<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Apart from Rahul Gandhi, the Gujarat Assembly elections also dominated the 37-minute meeting of the 22-member Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Monday. The party vice-president asked leaders not to fall in any trap by either launching personal attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi or allowing communal overtones to creep into the campaign, said sources after the meeting of the party’s highest decision-making body.He asked them to focus on “the downslide in the economy, the faulty implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), issues of development, besides keeping the heat on the government on corruption issues.In the run-up to the elections, the Congress has repeatedly raised allegations of irregularities against the Modi government in the Rafale deal. Rahul also gave a short presentation on how the campaign is picking up. He invited all CWC members to Gujarat to be part of a door-to-door campaign. Insiders said he repeatedly raised a word of caution, asking leaders to avoid digressing, citing Mahabharata’s ace-archer Arjuna’s “seeing only the eye of the fish”.During discussions, leaders said the BJP was trying to turn the elections into Gujarat versus the Congress. They said that the BJP was out playing all tricks to create confusion in the Congress. There was also mention of a fake list of 77 Congress candidates being released to create confusion on the ground. Late last night, the Congress was forced to release a genuine list of 77 candidates against its tentative plan to do so only on Monday after the CWC meeting.It was felt that Congress leaders should be careful in the campaign not to allow the BJP to turn the tables as Modi did in the past by harping on party president Sonia Gandhi’s dubbing him as a “Maut ka saudagar”.Rahul cautioned party leaders not to get into the controversy “deliberately raked up by Sangh Parivar on the Bollywood movie ‘Padmavati’ to create communal tension” in Gujarat and other states. “We recognise freedom of expression. But that also involves correction in the depiction of history as well,” he added.Rahul is spending a lot of time in Gujarat, a state crucial for him to avenge defeats in many states and prepare a ground to challenge the Modi government in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019. The elections are also important for both PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah as any setback can have repercussions in the national elections.
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