From the time the government revoked Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and split the state into two Union Territories (UTs), opposition leaders have used the move to attack the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Although the decision was taken to improve the security situation and facilitate smooth integration of J&K with India.
Rahul Gandhi, who ran 'Chowkidar Chor Hai' campaign against the Prime Minister (targetting the PM as a corrupt leader) during Lok Sabha elections, this time too used the decision on Jammu and Kashmir to slam the government.
Several Congress leaders including Jyotiraditya Scindia, Milind Deora supported the abrogation of Article 370, however, Rahul Gandhi tried to steal the limelight by criticising the government and PM Modi.
Furthermore, a section of Congress's senior leadership came out in support of the decision, saying that demonising Prime Minister Narendra Modi won't help Congress. Jairam Ramesh said that Modi's governance model was not a "complete negative story". Echoing Ramesh's views, Abhishek Manu Singhvi said by demonising Modi all the time Congress was, in a way, is helping him.
Shashi Tharoor also joined the two leaders, saying that praising Modi for the right things he does would lend credibility to Congress's criticism of him.
It's worth noting here that after Congress's debacle in Lok Sabha elections, political pundits and a few Congress leaders had alerted Rahul Gandhi to refrain from launching negative campaigns against Narendra Modi.
Some even questioned Rahul's leadership skills and blamed him for keeping self above the party. But Rahul paid no heed to them.
The worry and concern of party leaders actually proved to be correct when Pakistan on Tuesday quoted Rahul Gandhi in its petition to the United Nations over India's decision to scrap Article 370.
Issuing a clarification, Rahul Gandhi asserted that J&K is India's internal matter and Pakistan has no right to interfere in it. He further said that the terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir is sponsored by Pakistan.
Rahul, once again, came under the fire for giving Pakistan a reason to showcase India in a bad light in front of the international community. Like his senior party colleagues, Rahul should have supported the government's decision on Kashmir because it serves India's national security interests.
Rahul Gandhi had to step down as Congress President following his party's poor performance in Lok Sabha elections and now with Pakistan using his name to score points on the international front, he has met another blow.
It's high time he realises that negative politics and his strategy to attack BJP and PM Modi all the time, would only harm his credibility.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)