New Delhi: The Congress has recently launched a series of direct interactions between some students and party president Rahul Gandhi, named ‘Apni Baat Rahul Ke Saath’ — a move considered as a counter response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popular radio show Mann Ki Baat. 

In the trailer, seven youngsters, from Delhi, Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, and Assam, were seen talking to Gandhi about some serious issues and he was seen promising them that the issues will be incorporated in his party’s manifesto. The interaction took place over the weekend and he is slated to have many such personalised meetings in the coming days.

Gandhi uploaded the video on Twitter accompanied with a short post on how he “learnt a lot from the wonderful exchange of ideas & perspectives”

However, one cannot ignore the desperate attempt by the Congress to copy Modi’s Man Ki Baat where the Prime minister regularly interacts with citizens. Also, this is the first time that Congress is using social media platforms to reach out to people.   

How are the two shows different?

While Gandhi chose to lash out at Modi-led government during his interactions with youngsters of the country, the Prime Minister’s show is never about politics and rather revolves around issues concerning citizens. The topics range from exam stress to patriotism. 

Also, Gandhi chose to introduce himself like this: “I am Rahul Gandhi and I am president of the Congress party and I am a member of Parliament from Amethi. I thought I will have a chat with some young people and get a sense of what they are thinking.”

Talking about his party’s manifesto, the Congress president said, “We are building our manifesto. What we are doing is that we are having an open conversation about our manifesto. I will put you in touch with the guys who are doing the manifesto. You will see that I will push these things in the manifesto.”

In the run-up to the 2019 general elections, where a lot is at stake for both the BJP and the Congress, reaching out to students at the eleventh hour shows the latter’s clear desperation to win brownie points.