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  Opinion   Edit  28 Aug 2019  Credibility by praising PM?

Credibility by praising PM?

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Aug 29, 2019, 12:01 am IST
Updated : Aug 29, 2019, 12:01 am IST

In the democratic zone of Western Europe and North America, it is hard to think of Opposition leaders cheering on the government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: File)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: File)

Three high-profile Congress leaders, though none with a political following — Jairam Ramesh, Abhishek “Manu” Singhvi and Shashi Tharoor — have recently suggested that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not only be criticised but also sometimes be praised (for good deeds) in order for the Congress to carry credibility.

There are two underlying assumptions here — that the Congress no longer has credibility, and that the way to win this back is by backing Mr Modi (at least at times) rather than by the party laying out its own credo and, above all, living by it. The last, especially, seems a thought from a bygone era that clearly seems silly to the highly educated, upper crust individuals in the Congress.

But surprisingly Mr Tharoor did not live by his own recommendation when his strong BJP contender was snapping at his heels in the recent Lok Sabha polls in Thiruvananthapuram. He also thought fit not to recall that he had once been the lone Congress voice to back the PM's high-pitched “Swachchh Bharat” campaign.

If there is any traction in any of this, Mr Ramesh, who started the praise-Modi campaign with the remark that Mr Modi was “not all negative”, might again think to give the lead by cataloguing the PM’s positive actions that cry out for endorsement.

In the democratic zone of Western Europe and North America, it is hard to think of Opposition leaders cheering on the government. Britain’s Tony Blair is an outlier, but he ended up splitting Labour to become PM, and now there is nothing left of him or his party. The “case-by-case” approach now being propagated belongs to the bureaucratic milieu, not the political or ideological arena.

Tags: shashi tharoor, narendra modi