How Rahul Gandhi turned the tide in favour of Congress, INDIA bloc alliance | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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How Rahul Gandhi turned the tide in favour of Congress, INDIA bloc alliance

Jun 05, 2024 09:58 AM IST

The final count for the Lok Sabha 2024 elections has concluded, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) winning 240 seats while Congress won 99 seats

Rahul Gandhi, 53, has been pivotal in Congress’ success in this year’s Lok Sabha election results where they won 99 seats in comparison to 52 in 2019. He has galvanised the grassroot organisations of the party courtesy his Bharat Jodo Yatra and Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. Both yatras spread across 10,000 kms and mostly covered by foot, brought Gandhi in direct contact with the masses projecting him as a key challenger to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The two yatras, in many ways, laid the foundation of the Congress’ campaign for the 2024 election. (HT photo)
The two yatras, in many ways, laid the foundation of the Congress’ campaign for the 2024 election. (HT photo)

The two yatras, in many ways, laid the foundation of the Congress’ campaign for the 2024 election and pitted Gandhi, in spite of his earlier failures, at the centre of the electoral battle.

After the poll results were announced on Tuesday, Gandhi, with a copy of the Constitution, thanked the people of India for saving democracy.

“The people of India have saved the Constitution and democracy. The deprived and poor population of the country stood with India to protect their rights,” Gandhi said at a press conference.

Also Read: How Congress scripted a revival from the lows of 2014 and 2019

Amid political adversities and election humblings in both 2009 and 2014, a resurgent Gandhi ensured there was no repeat this time around.

In the run up to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls campaign, he was focussed on issues that mattered to the people coupled with his sharp oratory skills and new social media tactics to woo young voters.

He would put a video in which he would be reminiscing about their childhood with sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra by his side.

But in another, Gandhi would sit in front of a painting of Mahatma Gandhi and debunk PM Modi’s claims about Congress getting black money.

“Modi ji, did you speak from your experience?” Gandhi asked.

“You will notice one interesting aspect in his speeches. He never mentions Nehru or Indira or Rajiv. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra sometimes mention her family roots, but not Rahul,” said a leader who is a close aide of Rahul.

He has also shed his earlier image of not being easily accessible.

“The common man is at the centre of Gandhi’s speeches. He freely interacts with people, hugs them or takes selfies. These acts are also part of a political strategy to show how different he is from Modi”, the above leader added.

In March last year, Gandhi lost his membership from the Lok Sabha after he was convicted in a criminal defamation case by a Surat court.

He returned to the Lok Sabha three months later.

His speeches since then have been centred around saving the Constitution and criticising PM Modi.

“The ultimate aim of Narendra Modi and BJP is to end Baba Saheb’s Constitution and snatch away the rights and reservation from the deprived. On the one hand, government jobs are being eliminated by using blind privatisation as a weapon, which is a way to end reservation through the backdoor,” Gandhi said at a rally on May 28.

On May 24, Gandhi had also highlighted the problems of the Agnipath scheme.

“Got to know the sufferings of the youth more closely while riding in the ‘Tempo of Patriotism’. Narendra Modi has betrayed the youth who dream of serving the country - he has forcibly imposed the Agneepath scheme on the army and them,” he said.

After winning both Wayanad and Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seats, Gandhi has a difficult choice to make.

“I will consult others and decide,” he said at the press conference on Tuesday.

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