Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who needs more ‘Credibility’?

New Delhi, Dec 20: When the campaign dice was rolled on the election board of Gujarat by Congress and BJP, the game plan was loud and clear.  But as the campaign progressed through the hissing snake and jubilant ladder, it came to a dead end – with a host of bizarre allegations and political mudslinging-which questioned the very credibility of both the main parties in public eyes.

Finally, BJP managed to keep Gujarat in its hold, but the thin margin of the victory would make the party, which enjoys power in 19 states in the country, to do some serious introspection.

Though, the Congress failed to wrest power from the BJP, it really made the situation tense for its chief opposition. And it is no wonder playing to the newly achieved strength from the improved margins in Gujarat, Rahul Gandhi put forward the question of credibility factor of Modi.

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the Gujarat results as a victory for development, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday targeted him by declaring that the former has a “credibility problem” and that the “people of his State don’t believe in his development model.”

Rahul said though the Prime Minister said it is a victory for development and a stamp of approval for GST it was the strange thing that in his election speeches there was neither any talk of development nor GST nor demonetization. “There is now a question mark on Modiji’s credibility. Frankly, Modiji has a credibility problem.” he had said.

After the statements of the newly elected Congress president,  the BJP hit back immediately, saying Rahul Gandhi was speaking out of “disappointment and frustration because of the electoral setback.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself on Wednesday asked the BJP leaders not to get distracted by the Congress questioning his credibility and told them to start preparing for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Modi addressed the BJP Parliamentary group in New Delhi in which he dedicated the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly election victories to the people of the two states.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said that Modi urged the BJP MPs to focus their energies on strengthening the party at the grassroots level across the country for the next general election.

In his message to the party’s booth level workers, he asked them not to get “distracted by what the opposition is saying about credibility and the low-level comments they are making” against the BJP, Ananth Kumar said.

“We are now ruling 19 states,” Modi told the meeting and referred to Indira Gandhi’s time when the Congress was in power in 18 states.

The established brand of Narendra Modi got a setback by way of Gujarat poll results, which the party would be trying to overcome before the assembly polls slated in 2018.

Many political pundits opine that Rahul Gandhi’s recent avatar is not promising enough to replace Modi but they are sure that the young Congress president’s high energy campaign was able to give jitters to the BJP this time. However, Modi’s claim of personally representing Gujarat’s asmita (or pride) overshadowed Rahul’s campaign in which he also tested the new found ‘temple politics’ of Congress to woo majority faction.

One of the main allegation that the Congress always faced was about minority appeasement and Rahul with his temple visits tried to shut the mouth of criticizers. But whether it questioned his credibility is something which only time could tell.

And it is for the general public to determine who has a credibility problem – Rahul or Modi. The answer to which could be the results of 2019 general election.