As part of a carefully crafted strategy for the next 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress has decided to avoid making the polls a contest between party vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.
Party spokespersons have been asked categorically to desist from any such references, sources said. The idea behind the diktat is not to make the 2014 elections a fight between personalities.
“We don’t want to make it a personality clash. We will fight the elections on the basis of ideology and performance,” a senior leader said.
The strategy was read out by the party’s communication department in-charge Ajay Maken at a meeting with party spokespersons and those authorised to participate in debates and discussions on TV channels.
The party has decided to take on Modi over reports suggesting he had rescued only Gujaratis from the flood-hit areas in Uttarakhand and left behind those hailing from other parts of the country.
The move is to puncture recent claims made by BJP leaders that Modi is a “unifier and not a divisive figure”.
The spokespersons are expected to aggressively raise this point in the media.
The party may also come out with a hashtag -- ‘Fekunama’ -- on twitter to attack Modi over his “false” development claims in Gujarat.
Social media has been witnessing a war between supporters of Rahul Gandhi (#FailureModi) and Modi (#SaluteModi) after the two leaders separately addressed industry bodies in Delhi in April.
The party also decided to spruce up social media platforms and set up media cells in all states starting with those going to polls soon.
Assembly elections will be held in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Chhattisgarh in November-December this year.
It was also decided that live streaming of All India Congress Committee (AICC) press conferences on the party website would be facilitated.