Now…The Ad Wars between BJP and Congress
NEW DELHI : Quite literally, the Congress and the BJP are engaged in a war of words. Both parties claimed that the slogan behind a new Congress advertisement with Rahul Gandhi were first coined by them.
After the BJP accused the Congress of copying their slogan, the Congress today gave their defense. The controversy relates to a new Congress ad, carried by most national newspapers on Friday, that had a slogan Main nahin, hum (Not I but We), and Rahul Gandhi’s photo occupied centre-stage.
Within hours of the release of the ad, pictures of a 2011 function of Narendra Modi went viral. And the photo had the same tagline (Main nahin, hum) in the backdrop.
Though the Congress said that no party can have copyright over some commonly used words, many were left red-faced as an aggressive opposition called Mr Gandhi a “copy-cat”.
So today, the Congress had their own version. Newly appointed spokesperson Sobha Oza said the slogan was first used by a worker, Parvez Iqbal, in Indore four years ago to mark the re-entry of a Congress rebel back into the part fold.
The story goes something like this: in 2009, a Congress leader from Indore, Iqbal Khan, after being denied a ticket to contest municipal elections, fought and won as an independent candidate.
But a year later, in 2010, he rejoined the Congress party. In Mr Khan’s honour, his colleague and Congress party worker, Parvez Iqbal, held a mushaira (poetry recitation) to welcome him. And the theme of the function was togetherness, We in place of I.
Congress’s new ad wanted to emphasise the party’s focus on groups instead of individual. Many also believed this to be a dig at Mr Modi and the BJP’s campaign around him. In an earlier interview, Mr Gandhi too had commented that the BJP had become an individual-centric party.
But within hours of Mr Modi supporters releasing a photo of him addressing a function in 2011 with the same slogan, the Congress was put on the defensive. And clearly, the last word on the issue may not have been spoken.