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  • For PM Modi Real Challenge is From Within

    Published on May 17, 2018

     

    By Suresh Unnithan

    New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is acclaimed for his resounding rhetoric often laced with caustic sarcasm. He could entice the “innocent” electorate with a range of tempting slogans like “sab ka saath, sab ka vikas” to “toilets before temples”. The same Narendra Modi at the last lap of his innings as Prime Minister looks anxious of the snowballing sentiments of the same electorates. It seems, the Prime Minister has of late realized, the dream -“Acche Din” (Good days are coming), he tried to hard sell has not yielded as much. Like many he also doubts if his slogan is proving counterproductive.

    These days the Prime Minister, instead of listing out his achievements give emphasis more to the “dubious” designs of the “fractured” Opposition and some “foreign forces”. A few of ultra nationalist media, particularly from those news channels who claim to be the “voice of the nation” and fight the “enemies of the nation” vociferously in the studio, also has taken up the onus to fight the opponents of the Prime Minister. The brand of “ultra nationalist” news anchors and reporters are vying to delight the ruling forces by pouncing on the Opposition, in certain instances without any valid reasons.

     

    The Prime Minister is smart enough to understand the designs of these channels and anchors who were haunting him till May 2014. Narendra Modi needs to be congratulated for making is hardcore media critic to wrestle for him. Modi is intelligent enough manipulate those irresolute scribes with certain “indications” and he has succeeded in that.

     

    The extra enthusiasm of these “omnipotent” journalists, annoy the band of neutral voters and they form a decisive force in the electoral battle. Similarly, the offensive language and irritating gestures of the latest brand of BJP spokespersons and the intolerance and arrogance they display in debates may be a cause of unease for a Prime Minister who is dreaming of a second term to “complete his mission”. A few of his cabinet colleagues, who have little administrative or political experience, are also contributing to the vows of Prime Minister Modi.

    Of late, there is popular perception is gaining strength that Narendra Modi’s image of invincibility has been dented. The series of jolts the BJP had in the recent elections is being highlighted to support the argument. The eloquent electoral show of a pale looking Congress party in Gujarat in last year’s assembly polls was a rude shock to the ubiquitous Prime Minister and his master strategist party chief Amit Shah . The BJP could creep through and mange to capture power with a slender margin. The polls outcome was nothing short of a warning to the saffron party, particularly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the electorates should not be taken for granted.

    The shocking by-poll results of Rajasthan further compounded the woes of the ruling BJP. A dull and dry Congress sprung a stunning surprise by captured all the three sitting seats of the ruling BJP -Alwar and Ajmer parliamentary seats and the Mandalgarh assembly segment, by a huge margin. In the BJP ruled state of Madhya Pradesh also the opposition Congress could retain the two seats, Mungaoli and Kolaras, in the recent by-elections.

    Amidst the electoral shockers, the saffron party and its star campaigner Modi got a chance to rejoice- in the form of a victory in the tiny North Eastern state of Tripura.

    But the ecstasy was soon taken away by a ruthless electoral jolt – twin defeat in the state of Uttar Pradesh, which the party is ruling with a brute majority.

    More miseries for the self proclaimed “Master Blasters” are in the making .

     

    The parting away of TDP from NDA was an unexpected blow the hitherto unconquerable Modi-Shah duo The Andhra Strongman Chandrababu Naidu gave a rude shock to Prime Minister Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah alike. A bit earlier another saffron ally Shiva Sena had stoutly challenged the “supremacy” by publicly declaring its intention to go alone in the upcoming Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

    Sena was incensed at the BJP’s move to befriend Sharad Pawar’s NCP, the saffron party’s move to bring closer Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress irked TDP.The nine- page open letter from Amit Shah to the estranged Chandrababu Naidu has almost closed the door for any rapprochement between TDP and the BJP.

    BJP’s relations with most of its electoral partners are fast receding.

    In Bihar Union minister Upendra Kushwaha’s Lok Samata Party (RLSP) has moved closer to Laloo’s RJD. Former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi quit NDA to join RJD, the arch rivals of the BJP.

    Kuldeep Bishnoi’s Haryana Janhit Congress which had tied up with BJP for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections has merged with Congress a year ago.

    Of late Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan has expressed his displeasure over the “off-the-cuff remarks” of certain BJP leaders. Mr Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) is an important ally of the BJP in the NDA.

    A few days ago while speaking to scribes in Lucknow RPI chief Ramdas Athawale, a minister in the Modi cabinet had said that the Modi wave was weakening and the BJP was likely to lose about 30 seats in Uttar Pradesh in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. “The situation is not like the one in 2014 when popularity of Narendra Modi was its peak,” he said.

    As senior political observer points out “quitting of a (NDA) partners is not a good sign.” According to him the BJP “is over confident and that will prove detrimental. There is a feeling among the supporters of the BJP that everything is Modi centric and none else has the power. Even Amit Shah is pawn.”

     

    A senior journalist who has been covering BJP for years said ” I have never seen ministers being so intolerant . I don’t want to name anyone. May ministers seem thin skinned and get offended by the most minor criticism of the government or themselves.”

     

    “For every internal wreck they have a standard answer ” 60 years of misrule” for every external messup “Pakistan”, he said.

    There is a feeling, more than the NDA government’s failures on the employment and agricultural fronts, it is the BJP’s and the government’s arrogance, “reflected in the Vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu’s characterisation of Modi as God’s gift to the Nation”, which has been undermining the saffron paty’s electoral prospects.

    “Ever since the Modi-led BJP came to power, it has been dismissive of everything that happened in the past and vowed to start on a clean slate after eradicating 1,200 years of slavery under the Muslims and the British.”

    There is a brewing public discontent on issues of severe concerns like ever escalating fuel pices. Citizens are more worried about their daily life and not on what happened a few centuries or even some decades past. The Prime Minister needs to be concerned of the present; else his “Ache Din” will meet with the same fate of previous NDA’s “India Shining”.