A Slogan That Exudes Confidence

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The BJP on its own is expected to win a comfortable majority and should have little problem crossing the 400 mark with the help of its NDA allies. While the BJP is on the upswing the Opposition’s INDIA alliance seems to be crumbling.

“Abki Baar Chaar Sau Paar” is the latest campaign slogan of the Bharatiya Janata Party. With a nice ring to it the slogan has been coined with the obvious intention of boosting the confidence of BJP cadre ahead of the general elections. It also reflects the confidence of the party and its undisputed leader Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has the uncanny ability to seize the moment and make it his own.

Such confidence is almost always borne out of performance which wins the approval of the people. It was on the strength of this performance that the party recently won assembly elections in three key states.  The Prime Minister has always been sure of his party’s victory in the coming polls. In his Independence Day address, he had said, “Next time, on August 15, from this very Red Fort, I will present to you the nation’s achievements and progress.” This was the statement of a supremely confident man who has turned anti-incumbency on its head.

As things stand today, Modi seems set to make electoral history come May 2024, when the Lok Sabha election is scheduled to be held. The BJP on its own is expected to win a comfortable majority and should have little problem crossing the 400 mark with the help of its NDA allies. While the BJP is on the upswing the Opposition’s INDIA alliance seems to be crumbling. Most importantly personal popularity of Narendra Modi and the wide endorsement his prime ministership elicits hope for the BJP.

In an important survey when asked to assess Modi’s performance as prime minister, 62.7 percent rated it as good or outstanding. The figure may not be as high as the 71.6 per cent Modi polled in January 2023, and way below the peak of 78 per cent in August 2020. But it is still very good and there are indications of growth in his popularity. That is a commendable record, and inextricably bound up with his personal popularity. The BJP stands to benefit the most if it can turn the coming Lok Sabha election into a presidential-style contest in which it will be Modi vs the Rest.

Rahul’s ratings, though, have improved after his Bharat Jodo Yatra (BJY) and Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra; they are far below Modi’s.  Modi and the BJP remain front runners in the race to win the 2024 Lok Sabha election.  On the positive side for the BJP, people have appreciated Modi’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. That is creditable given the enormous stress the country came under during the pandemic’s first and second waves. He shepherded the country through one of the world’s worst crises. The second in the list of this government’s achievements is the image of it being corruption-free. This is a huge achievement in a country like India where almost every government in the past has faced charges of corruption. This is in stark contrast to the perception of a scam-ridden UPA in the final year of its second term. The revocation of Article 370 and the Ram temple in Ayodhya are also achievements that people appreciate.  These three factors—handling of Covid, corruption-free governance and Ram Mandir – are also likely to be Modi’s chief electoral planks this time in addition to welfare schemes and infrastructure development.

Modi’s guarantee of making India the world’s third-largest economy is another important factor likely to help the BJP this time. The Modi government has also earned praise for its handling of Pakistan and China and for enhancing India’s international stature through the G20 presidency and other achievements on the external affairs front.

What the Modi government needs to concentrate on is delivering on all the key programmes initiated in the infrastructure and the welfare arenas. Those who work closely with the PM say he is hard focused on that agenda. He has done it in the past and he can do it again. His two terms as the Prime Minister of the country have convinced people that he is a leader who walks the talk. He has always delivered on his promises and he will do it again.

 

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