The Twitter pages of Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi couldn't offer more contrasting pictures. Modi's Twitter account has three poll-related posts today while Rahul's has none.
New Delhi: Elections are on today in some important constituencies of India as part of the fourth phase of polling. Experts reckon that this is a pretty crucial phase for the political parties to keep up the campaign momentum through the final stretches.
But one look at the two of the main adversaries, you'd think that one of them is already feeling despondent.
The Twitter pages of Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi couldn't offer more contrasting pictures.
Modi's Twitter account has three poll-related posts today while Rahul's has none.
Modi's Twitter post has one specifically targeted at the electorate in West Bengal (a part of which is voting today). He has also appealed to the public in general to go out and vote.
Rahul's last tweet (on Monday afternoon) was about a Congress propaganda film on Nyay. On a crucial election day, especially when his party is trying to mount a major counter campaign against a formidable adversary, his account has been dormant.
Rahul's Twitter updates, which were looking sharp and smartly taunting the BJP at the start of the campaign, suddenly seems to have lost its competitive spark.
On the first two phases of polling, Rahul did urge the people to go out and vote, but for the third and fourth phases, the absence of his updates has been conspicuous.
Priyanka Gandhi's Twitter updates were sporadic right from the beginning. But Rahul going off the boil is sending all kinds of wrong signals. People are already speculating whether the Congress is already conceding the contest.
"The election process is long and anything can happen still. But make no mistake about it, the Congress is increasingly coming across as being a little short on confidence," said Amrita J, professor of sociology in a Hyderabad college. But she thinks Rahul needs to keep his chin up as seats are still up for grabs. "Him feeling downcast is never going to help the Congress. But as of now, the vibes are not encouraging."
Political watchers feel that the Congress seems to have dropped the ball, as it were, around the time it became officially clear that Priyanka was not going to contest against Modi at Varanasi.
After building the hype (advertently or inadvertently), the news of Priyanka not contesting was inevitably going to be seen as chickening out.
But, political watchers feel, Priyanka backed out because the feedback to the Congress from the field was not encouraging. As the party was unable to cobble up alliances, and the fact that parties like the SP and the BSP were not ready to cooperate, there was no way Priyanka was going to upset the applecart of the BJP in Varanasi.
"Priyanka not contesting may become the watershed moment of this election. Probably this was the point where the winner and the loser were spotted, as till then it at least seemed a close-run thing," said a journalist in Bengaluru. "Nobody expected her to take the field as a candidate. But having fed the rumours, the Congress is now being hoisted on its own petard."
Also, Rahul choosing Wayanad as his back-up seat may be strategically right, but politically it was a dangerous ploy, one that would give his rivals a handle to flog him as being unsure even in his pocket borough of Amethi. The BJP and others have naturally exploited this point. The Congress, overall, has been playing badly, what tennis players call as, the clutch points.
Right or wrong, the Congress always looks up to the Gandhis. Both Priyanka and Rahul have to shoulder more responsibility and inspire more belief in the ranks.
But both of them, at the moment, are feeling like Kohli and de Villiers in RCB colours --- very low on confidence and conviction.
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Last Updated 29, Apr 2019, 5:43 PM