Elections

'Remember Who Won That Election...': Rahul Gandhi Reminds Of BJP's 2004 'India Shining' Campaign

‘India Shining’ was a key slogan of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in the run-up to the 2004 general elections, but it failed to resonate with the public and Vajpayee lost the polls.

PTI
Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi | Photo: PTI
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, following the release of the party manifesto, took a dig at the BJP, stating that the 2024 election is a much tighter contest than being portrayed. “Remember Vajpayee's India Shining Campaign and who won that election,” Gandhi noted.

‘India Shining’ was a key slogan of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in the run-up to the 2004 general elections, but it failed to resonate with the public and Vajpayee lost the polls. 

With the Lok Sabha elections just weeks away, the Congress party released its manifesto today, focussing on work, welfare and wealth. The party has called the manifesto “Nyay Patra”.

When asked if Congress would only secure a majority in the southern states but lose in the north, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi responded, "I can't predict the future. This is a much closer election than propagated by the media. We are going to win the election. There was a similar feeling generated by the press when Vajpayee was nominated."

Congress leader said: “This election is about those who are trying to destroy the Constitution and the democracy in the country versus those who are trying to protect the Constitution and democracy. We do believe that it is very important, once this fight is won, that we look after the interest of the vast majority of the people; that India is not run for two or three large businesses, that it is run for the vast majority of the people; that we are not a nation of monopolies but a nation where there is fair competition among businesses. This election is a fundamentally different election.” 

“We need to understand the foundation of the strategy made by RSS, BJP and PM Modi,” Gandhi argued. 

“The way Adani has a monopoly in ports, infrastructure and defence, in the same way PM Modi has made a monopoly in political finance by using ED, CBI and Income Tax...Mallikarjun Kharge said that those who are corrupt are joining BJP, the reason is that PM Modi wants to keep control of political finance monopoly...This manifesto has not been made by the Congress party, it has been made by the people of the country, we have only written this manifesto. We have made our manifesto after talking to thousands of people."

The manifesto was released in Delhi by party President Mallikarjun Kharge, who was accompanied by senior leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram - who led the committee that drafted the document - was also present.

The election will be spread over seven phases beginning April 19. Results will be declared on June 4.

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