PM Modi’s resurgence as the hot favourite to lead the nation tells you nationalism is all that counts
Saugand Tujhe Is Mitti Ki Ye Desh Nahi Mitne DoongaPM Narendra Modi
At a huge congregation on victory day, PM Narendra Modi told a jam packed gathering, rest assured, whatever I will do it will be for the good of the country. He said this country is thanked immensely for reposing faith in the BJP. He said the poor who needed to be given their due will gain because this government wants to take you along.
The feeling one got from talking to people though was a slight pain during the elections. There were stories of how jobs had been lost, there were cases where demonetisation hit the trader hard. There was usual rhetoric about how 15 lakh did not reach accounts and ofcourse the divide was way high than expected.
What gets clear with the result now is that nationalism has been a trump card that the BJP played well and have been able to encash votes to break a 47 year old record, joining the league of Iron Lady Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.
The idea that here is a government that will go that extra mile to enter Pakistan and blow up terror camps is a deeply entrenched idea, which becomes obvious.
As a young journalist I have followed Narendra Modi and his tenure, I realize that the one thing that is rather a reality now is that Modi has left no other option. As a case in point now the average voter when voting, irrespective of the candidate votes for Modi.
Needless to say the campaign solely rested on the shoulder of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.
Experts who are being quoted maintain that controlling the narrative vis a vis national security has helped reap dividends.
India entered her election when Congress managed to taste victory in some states, the economy was in bad shape. Jobs were not as good as expected, economic slowdown and job fears haunted the nation.
For Modi the Balakot airstrikes post Pulwama gave India reason to believe that they were ruled by a gutsy man at the helm.
There were repeated calls by the Indian premier to hit the heart of Pakistan and hit them hard.
While Modi often seen as the Hindu Hriday Samrat has sweeped these elections, the BJP stayed away from issues of unemployment, price rise and economic hardship.
Even as a strong Rafale expose story broke, the grand old party could do little to dent the vote of the BJP.
Even Rahul Gandhi’s Chowkidar Chor Hai could do little to save the sinking Congress.
The Hindu Khatre Mein Hain line interestingly caught the fancy of many a voter.
For many poll watchers the Kedarnath visit in itself was steeped in symbolism from the religious hue.
Not just did this wipe out Congress and the much-hyped mahagathbandhan, in India’s most populous state it gave Hindutva an edge over the caste cauldron of SP-BSP.
Even in Didi’s Bengal BJP played the Hindu card to the hilt. Doing sword-wielding rallies during Ram navami, charging Mamata of playing with Hindu sentiments and the controversial illegal immigration all aided to the eventual rise of the Modi 2.0 era.
The rainbow coalition of SP, RLD and BSP could do little to halt the Modi juggernaut.
The Hindutva push by the BJP was evident given that they pushed faces like Jaisiddheshwar Mahaswamiji in Sholapur, Yogi Adityanath and even Pragya Thakur.
Much like the usual plan, even 2019 has been the brainchild of the Chanakya of BJP, Amit Shah.
Spearheading one of the most divisive campaigns in recent past, Shah now is looking at occupying a prominent post after the win. Some reports say he could be Home Minister..
Despite voter discontent on issues like lack of jobs and farm distress the BJP has managed to surass their performance back in 2014.
Amit Shah had launched a vitriolic attack against Muslim immigrants where he likened them to termites.
As an ace strategist Amit Shah has run 29 elections from municipal bodies to parliament losing none.
Travelling 150,000 km to address 161 public rallies he covered vast swathes of India in election season.
Opinion widely suggests that the Congress got too over confident with wrong lessons from wins in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
An editorial in a leading publication points out – Congress made two fundamental errors in campaign strategy. One, it played to Modi’s strength. Two, it bet its bottom rupee on a negative campaign, trying to stoke anger against Modi.