With Election Commission announcing poll dates, the nation is once again ready to experience and witness a high octane political drama. Both the camps, BJP and Congress, have been campaigning in their own styles and attacking each other personally and politically. Not only this, the back end brainers for these parties have been analyzing voter movements, possibilities of stitching alliances, working on youth enrollment drives and strengthening their manifestoes.
Both the parties have also been engaged in bringing rebel leaders in their own camps. Things have turned ugly for both the parties on different occasions yet both these grandular parties have taken on each other dauntlessly. It’s just 30 days before the nation starts voting for its next Prime Ministerial candidate, let’s have a quick look at how BJP stands on a strong ground then Congress and how factors discussed below may help BJP in securing another resounding victory.
After the failure in assembly elections of three states of central India, all of us thought that BJP might go on backfoot. It happened too, party units in these states were unable to explain their defeats and the national executive meet was called in by BJP supremo Amit Shah in order to introspect and work on party’s failure in the Hindi heartland.
Having said that the scenario changed drastically over a period of last 30 days. No need to guess and pretty obvious reason, the Balakot Air Strikes played heavily in favor of Modi nourishing his alpha male personality. The party was not far behind in taking the credits for organizing the retaliatory attack to the unfateful Pulwama Attack planned by Pakistan based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
Experts often talk about the ever-increasing organizational footprint of BJP which boosted further after 2014, but, as highlighted by media, the digital footprint of the party is phenomenal too. Formation of booth level WhatsApp groups, organizing targeted messaging, providing lucrative short term benefits to unemployed youngsters (like providing them with a mobile phone, official title, bike, petrol and a networking opportunity with leaders present at the higher rung of the politics), buying out influential social media accounts, robing in celebrities to endorse the social welfare schemes of the party, formulating creative and celebrity-centric songs and visuals have yielded positive and game-changing results for the saffron unit.
To a large extent, all of it has come from big corporates who are having long meetings with RSS brainers and BJP back end election managers.
Nobody can beat BJP in setting up and managing the ground-level network of rowdy karyakartas. The time to time grooming of these karyakartas through sammelans and programs have made them politically sound and an asset for the party. However, one can argue that these karyakartas are the only ones abusing Ravish Kumar and Barkha Dutt on social media but then that is what they are getting paid for. It has done nothing but reinforced the false notions of Hindu ideology and Saffronisation in the minds of the largest voter base- lowest strata of the society.
Through this network, the party has been able to set up a robust monitoring mechanism which has provided an upper hand to BJP over other cadre-based parties. I was told that all the campaigning collaterals (pamphlets, flags, caps, vests etc.) being distributed by central party unit to state party units is being recorded and accounted for. The rigid and well-maneuvered hierarchy of booth team followed by city level team and state unit is being carefully monitored by the central war room situated in Deen Dayal Marg, Delhi.
Party’s “Mera Booth Sabse Majboot” strategy has been the core of all the initiatives that has resulted in massive vote conversions. Cadre and leadersip of RSS has provided more firmness and smoothness in carrying out political operations at national and state level.
Coming on top of all this is the oratory skills and political optics set by PM Modi. The recent incident of PM Modi washing feet of sanitation workers went viral on social media. His official Instagram profile is full of pictures making the audience believe in his machoism style statement and larger than life character. Mann ke Baat and Pariksha Pe Charcha initiatives have struck the right chord with the people of India. These initiatives give the public a sense that PM is one amongst them only and available personally for interaction with them. Adding this is the Modi print sarees, Modi kurtas, Uri, Chalo Jeete Hain and PubG memes!
On the ideological front, RSS has been on guard. The typical Nehru-Gandhi narrative has been doing rounds on social media for quite some time now. Moreover, the camps organized by RSS have focussed on propagating the saffronized picture of historical events and other information and asked its cadre to circulate it further.
In fact, recently, right-leaning think-tanks have been publishing several reports, working papers and other forms of publications outlining the achievements of various social welfare programmes initiated by Modi led BJP government. RSS affiliated bodies have been supporting various printing and digital based initiatives circulating party’s and RSS’s ideology.
Having said this, it is not that Modi or BJP is invincible but at present, the nation lacks a strong alternative and a unified political outfit that can overturn the narrative being played by BJP and take on Narendra Modi single-handedly.
Image 1: Twitter Account of BJP
Image 2: India Today
Image 3: Twitter Account of BJP
Image 4: Twitter Account of BJP
Image 5: Yuva India TV