Hours before BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressed a rally in Amethi – Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's constituency – the party came out with a sleek eight minute long video in the Capital showing how the region has fallen into an utter state of disrepair despite having one or the other member of the Nehru-Gandhi family as it MP for 35 years.
The no-holds-barred attack on the Gandhi bastion, described by many BJP insiders as a "master stroke", came just few hours before the end of campaigning and forty-eight hours ahead of polling in Amethi.
The eight minute video on Amethi, for most part used black and white footages showing the region's poverty and squalor, bad roads, unfulfilled promises juxtaposed with Rahul Gandhi sitting in Parliament with a blank look. However, towards the end the visuals become colourful once again as Modi appears on the screen and is shown addressing a huge rally in Varanasi on day he filed his nomination. The video ends with BJP's campaign theme, Acche din aane wale hai.
Party leaders say copies of this short film would be circulated in Amethi, whose MP's performance in the Parliament has been shockingly dismal. Rahul has of late found himself in the line of BJP's fire with party leaders, including Modi, picking up holes in his statement during election campaign.
"We have continuously highlighted the plight of Amethi and Rae Bareli both inside and outside the Parliament," BJP's Yashwant Sinha told reporter after releasing the video. Party leaders defended the idea of releasing the video in the last hours of campaigning and hoped this would reach out to the voters through other medium – like newspaper and TV reports. CDs of the video have been circulated in Amethi, they said.
"The day before poll is generally considered dull as conventional modes of campaigning ceases. It was felt that the video released online highlighting how Rahul Gandhi failed Amethi residents would help create the right buzz and could have a ripple effect for a couple of days," a party leader said.
Sinha said despite his constituency's overall decrepit state, Rahul Gandhi did not raise even one question about Amethi's state of affair in the last 10 years. "His performance as far as MP Local Area Development Fund is concerned is average. Why should the people vote for him?" Sinha queried.
The senior BJP leader came prepared with a fact sheet which tore into Gandhi's performance in Parliament on other issues as well. "Judged from the performance of an average Lok sabha MP, his record to say the least is abysmal. During 2009-2013, while the average attendance of a MP in Parliament was 77% Rahul's presence was 42.9%. He participated in debates just twice as against 38 % an average of 38% by other MPs and he did not raised one question as against an average of 300 raised by other MPs," Sinha said.
Here's the video: