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Battle For 2019 : Fours Years On It Is Prime Narendra Modi Versus The Rest


File Picture Courtesy : The Indian Express
File Picture Courtesy : The Indian Express

Hate him, criticise him or even abuse him, but, don’t cast aspersions on his ability to surprise you. Given his passion for taking bold and challenging decisions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the street smart politician with a ‘thinking out of the box’ mind, could go for another-unthinkable by Indian politicians standard- step and stump his detractors.
Springing surprises is no big deal for the once a tea seller- turned former Gujarat chief minister- turned Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Let alone demonitisation or the surgical strike, even projects such as Jan Dhan Yojna or Swachh Bharat Abhiyan are ambitious ones.

Forget about availing loans, even opening an account in a bank was not so easy for the common man, before this scheme. Who would have ever imagined that a PM would speak about the ills of open defecation, the need for cleanliness or for that matter actively participate in Yoga sessions with a school goer’s enthusiasm? Or narrate passionately about the benefits of neem coating of urea. At least India hadn’t seen such an unconventional leader, before. The one predictable thing about Narendra Modi is that he is unpredictable. And unconventional in his approach and thoughts as a PM.

After almost four years of a winning spree, the post Karnataka 2018 Assembly election episode and the recently held by polls results have, no doubt, left the BJP, thinking. An enthused opposition-regional as well as national parties – has come under the common umbrella to challenge Modi and the saffron party in 2019 Lok Sabha Polls. And the political battle seems to have become increasingly clear – It is Modi versus the rest.

But, what is more worrying for BJP is the soaring fuel price. Not only the issue has been the national topic of discussion in the media for some time now , it’s provided the much needed ammunition to the Modi baiters to attack the government. And the slogan promising Acche Din now facing reality test.

With a few, politically very important, BJP ruled states in the Hindi belt (Madhya Pradesh, Chhatishgarh, Rajasthan) and the North Eastern state of Mizoram going to polls later this year before Lok Sabha elections, Modi and his team, will try use all tricks to bring down the fuel price to a level that will suit the consumer. They will strive hard to bring oil under the purview of the GST.

Also, Modi as one assumes may undertake some other steps, too, just on the eve of the Lok Sabha Polls- which no previous governments had dared to attempt, and the people find it unthinkable to implement. It will then hypothetically could  spoil the opponent’s honeymoon as well as silence his  ardent critics.

The surgical strikes by the Indian army had been celebrated by the nation, Modi became a national hero. Even, despite the terrible inconveniences caused by demonitisation, Indians stood by the government, as many believed it was the first major war against black money. Continuous media coverage of long queues in front of banks and ATMs, job loss, old parents crying for cash for their children’s marriage or oppositions criticisms couldn’t stop Modi’s popularity from swelling. The public perception was, “Only Modi could take such measures, nobody else.”

One therefore expects that PM Modi will try to recreate the same image before 2019 general elections. After all perception matters the most in the political stock market.

About Debi Mohanty

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