As the long and arduous elections in India are nearing completion, the predictions about who might win are gathering pace. The entire campaigning is revolving around one person, that is Modi. It appears that Modi’s ability to skillfully communicate with people is still intact and he is making the best use of it. Here are five reasons Modi may be able to retain power.
Pulwama and the incidents following that:
The terror attack in Pulwama which snuffed out the lives of more than 40 security personnel came as a rude awakening to the people of India. The subsequent developments leading to the airstrikes in Balakot and the aerial dogfight between the two air forces have once again put the national security at the center stage. There is an overwhelming perception among a large section of the people that only Modi and his BJP can give the best possible attention to the national security and deal with Pakistan with the vigor it requires. So, in a way, the Pulwama terror attack came as a blessing in disguise to Modi, at a time when his prospects for reelection appeared uncertain.
The scare of Islamist terror:
The Easter Sunday bombings in the island nation of Sri Lanka reinforced the fears among the people of India about the deadly potential of the Islamist terror. The reports suggesting that there is a Tawheed Jamaat even in Tamil Nadu and the mastermind of the bombings spent a substantial amount of time in South India made people apprehensive that India may well be the next terror target. Once again, a large section of people feel that only Modi and his BJP can effectively combat the Islamist terror and safeguard the people, especially the Hindus. There is also a widespread perception that political parties such as Congress, Samajwadi Party and Trinamool Congress appease Muslims with an eye on their vote bank. Many also feel that the so-called secular parties, which indirectly foster extremist tendencies among Muslims, are unlikely to face the Islamic terror with the seriousness it deserves.
There is no challenger to Modi:
Modi, though his achievements in terms of welfare are scarce, gained a considerable amount of reputation as a strong and able leader with a mass appeal and no politician from the opposition can match his stature. Though some of his charisma has faded away with time, a large part of it is still intact preserving his predominant position as the prime vote catcher for the BJP.
The opposition is in tatters:
The scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family, who was ridiculed by Modi as mere “naamdaar” only represents a family legacy and doesn’t have any achievements to his credit. And moreover, he failed to prove himself as an effective bulwark against Modi and his far-right ideology. The so-called Third Front, which is a khichdi of various regional parties, is full of greedy and overambitious leaders without a national outlook. These leaders are unlikely to provide the much-needed stability and may push the country once again into the quagmire of policy paralysis.
The perception that Modi is a man of action:
One of the most important problems faced by pre-Modi era was the policy paralysis. The previous governments, for various reasons, would often get frozen into inaction which would result in things coming to a standstill. Modi, however, gained a reputation of being a workaholic and managed to create an impression that he is a man of action. Under his regime he took many vital decisions such as demonetization and the enforcement of the GST. Though the decisions had an adverse impact on the lives of the people, especially the poor, there is a widespread perception that he had at least taken some brave decisions which brought about some change in the socio-political landscape of the country.