We have always spoke about inclusive politics, says Congress
The Congress’s catch phrase, “Main Nahin, Hum” (Not I, We), which the party publicised widely on Friday through an advertisement showing its leader Rahul Gandhi standing with a group of nine other persons, ran into first-day first-show trouble with the Opposition BJP claiming that it was a tagline used by its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at a party camp three years ago.
By afternoon the social media, led by Twitter and Facebook was abuzz with comments on the subject and images of Mr. Modi’s “chintan shivir” in Gujarat where a banner with the slogan had adorned the stage.
Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha charged that the Congress had copied the idea. “They are copycats. They are in desperation and are ready to go to any extent.”
Responding to the issue, a senior Congress leader told The Hindu that not much should be read into the catch phrase as the advertisement which appeared on Friday was only one in a series and the others would bear different phrases.
The question was later in the day posed to party spokesperson Shobha Oza who responded saying that `our main slogan is ‘har haath shakti – har haath tarakki’ and we have always spoke about ‘inclusive politics.”
Ms. Oza went on to claim that Mr. Gandhi was known for his inclusive politics and he had never talked about “I”. “We have always emphasised on ‘we.’ We are always for inclusive politics.”
The Mahila Congress president said “just because someone said something at some point of time, it does not mean that it becomes their baby. We have used many words like ‘Congress ka haath, aam aadmi ke saath’ but we cannot make it a personal phrase.”
She also pointed out that “aam aadmi ke sipahi” used to be a phrase used by the Youth Congress to press home the point that it had not taken offence at Arvind Kejriwal using its key words while naming his party.
Responding to Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari’s allegation earlier in the day that Mr. Modi had also copied the slogan from former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar, the Congress spokesperson said these must be the personal views of Mr. Tewari.
For their part, some supporters of the Aam Aadmi Party also found in the issue an opportunity to spoof the Congress. They promptly put out a similar ad with the faces of Arvind Kejriwal and his team and the catch phrase reading: “Hum nahin, Aap.”