If Modi comes back, will the Constitution not survive? If the opposition comes, will the mangalsutra also be snatched away? The battle of narrative in the election campaign

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
6 Min Read

New Delhi : The battle of Lok Sabha elections is now moving towards its final stage. The sixth phase of voting will be held on Saturday. After that only the seventh and the last phase of voting will remain. Now in one or two weeks, the picture will be decided as to who will form the new government. Will Narendra Modi be able to do the miracle of forming the government for the third consecutive time, which only Jawaharlal Nehru could do till now? Will the opposition alliance be able to stop Modi's victory chariot? The whole picture will become clear in one or two weeks. This time the election campaign also looks quite interesting. In a way, both the ruling party and the opposition are doing 'politics of fear'. Some are showing the fear of dictatorship, while others are showing the fear of misery. On one hand, the opposition is trying to set the narrative that if Modi becomes the Prime Minister for the third time, the Constitution will not survive. On the other hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is giving a different interpretation of the Congress manifesto based on the statement of Congress leader Sam Pitroda. He is warning the public that if the opposition alliance comes to power, there will be a survey of the property. If there are two buffaloes, one of them will be snatched and given to the intruders. Even the mangalsutra of women will be snatched away.

The BJP had started campaigning much before the announcement of the election dates. It was implementing its strategies, while the opposition was still trying to ensure that all the anti-BJP parties come under one umbrella. Parties came and parted ways. The opposition's initiative to field a common candidate against the BJP backfired in states like West Bengal, Kerala and Punjab. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the architect of opposition unity, joined the NDA camp as the elections approached and is now raising the slogan 'Iss Baar 400 Paar'. PM Modi himself has given this slogan. Whether the NDA will be able to cross this target or not will become clear on the day of the results, but in the first 3-4 phases of the election, '400 Paar' was being heard. The NDA kept making this claim. The opposition kept rejecting it. Kept saying that no, no, 400 will not be crossed.

The era of guarantees is going on. The Prime Minister is saying that Modi's guarantee means that the guarantee will be fulfilled. The opposition kept counting its guarantees. Congress took out 25 guarantees from its bag. Big claims like literally eradicating poverty are being made. Amidst the guarantees and claims, 'politics of fear' is also going on. Everyone is showing their 'truth' and 'fear' of others to the public. On one side there is fear of dictatorship. On one side there is fear of the Constitution being abolished and on the other side there is fear of downfall and destruction.

The BJP's election campaign is focused on showing a 'bright picture of a bright India' for tomorrow. The claim is that whatever happened in the last 10 years is just a trailer. The BJP is confident of scoring a hat-trick of coming to power at the Centre. But this confidence of 'Abki Baar 400 Paar', 'Phir Se Modi' is not the overconfidence of 'India Shining' and 'Feel Good' 20 years ago in 2004. At that time Atal Bihari Vajpayee had held Lok Sabha elections before time by miscalculating the 'favourable wave' among the public. A golden picture of the country was presented by running the 'India Shining' and 'Feel Good' campaign, but when the results came, the Vajpayee government was dismissed. To ensure that the history of 2004 is not repeated, this time the BJP is not only counting the achievements and public welfare policies of the Modi government, but is also counting the shortcomings of the previous governments.

On the other hand, the opposition is creating a narrative that BJP needs 400 seats so that it can change the Constitution. It can abolish it. It is raising the fear of dictatorship. It is being claimed that BJP will abolish reservation. Claims are being made to eradicate extreme poverty. This is all a war of narratives. Now whose narrative is resonating among the public, it will be clear from the results.

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