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Modi’s Countless Narratives confusing Opposition

With polling over for virtually half the seats, the 2024 Parliamentary elections are expected to throw up many surprises. While it is difficult to predict the final outcome, one thing remains certain that the BJP shall be the single largest party. Therefore, the likelihood of the BJP heading the next government is more than that […]

With polling over for virtually half the seats, the 2024 Parliamentary elections are expected to throw up many surprises. While it is difficult to predict the final outcome, one thing remains certain that the BJP shall be the single largest party. Therefore, the likelihood of the BJP heading the next government is more than that of any other party or alliance.

However, the BJP appears to be shifting gears very fast and the manner in which the Prime Minister, who is the spearhead of the Saffron brigade’s campaign, has been raising countless issues, it is evident that he wants to leave the Opposition confused. The polls commenced with the BJP slogan of “Abki Baar 400 par’’ and “Modi ki Guarantee’’. Even at that time the target of 400 seemed impossible and the call was more to enthuse cadres and demoralize the adversaries. Many channels took this target seriously knowing fully well that it was not a mathematics paper that was to be solved where any candidate knowing all the answers could obtain cent percent marks.

The probability of the BJP and its allies going past the 400 mark was improbable given that it would have been impossible for anyone to win all the seats which were being contested. The only time the 400 mark has been crossed in a Parliamentary election was in 1984 when the Congress secured 400 plus seats in the aftermath of the tragic assassination of Indira Gandhi by her own security guards. It was the Nations tribute to the greatest mass leader of the last century and reports suggested that even the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh had backed the Congress at that time. Whether this was true or not is something which the RSS leadership alone can tell.

However, not much has been written about the role of the RSS in the ongoing elections, and most people take it for granted that the Sangh was participating in the electoral process in the same manner it had in the last two Lok Sabha polls.

The RSS shall be celebrating 100 years of its existence next year and it is possible that its functionaries and cadres may be preparing for this grand event. Interestingly, Rahul Gandhi who used to regularly take pot shots at the Sangh, has of late stopped attacking the RSS and is solely concentrating on the BJP and the Prime Minister. Narendra Modi in one of his recent speeches had accused the Congress leadership of receiving loads of money from the Ambanis and the Adanis as a result of which they had stopped attacking these industrial houses. It was perhaps his way of distancing himself from the Ambanis and Adanis, who have been the focus of the Congress attacks in the past, on the ground that they had made loads of money because of their proximity with the ruling dispensation. The fact is that one day before this claim was made, Rahul Gandhi had mentioned Adani by name in one of his speeches.

Nevertheless, if one goes by the logic that Congress had been silent on its allegations against Adani and Ambani since there had been some kind of a deal, a similar inaccurate inference can be drawn over its holding back fire against the RSS. Obviously, no one would ever believe that the RSS approach in these elections favoured the Congress, particularly because there is no evidence of this, and it could merely be a coincidence that Rahul has stopped his attacks on the Sangh for the time being. Thus, it is not easy for any political analyst to infer conclusively on this matter. And why would RSS not want a BJP headed government in the Centre at this juncture. The Prime Minister’s recent onslaughts against the Congress also seemed to be uncharacteristic, and it is evident that his speech writers are short on their homework. Now who can explain why the Muslims would be in the Indian Cricket team if the Congress were to come to power.

There have been distinguished sportsmen belonging to that faith in our National side ever since Independence. Two such gentlemen, the Nawab of Pataudi (Mansoor Ali Khan) and Mohammad Azharuddin even skippered the side. There were players such as Abbas Ali Baig, Salim Durrani, Zaheer Khan and Syed Kirmani in the past and the current stars include Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj and so on. Obviously, they have been selected on merit and not because of their religion. The latest bloomer by the speech writers was when in Odisha in an attack on the Chief Minister, the Prime Minister wondered whether Naveen Patnaik even knew the number of districts in his State, and also what were the capitals of these districts. Now, the districts do not have capitals and this is something which should have never made a part of the discourse.

There are innumerable other examples. The short point is that in elections, a lot of things are said and spoken in the heat of the moment. Therefore, there should be no distraction from the issues which the people feel are paramount and could influence the outcome. The BJP with its robust organizational network has an advantage over others but cannot afford to take things for granted. Narendra Modi is a very seasoned campaigner and it is not beyond him to lay traps for his opponents by making statements that would engage them in smaller battles while it is the war that is important and needs to be won. The answers to a lot of quizzes would be provided on June 4th when the results come out.

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