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BJP hits back at Gandhis

BJP hits back at Gandhis
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First Published: Wed, May 06 2009. 12 40 AM IST
Updated: Wed, May 06 2009. 12 40 AM IST
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ended a week of silence on Tuesday by hitting out at the Congress for launching a media blitz centred on the Nehru-Gandhi family as the 15th general election heads for a climax on 13 May.
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who addressed a news conference in New Delhi on Tuesday, his mother and party president Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Vadra have featured prominently in the ruling party’s campaign ahead of the last two phases of voting.
The normally combative BJP, which has been a passive spectator as the family went on the offensive, launched a counter-attack after Rahul Gandhi’s news conference.
The BJP said the family’s dominance showed the Congress had no one else to campaign for it.
“While we have a battery of campaigners, Congress only has Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi to campaign for them.
BJP is comprehensive and appealing to the voters and the results would be a proof of it,” said party leader and former Union minister Yashwant Sinha.
“People are mature enough to differentiate between the family campaign of the Congress and the party campaign of BJP,” said Sudheendra Kulkarni, political secretary to its prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani.
Some experts say the Congress is only leveraging the huge appeal of the Nehru-Gandhi family cutting across traditional barriers of society as it battles to retain power.
“It could be upsetting that the Congress is projecting only the Nehru-Gandhi family even with a history of more than a century but it is also that the family has got a mass appeal regardless of caste, religion and region,” said Bidyut Chakrabarty, a political science professor at Delhi University.
santosh.j@livemint.com
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First Published: Wed, May 06 2009. 12 40 AM IST