Priyanka has done to Rahul what BJP did to Advani in 2009 ' Swapan Dasgupta The details of a general election campaign are forgotten once the outcome is known. However, those who experienced the 2009 campaign that resulted in a clear mandate for the Congress-led UPA may recall the confusion that resulted from a BJP leader's contention in Ahmedabad that Gujarat was lucky because it was giving India two prime ministers. The reference was to L K Advani, the candidate from Gandhinagar and the BJP-led NDA's prime ministerial candidate, and Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, who many BJP supporters felt was the leader-in-waiting. This praise of Advani and Modi was made in all sincerity and may not have aimed at undermining the veteran leader. However, it was seized by the media and the BJP's opponents to suggest that Advani was just a stop-gap candidate and that the BJP's hidden agenda was the installation of Modi through the backdoor. In pure marketing terms, it contributed to blurring of the main brand and, in effect, punctured Advani's claim to be a decisive leader awaiting national endorsement. The subtext of the two-PMs-from-Gujarat boast was that somehow Advani wasn't good enough. In 2014, the BJP hasn't repeated that mistake. Indeed, its entire campaign has been devoted to creating an aura around Modi and presenting him as the man for all seasons. There may well be a so-called 160 Club that believes in upstaging Modi in a palace coup but so overpowering has been the promotion of Modi that the occasional awkward voice has been drowned out in the euphoria. The BJP campaign slogan is for a "Modi sarkar". The Congress, however, has not been so lucky. First, it dithered over whether or not Rahul Gandhi was its PM candidate because it didn't want to be drawn into a presidential contest. Secondly, it presented an alternative to the muscular, no-nonsense Modi by packaging Rahul as a team player. Far from bolstering Rahul's image as a genial consensusbuilder , the tentativeness of his projection unwittingly showed up the Congress vice president to be somehow lacking in the attributes of captaincy. Finally, after the early rounds of a long campaign, the Congress repeated the mistake of the Grand Alliance in 1971 and made opposition to Modi the centrepiece of its campaign. When the campaign began in early-April, the question uppermost in many minds was: can Modi make it? By the final rounds of voting, the Congress had reshaped the issue to: how can we stop Modi? The Congress helped make Modi the only issue of 2014. Those who endorsed him had just one way to vote but those who were opposed to him were confronted with multiple choices, an enviable situation for Modi. As a campaign theme, Rahul was already fading from the national imagination when his sister Priyanka Vadra entered the campaign in Rae Bareli and Amethi and began hogging air time. A new face who spoke spiritedly and consciously sought to emulate the style of grandmother Indira Gandhi and added a touch of imperiousness, Priyanka certainly boosted the morale of dispirited Congress supporters who were mentally preparing for a debacle. However, in grabbing media space Priyanka successfully overshadowed her brother and even gave Arvind Kejriwal a run for his money. As more and more demoralized Congress supporters started talking about Priyanka as a potential saviour of the Nehru-Gandhi legacy, the more the Congress campaign appeared out of focus and incoherent. In mounting an energetic campaign for her mother and brother in what has been quaintly called the family pocket borough, Priyanka's intentions were noble. Indeed, family interests were foremost in her mind and all her speeches centred on the theme of Indian politics as seen through the prism of the family. However, in trying to make media exposure a force multiplier, she blanked out all interest in Rahul. Quite unwittingly, she did to her brother what the over-zealous BJP supporters did to Advani in 2009: she exposed her brother's limitations. Priyanka may well have a future in politics, particularly if she can articulate concerns that resonate beyond the family dining table. Indeed, the Congress may well be tempted in future to use the brothersister duo to safeguard dynastic politics. In this election , however, her efforts may succeed in a corner of Uttar Pradesh but boomerang on the Congress elsewhere . In marketing a product politically, there is no scope for confusion and haziness over what the brand stands for. By now voters know what Modi stands for; there is no clarity over the Gandhis in 2014. In a long campaign, mid-stream improvisations can ruin the larger plot. Priyanka has done to Rahul what BJP did to Advani in 2009 by Right & Wrong : Swapan Dasgupta's blog-The Times Of India ****************************************************************************** Indeed the manner in which the Congress has run their all India political campaign for the 2014 General Election has been a real sad story - totally disoriented, mission less, changing goal posts repeatedly, no head to lead and so on - and this was a life and death election for the scam ridden, rudderless Congress. In fact, the fear of Modi that the Congress was gripped with only helped to made Modi some sort of a larger than life individual. Even attacking an individual requires brains, planning and a execution map; one can't act like Don Quixote attacking windmills. Rahul Gandhi's lacklustre performance and senseless heroics, first against Manmohan Singh and Govt policies, then on Modi, was so pathetic and lumpen that it became more of theatrics and hence worthy of being glossed over. And then the mushy childlike flaunting of 'sacrifices' of the family was so overplayed that it became boring and the people wondered as to why Rahul Gandhi was missing out the sacrifices the Indian public has done for the UPA which had long gone past the expiry date. The entry of Priyanka Gandhi with all am aurat vibing with the masses looked quite a put on since it appeared more of last ditch exercise to save the Family in their adopted election den; and it did great great harm to Rahul since she stole the thunder, wherein injecting doubts in the voters as to whether Rahul was the right man to vote, when his sister, who is younger to him, is making him look like a novice, unequipped and a helpless wimp. No sir, nothing looks like as if the Congress is doing anything right this election.