated it in the 2004 general elections. The Congress was able to stage an upset by propagating that the Atal government was urban-centric and therefore, anti-rural. The ‘India shining’ campaign of the BJP fell flat on its face. Despite remarkable growth and development during the tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee led BJP government, the machinery was able to defeat it using its extensive politics marketing machinery.
Now, the Congress has missed out on a lot, courtesy its entire focus and overemphasis on the Rafale deal. There was palpable discontent over the passing of the amendment to SC/ ST Act. The Congress could have further fueled this discontent into anger. However, it was more concerned about unearthing of the Rafale deal. It kept on digging deep but eventually found nothing. Not only this, the Congress through its artificial Hindutva exercise could have also exploited the Hindu sentiment, had it not been deeply engrossed into making a Bofors out of the Rafale deal without even a shred of evidence. Rahul Gandhi’s Hindutva exercise too seems to have lost steam, courtesy his undivided attention on the Rafale deal. The NOTA warriors of the social media too were a brainchild of the party and its ecosystem but that project to woo more and more people to NOTA failed miserably, all thanks to its focus on the Rafale deal.
The Congress has a brilliant ecosystem on its command. However, out of its obsession for disclosing an invisible scam out of the Rafale deal the party seems to have weakened its own stand and credibility just before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
It is official that Congress is going to 2019 elections with just Rafale issue while ignoring all other issues that could have made caused some serious setback to the BJP. While Congress has failed in proving Rafale as a scam, BJP also knows that for the common populace of India, Rafale is a non-issue, a fact further corraborated by the calculated silence of PM Modi. Had PM Modi considered it a serious enough issue, he would have addressed the nation directly but he let Nirmala Sitharaman and Arun Jaitley bat for him instead. It won’t be unsound to say that PM Modi turned Rafale into an albatross around Rahul Gandhi’s neck