Will Uttar Pradesh give charismatic Modi a counterblast?
Lucknow, March 04: The campaign has already begun for the 7th and final phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections 2017. 40 constituencies will go to polls on March 8 on the last lap.
Now, the debate raging within the Bharatiya Janata Patry is on whether the party had to give undue importance to the Modi Charisma.
BJP strategists are worried that, if BJP fails to emerge as the single largest party in Uttar Pradesh, the image and charisma of Narendra Modi would take a hit and negatively impact the party during the 2019 general elections.
In May 2014, India got a Prime Minister who had won the trust of a majority of voters.
With his personality, oratory skills and by embracing formerly unheard of political strategy, the man broke away conventions.
The Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will prove to be a trial by fire for Narendra Modi who has completed half of his term.
The major reason behind this is that he has started an extremely centralised form of politics.
‘Surgical strike’ and ‘demonetisation’ are two major activities that influenced both the commoner and the connoisseur. Leave aside critics, Narendra Modi didn’t let even give his senior colleagues a faint smell of these.
If someone raised a hue and cry about keeping things under wraps, Narendra Modi had a solid answer in the fear of loss of confidentiality.
In this election, the Bharatiya Janata Party hasn’t named a chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand or Manipur. Clearly, the BJP believes that it can win these elections with the help of Brand Modi.
If the Bharatiya Janata Party loses these assembly elections, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, the biggest loser will be the same Brand Modi.
The BJP, in fact, fell back on polarisation politics in Uttar Pradesh.
BJP chief Amit Shah’s road show at Gorakhpur last day, passing Muslim dominated areas Kasraghat and Alinagar with the slogans – “Ek hi naara, ek hi naara, Jai Sri Ram, Jai Sri Ram,” and “Gorakhpur mein rehna hai, Yogi Yogi kehna hai,” Chanted on air.
Gorakhpur MP Mahanth Yogi Adityanath went on record saying that if Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in Uttar Pradesh “Ram temple will be built in Ayodhya.”
The disaster in Bihar is very much in the minds of BJP leaders, and to balance the negative effects of demonetization, the party strategists had advised leaders not to overplay with Modi Brand in Uttar Pradesh.
The Bharatiya Janata Party took comfort from the raging Samajwadi Party family feud, leaving the Indian National Congress in total confusion.
Union Home minister Rajnath Singh is BJP’s proposed Chief Minister face for Uttar Pradesh.
Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance, which dramatically changed the electoral expectations is said to have “unnerved” the BJP, and the party apparently had “no option but to fall back on its charisma and vote catcher, the Prime Minister.
Taking all these facts into consideration, what would be the answer to the big question, will Uttar Pradesh give charismatic Modi a counterblast?
Let us wait till 11th March.