The primary axis of the BJP campaign is led by Narendra Modi in his public outreach in the three crucial Hindi states
Speaking at a series of public meetings as part of his first round of election campaign for the five states of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stealing the first mover advantage, stuck deep chords with the huge number of people who attended, by seeking another mandate for his party based on his good work and drawing attention to the contrasting track record of failure and apathy of the Opposition, especially the Congress.
Prime Minister Modi rightfully set the tone by reminding people that, while the last four months of the year are marked by a plethora of festivals, the mood for festivity started early this year owing to the Nari Shakti Kalyan Bill (women’s reservation bill), which was introduced and passed by Parliament as its first major work after shifting to the new building.
Mr Modi put a lot of energy and effort into the election campaign, driven by his strong view that democracy is primarily and principally about the power of the vote given to the people, which they must exercise to select the people they wish to govern them. Under his leadership and that of home minister Amit Shah, the BJP has placed extraordinary importance on fighting and winning elections, which it sees as the central activity of democracy and the rightful focus of any political party.
Looking at the drama and excitement, and the sights and sounds of the election campaigns, most commentators and observers of Indian elections describe them as a festival of democracy. Indeed, the term has now acquired the legendary status of a cliché. Irrespective of the voter mood or indicative outcomes of poll surveys, the BJP led by Mr Modi fights all elections like the Indian cricket team fights under the captaincy of an M.S. Dhoni, a Virat Kohli or a Rohit Sharma.
The primary axis of the BJP campaign is led by Narendra Modi in his public outreach in the three crucial Hindi states (together, they decide 65 Lok Sabha seats, with the BJP virtually getting all of them), where the saffron party is in direct faceoff with its main rival, the Congress, and in the significant southern state of Telangana, where the two national parties, the BJP and the Congress, are fighting to dislodge the regional party incumbent, which, in turn, is seeking an unprecedented achievement in south Indian politics — a hat-trick.
The hurly burly of elections has just started, with even the dates of the polls not yet having been announced, though all the players in the game are ready and in waiting — parties, leaders, aspirants, marketers, pollsters, survey firms, experts, media and campaign enablers. If it is a festival, the market is abuzz with excitement and happy for the opportunity.
The Congress has also responded strongly, and is setting the narrative to suit its own strength, buoyed by its successes against the BJP in Himachal and Karnataka. A few more wins against the BJP directly in different states will give the INDIA alliance much-needed confidence.
But irrespective of what verdicts are delivered by the people, the mood is electric, leading to the prospect of more people taking part in elections and a big part of credit to Mr Modi who leads the way by creating excitement about the polls.