Going beyond all expectations, the 2014 elections were a complete reversal of fortunes for the BJP. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government won the largest majority of 38.5% total vote share with the BJP alone accounting for 31.0% votes. BJP and its allies won the right to form the largest majority government since the 1984 general election, and it was the first time since the 1984 election that a party has won enough seats to govern without the support of other parties. For the congress party, it was the worst defeat in a general election. With 8.1% of the total seats, congress was unable to gain even 10% of the seats in the Lok Sabha which would have made it an eligible official leader of opposition.
The elections were historic, to say the least- all due to the charm and charisma of one man- Narendra Modi. The historic 2014 campaign was undertaken by Narendra Modi with much motivation and precision to reach out to the people of India in order to convey the message of development and good governance. Never before in India’s electoral history has a leader emerged as such a bright ray of hope for the people. It would not be an exaggeration to describe the Modi campaign as one of the biggest mass mobilisation exercises seen anywhere in the history of electioneering. He was everywhere, questioning the congress, addressing the issues and mobilizing the masses to see a better future. Congress had innumerable corruption scandals along with questionable policies and weak moves towards national crisis. Manmohan Singh, though highly qualified and well read, was a silent man, moving on the whims and fancies of Sonia Gandhi, an Italian born woman who herself was not eligible for the post of the Prime Minister. The citizens of India were tired with the nepotism and dominance of one family for almost 60 years. They needed a change and Narendra Modi provided that refreshing change to them. He was a Prime Ministerial nominee who was not only vocal with the people but also addressed all the issues.
Rahul Gandhi, it seems has studied the Modi tactic well and has even managed to imitate it to a great extent specially when it comes to being seen everywhere and speaking everything, regardless of whether he even has anything to speak about. The fact that his and PM Modi’s parties are separate with separate challenges, he missed out. The mantra of being everywhere and speaking everywhere is backfiring for the grand old party in more ways than one. The Rahul Gandhi led Congress has no acclamation to its name in the past 5 years, having not even successfully made it as the official opposition party, they have little standing. Coupled by this misfortune is the fact that they still have quite a lot of skeletons in their closet which they would prefer to keep hidden. In a recent campaign while addressing students in Tamil Nadu, Rahul Gandhi though continuously criticising PM Modi continuously, was himself asked a few uncomfortable questions regarding his brother in law, Robert Vadra who is currently facing illegal land acquisition charges. Moreover, to hide their own misgivings Rahul Gandhi’s rallies are nothing more than accusatory sessions against PM Modi. In an effort to criticise the present government, all that Congress party president is doing is harping on the old fizzled out topic of the Rafael deal, without any cohesion. Since this is the only BJP made deal that has yielded some speculation in the last 5 years. Nevertheless, Rahul Gandhi, by employing this tactic is only being vocal about his dubiousness on the functioning of the Supreme Court of India as the apex court has categorically stated that there is no occasion to doubt the process of signing the Rafale deal.
Besides, the masses aren’t even keen to attend the rallies since there is nothing substantive in them. People attend the rallies to listen to speeches of other Congress leaders such as those of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and leave as soon as the party President steps up. Coupled by the failed leadership of Rahul Gandhi is the fact that most of the leaders of Congress are either leaving the party and joining others or are refusing to contest the Lok Sabha elections, preferring to remain in their state. In such a situation, wanting to adopt PM Modi’s campaigning style seems vacuous.
Moreover, the Congress party lacks an organizational figure like Amit Shah. In congress, the Party President and the Prime Ministerial candidate is the same, one who is not very competent at that. In BJP, there is a proper delegation of powers with capable people holding the ranks and not just those belonging to a particular family.
There is a huge support for the present government, as visible through the surveys. Rahul Gandhi is not being able to successfully offer any alternate approach in his campaign which will make the people abandon their support for the current government, because they don’t have any. This leads them back to accusations and propaganda. While the cacophony Rahul Gandhi has created with incoherent ramblings might be enough for his cheerleaders, it is unlikely to resonate with the citizens. Adopting the Modi election campaign style for a party of Congress’ position has been nothing short of a political suicide.
Get real time updates about our posts directly on your device