With Modi-led BJP storming into power with a landslide victory in 2019 general elections, it’s time to examine factors that propelled the saffron party to the second term in the office.
Modi wave swept the country yet again, this time with more ferocity though. On its way to a landslide majority in 2019 general elections, the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bettered its 2014 tally to end up with 303 seats, 229,075,170 votes, 37.36% of the total mandate, and 6.02% vote upswing. Such a stellar performance cannot be attributed to one single factor, as there were several of them at play, some profound and some less so. Here’re the top four factors that propelled Modi towards a second consecutive term in the office.
While the personal popularity of Narendra Modi has dipped a bit lately, it was still good enough to keep the party poised for a return to power. To put this in perspective, let’s consider some stats courtesy the Mood of the National Poll. The study puts Modi’s popularity at 34%, about 12% more than his prime competitor for the top post, Rahul Gandhi. This is largely due to the BJP think tank’s painstaking efforts to revive, rebrand and remodel Brand Modi.
BJP’s entire campaign messaging was centered on Modi, projecting him as an efficient administrator and an incorruptible leader of masses who rose through the ranks to lead India into a new era of social justice and economic growth. The opposition failed to develop a counter-narrative and slumped to a crushing defeat in wake of the Modi wave.
Last Mile delivery:
Though popular schemes were high on the agenda of previous governments, only a few of the schemes could make a real impact due to unrealistic planning, poor implementation, and rampant corruption. Contrarily, the Modi government in its first tenure not only launched schemes but ensured their last-mile delivery as well. Cooking gas connections were distributed through UJJWALA YOGNA, affordable housing ensured via PRADHAN MANTRI AWAS YOJANA, financial inclusion aimed with PRADHAN MANTRI JAN DHAN YOJANA and insurance brought to the weaker sections of the society through PRADHAN MANTRI SURAKSHA BIMA YOJANA.
How the schemes panned out on the ground is debatable but at least they were there for the voters to see. The schemes helped build a popular perception that Modi government is serious about poverty elevation and removing economic disparity, reported ETV Bharat.
The Hindutva Factor:
BJP’s existence and rise are closely linked to the Hindutva factor. The party burst on to the scene to champion the cause of the Hindu majority that per it ‘suffered’ at the hands of Muslim rulers. In its entire history, the saffron party has been raising the issue of Muslim appeasement by successive Congress governments and promoting extreme nationalism. Despite some serious efforts to woo minority voters, the tag of the right-winged party stays intact to this day.
In the 2014 general elections, BJP managed to consolidate right-wing Hindu voters and walk into power. This time around the story was no different, according to ETV news today. BJP and its parent organization, RSS, mobilized workers to rekindle the Hindutva factor to their advantage.
Pulwama and Balakot:
On Feb 14, 2019, when India was gearing up for a massive electoral exercise, 40 CRPF soldiers were killed in suicide attack orchestrated by the Pakistan-based, banned terror outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammad. The Modi government responded to this act of terror with an airstrike on Feb 26 when Indian warplanes violated the LOC to ravage militant training camps in Balakot.
Per ETV news live, the nationalistic fervor picked up pan India and voters across age groups, occupations and ethnicities consolidated behind the Modi government. It was a classic case of emotions translating into electoral gains.