A day after Congress leader and former Union minister Jairam Ramesh argued that "demonising Prime Minister Narendra Modi is wrong", two senior Congress leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Shashi Tharoor echoed his sentiment and called for a new narrative to take on PM Narendra Modi, by attacking not him, but his policies.
In a tweet, Singhvi also lauded PM Modi’s Ujjwala scheme that aims to distribute LPG connections to women of BPL families. "Always said demonising Modi wrong. Not only is he PM of nation, a one way opposition actually helps him. Acts are always good, bad and indifferent – they must be judged issue wise and not person wise. Certainly, Ujjawala scheme is only one amongst other good deeds," he wrote on Twitter.
Always said demonising #Modi wrong. No only is he #PM of nation, a one way opposition actually helps him. Acts are always good, bad & indifferent-they must be judged issue wise and nt person wise. Certainly, #ujjawala scheme is only one amongst other good deeds. #Jairamramesh
- Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) August 23, 2019
Reiterating Singhvi’s comments on the Prime Minister, Tharoor said that the PM should be praised for the right things he says and does to give credibility to Oppositions arguments against his policies. Tharoor tweeted: "As you know, I have argued for six years now that Narendra Modi should be praised whenever he says or does the right thing, which would add credibility to our criticisms whenever he errs. I welcome others in Opposition coming around to a view for which I was excoriated at the time!"
. As you know, I have argued for six years now that @narendramodi should be praised whenever he says or does the right thing, which would add credibility to our criticisms whenever he errs. I welcome others in Oppn coming around to a view for which i was excoriated at the time!
- Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) August 23, 2019
Singhvi’s open expression of his personal opinion is in contrast to his party’s view. Even as the senior Congress leaders called for taking on PM Modi for his policies, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday made a veiled attack on him, saying that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, too, had won a full majority in the 1984 Lok Sabha elections but he "never used the powers to create an atmosphere of fear or destroy the freedom and liberty of the people".
The Congress in recent times has witnessed difference of opinion from various leaders within the party. Many Congress leaders including Janardhan Dwivedi, Jyotiraditya Scindhia and Aditi Singh have supported the Modi government’s move to scrap Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories. The remarks from the senior Congress leaders reflect the ongoing discontent in the party ranks.
Earlier, during the Lok Sabha election, the then Congress President Rahul Gandhi had tailored the entire campaign to target PM Modi. His entire campaign revolved around the phrase "Chowkidar Chor Hai", which was based on allegations of corruption in the purchase of Rafale fighter jets. The result was disastrous with the Congress limited to 52 seats, an improvement of just eight seats from its lowest ever tally of 44 in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.