In the world of social media, it isn’t that often that the Congress gets a head start on the BJP. But on Thursday, for a change, #FailureModi trended at number two on Twitter for a few hours before a counter #SaluteModi hit back, pushing the first to a lower ranking.
Four days after he took over as general secretary and chairperson of the Congress’s newly christened communications department, Ajay Maken, referring to the contents of the tweets that appeared with the hash tag, FailureModi, told The Hindu, “A recent study commissioned by the Planning Commission shows that Gujarat’s social indicators are very poor. In a table of 21 States, it ranks 16th in health, and 14th in education. What is Narendra Modi taking credit for?”
Mr. Maken was referring to a Planning Commission study on the performance of Indian States across three critical sectors — health, education and infrastructure — which demonstrates that Gujarat has slipped on all three parameters. Curiously, on Thursday, information from the study began to appear in 140-word tweets with the hash tag FailureModi.
“The Planning Commission study,” Mr. Maken said, “demonstrates that Mr. Modi’s governance model is faulty and his propaganda is fake.” Gujarat’s poor social indicators, Mr. Maken continued, show us “where Mr. Modi’s heart lies.” And it isn’t just the social indicators, he said, Gujarat ranks 11th on infrastructure in the study.
The Congress general secretary stressed that Mr. Modi’s much publicised governance model had been a failure from the beginning: “We have been saying this from 2002. Atal Behari Vajpayee said that Mr. Modi had flouted the principles of rajdharma. Recently, one of his own party colleagues and fellow chief minister said his handling of the riots was a bad example of governance.”
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, in a recent interview, described Godhra as “a blot” and went on to say that it was “a clear-cut lack of administration and administrative failure, a bad example of governance.”
Reserve Bank of India statistics, Mr. Maken stressed, show that in the inflow of FDI into the country, “Gujarat is way behind Maharashtra, a Congress-ruled State. Even though expatriate Gujaratis are among the richest in the world, the funds don’t seem to be coming in. The quantity of FDI is the best indicator of the ease with which business can be done in a State.”