New Delhi: Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, who has launched her second phase of campaigning for the general election, on Sunday sought to highlight the inclusive growth agenda of her party and cautioned voters against the “divisive" politics of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

She attacked the BJP’s “rhetoric" on nationalism and patriotism and reminded people about the “sacrifices" made by leaders of the Congress party.

Political observers, however, said the aggressiveness the 67-year-old leader had shown in her earlier speeches was missing in her two addresses on Sunday—at Lakhimpur in Assam and in Delhi.

“Everyone fights elections, at the end of which some win and some loose. Winning elections and governing effectively is not a new experience for the Congress party," Gandhi said at a rally in Karol Bagh, which falls in the New Delhi Lok Sabha constituency, which party general secretary and two-time member of Parliament Ajay Maken is contesting.

In Lakhimpur, too, Gandhi said while the Congress had strengthened India’s so-called Ganga-Jamuna culture, the BJP was out to weaken the country. Ganga-Jamuna culture refers to India’s multicultural unity and diversity.

She also talked about the Congress party’s rights-based approach, including that of education and the party’s promise to social security, old age pension and right to health in its manifesto for the parliamentary election.

Jai Mrug, a Mumbai-based political analyst, said Congress leaders, specifically Gandhi, seem less aggressive and low on confidence in the ongoing election campaign.

“In 2009, the senior leaders of Congress had much more aggression. There was inflation but the economy was not in doldrums. Now, there is slow growth as well as a strong political opponent and this is reflecting in their body language," he said.

Gandhi is gearing up for a line of election rallies across the country in the days to come. She is expected to address at least two rallies in each state.

Mint reported on Friday that Gandhi was getting ready to plunge into the campaign trail with a packed schedule that will see her crisscross the nation.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, too, will address at least nine election rallies across Odisha, Kerala, Bihar, Jharkhand and Maharashtra next week.

The Gandhis are leading the campaign of India’s oldest political party, which has been in power since 2004 but is battling a raft of corruption charges involving its leaders and its inability to contain soaring inflation. Its main opposition, the BJP, led by its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, is projected by several opinion polls to have a clear edge.

Attacking the BJP, Sonia Gandhi on Sunday in the national capital said: “Patriotism may just be in speeches for BJP and others. But those who do not understand secularism cannot be patriots, they only want to mislead you and rule at any cost."

In an apparent jibe at the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Gandhi told the crowd: “There are some people in the ground who feel that governance is easy but you have yourself seen how some people left the field and ran away."

The AAP stormed to power in a remarkable debut in the Delhi assembly election in December and took outside support from the Congress to form the government. But Kejriwal resigned as chief minister shortly after accusing the Congress and the BJP of colluding to defeat a resolution to introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill in the assembly.

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