Modi Magic the most popular PM after Nehru is how PM Modi is being presented as by his party and the media. Today when there are hundreds of polls being conducted on his popularity there is little doubt that he continues to the most popular leader. So it is now important to see once again what is it that made Modi popular and a talking point for the people and what expectations does PM Modi meet in face of where he took India in the last five years. This analysis is important for the country and the BJP because it is getting to be a Modi of 2014 vs Modi 2019. It is worth noting that while carrying out his election campaign in 2014 BJP PM nominee Narendra Modi had laid down his vision for the country and had said that this was the guide to what he will try to achieve if he is elected to power. So today after having given a full five year term by the people of this country one needs to go back to see what the BJP Nominee Narendra Modi said in 2014 as against what PM Modi achieved in 2019.
These are excerpts from his interview outlining his vision in which he stated that: ‘BJPs poll plank is development, and good governance and that he wants to prove all political pundits who believe that these issues cannot win an election wrong’. Indeed people from all religions, regions, caste, sub castes as also the first time voters really looked to this development narrative and voted for him . ‘I have moved from one part of the country to another I have seen firsthand the problems and challenges that our people face. I have seen the hopes and expectations as also the kind of talent and hard work people are ready to put in to improve their lives.’ On the welfare schemes he had stated that ‘job creation is our primary target there is no point in talking about hollow development schemes when people are not getting jobs’ . For the manufacturing sector as also for improving the job situation he had said’ we will focus on manufacturing sector that too with a sharp focus on micro , small and medium industry. The next war globally is the job war and we must prepare the country for that challenge.’ Outlining his vision for farm sector he stated ‘agriculture needs to be remunerative to the farmer the methodology of fixing MSP needs to be reviwed. We need to bring back focus on agriculture and irrigation’.
In the last five years if we look at farms and industries two major areas of focus of PM Modi then one can see that there is no new policy or fresh approach has been made. The MSP regime , introduced in the mid 60s by Indira Gandhi, continues infact there is a boast of increasing the amount of MSP instead to doing away it. In addition to this the effects of poor monsoon due to climate change continue to make agriculture a bane rather than be a lucrative proposition. Besides there is no new methodology or irrigation facilities as was talked of not even a vision in that direction. In the manufacturing sector has plight of the Indian medium, small , and cottage industries changed in these five years ? Most of them have folded up because of cheap imports from China, Vietnam, Thailand etc. Has the PM done anything for the small industry like – erecting tariff barriers to safeguard and revive the small industries or giving other sops like cheap raw material etc? A lot can be read in the numbers of agriculture and industrial production numbers in the last five years. These bread and butter issues will be on voters mind in 2019.
When Narendra Modi was asked that will his campaign enthuse the Muslims and other minorities to vote. He had states that ‘it is anachronistic to think that a community won’t be interested in development and good governance. Infact it is an insult to the intellect of the Indian voter by such parties that believed that voter can be made to forget about real issues of poverty and development and get him to vote in a particular manner just by making him insecure and through fear mongering’. During the last five years have really the issues of poverty been dealt with? How does the BJP explain the new trend of lynching minorities ? Incidents of Una, Pehlu Khan, Junaid will definitely be there on voters mind as also the clarity on who really is playing the one community against the another card. ‘The opposition does not realise that today’s India does not resort to fear mongering ‘ Modi had said. So today when BJP has gone to town talking about Balakot strikes stating that only a strong man like PM Modi can give a befitting reply it means that voters should be afraid of Pakistan. So how is India going to respond to the fear mongering over Pakistan in 2019 ?
What happened to the bogey of corruption that was the centre point of Narendra Modi’s election campaign in 2014 ? Today ,how is the BJP going to explain that nothing irregular was found in the coal block and spectrum allocation and that all inquiries by its own officers have been closed. Then there was a corruption charge on Gandhi’s in Associated Journal Ltd the court instead gave a partial judgement in favor of the Gandhi’s . Besides what has happened to cases on Robert Vadra for misappropriation of land ? While writing this article it is heard that Robert Vadra has gone to the High Court quashing the FIR filed against him. Instead of proving charges on any of the above issue it is getting to be a case of only crying hoarse and witch hunt. Maybe in future some cases will come to see a conclusion but as things stand today while going to election the needle of suspicion in wrongdoings has turned on Narendra Modi himself in Rafale deal. ‘ It will be our endeavour to ensure that CBI is no longer an institution that can be manipulated to achieve political ends ‘ said Narendra Modi in 2014. After what happened to CBI itself and to Akhilesh, Mayawati, Mamta Banerjee do these words hold true ?
So PM Modi lived upto what really he committed on development front farm, industry, employment, inflation bringing in black money through demonitisation ? Has there really been a foundation laid for a new beginning in any sphere or is it still the old hat of previous regimes that are being recirculated ? Narendra Modi PM Nominee had said that ‘the support we are getting is on the basis of our track record and the promises we have made’ and given a slogan of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas. Has the Vikas really begun for most if not sabka ? The Indian voter definately is clear eyed to give support to whether the real issues have been dealt with and what has been the track record of the govt in last five years besides fear mongering is not going to scare Indian voter. Isn’t it true PM Modi ?
**Bhagyashree Pande is Sr Journalist & political commentator lives in Mumbai