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OpinionsAfter December 3 Poll results Narendra Modi’s Chariot may run faster for...

After December 3 Poll results Narendra Modi’s Chariot may run faster for Lok Sabha Polls


Congress will have a very short time to neutralise the impact of boost to BJP before may 2024

By Sushil Kutty

The thumping victories in the ‘Hindi Heartland' has given a tremendous boost to the BJP going forward. In fact, it took Prime Minister Narendra Modi only hours to claim total dominance and he did not hold back from warning the Opposition to mend its ways and stop “coming in between” the people and the government's welfare schemes. With that the BJP launched its campaign for General Elections 2024.

The Prime Minister made sure to convey that the welfare schemes of the BJP made all the difference. He commended the “double-engine ki Sarkars” for the BJP's victories. In the process, Modi identified the issues on which the BJP will fight GE 2024. Top of the list is “corruption”, which Modi said was top of the mind of the electorate. The Congress fought on the “oust Modi” plank and “vilifying Modi” did not work. No doubt Rahul Gandhi's “Panauti” jibe was top of the PM's mind.

In fact, lots of things were on top of the PM's mind. The BJP's “hat-trick” for one thing – a huge boost for the BJP's chances in GE 2024. “Some people are even saying that today's hat-trick has guaranteed the hat-trick of 2024,” Modi said, carrying forward his “guarantee” rhetoric of the 5-states' assembly elections. Modi's “guarantees” were the BJP's winning cards. The BJP will be issuing more such “Modi guarantees”.

The BJP sweep in Madhya Pradesh and the Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh victories is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's chance to hit back on Rahul Gandhi. Now, who is the “bad omen”? Expect the BJP to keep the “Panauti” jibe alive and kicking.

Actually, a feeling of déjà vu dominated December 3. There was evidence of the dexterous hand of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister had put his face and his name on the anvil. The irony is, it's not a Nehru-Gandhi family member who wants to match Jawaharlal Nehru's three-term prime ministerial record.

The Congress victory in Telangana is special but the “south” held no surprises for the BJP. On the other hand, if the Congress had lost, it would have made stunning headlines. So, what is next? The December 3 results are a wake-up call for the Congress and other opposition parties. Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has called for an emergency INDI-Alliance meeting. But it will be held in the shadow of setbacks.

The way things look, the INDI-Alliance meeting could end up as a conclave of undertakers. Add to that the fact that the BJP has hit the deck running. The victories are a massive boost to the BJP rank and file. The only note of concern, did the BJP peak too early? The flip side is, the Congress has little time to bounce back even if the BJP has very little time to pick up the pieces in the “south”.

Going forward, with 2024 in mind and because it worked, the BJP will play the Hindu card with renewed vigour. Especially, after Rahul Gandhi said his Congress will not deviate from its ideology. The Congress will stick to the Muslim card. A consolidation of Hindu votes is the antidote to the rock solid Muslim vote-bank. With Pasmanda Muslim appeasement a non-starter, Modi will stick to aggressive Hindu appeasement. The grand opening of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir on January 24 ranks highest in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's “to do” list before the 2024 general elections.

But it's the welfare schemes of BJP governments that were the real deal, the authentic vote-spinners. In Uttar Pradesh or in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan made merry with the “ladli behna” scheme. Just like the medley of ‘labarthi schemes' of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The Prime Minister on Sunday evening warned the Congress and other opposition parties to stop ridiculing BJP governments' welfare schemes. Running down the Opposition's “Caste Census” demand along with Rahul Gandhi's “jitni abaadi, utni hisedaari” OBC card. Expect the BJP to take full advantage of Rahul Gandhi's bullheadedness on these two issues. Modi's “four castes” of “mahila, kisan, yuva and garib” is the BJP's foil to Rahul's “Caste Census”.

Fact is, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has transitioned from frontrunner to definite winner in the prime ministerial stakes after the results for the three states were declared, while Rahul Gandhi has transitioned to “also-ran” with these results. With one fell stroke, all bets are now off, unless the INDI-Alliance pulls up its socks and the Congress mellows its rhetoric.

As of today, there is nothing in heaven that will stop Prime Minister Narendra Modi from a third term. Till three months ago, there wasn't even an inkling of BJP winning the three states. Today, the Chhattisgarh victory is a miracle. In Rajasthan, Gehlot magic went “choomantar” and “Modi Magic” worked in Madhya Pradesh. Going forward, Modi will say all sorts of words to provoke Rahul Gandhi into ‘Panauti' moments. That is a Modi guarantee that Rahul Gandhi should be aware of. The BJP will fight General Elections 2024 also on Modi's name and face. That will be yet another Modi guarantee. (IPA Service)




The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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