Living in the Modi erahttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/narendra-modi-bjp-gujarat-himachal-pradesh-assembly-elections-results-2017-congress-4995052/

Living in the Modi era

The impressive victories in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh (HP) are more evidence that people from east to west, north to south are supporting the prime minister for his pro-poor and development-oriented policies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BJP headquarters on Monday. (File/Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)

The electoral successes that the BJP is witnessing across India are a testimony to Narendra Modi’s stature as a true mass leader, motivator and selfless worker. The impressive victories in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh (HP) are more evidence that people from east to west, north to south are supporting the prime minister for his pro-poor and development-oriented policies.

Anti-incumbency has been the most talked-about factor in Indian politics. But in Gujarat, the Modi-Shah combine changed the narrative to pro-incumbency. In a democracy, the people’s verdict is supreme. And once again, the people have given their certificate of unflinching trust and support to the PM.

On the other hand, the Congress has crossed all bounds of absurdity. Despite being decimated in HP and suffering a sixth consecutive defeat in Gujarat, its newly-anointed president Rahul Gandhi is trying to project the BJP’s victories as a setback for the victorious party. The nation was expecting that post defeat, Rahul Gandhi will delve into some serious soul searching. But his remarks have once again proved that he is a non-serious leader, a politician who does not understand the pulse of the nation.

The Congress as a political outfit is at its lowest ebb today. The party faced its worst ever defeat in Uttar Pradesh, getting just seven MLAs despite being in an alliance. In Uttarakhand, it lost by a three-fourths margin. In states like Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, UP, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, where it used to form governments, it has been relegated to the third or fourth position.

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In Gujarat, despite running a highly casteist and communal campaign, outsourcing much of Congress’s electioneering and engaging in pseudo-Hindutva, Rahul Gandhi failed to dislodge the BJP. And now, he wants his party and its workers to celebrate their “good performance”.

The Congress president says he practises the politics of love, compassion and unity. By aligning with Hardik Patel, Rahul Gandhi cynically tried to fan casteist politics in Gujarat and disturb social harmony in the progressive state. This is a classic example of the Congress’s brand of opportunistic and negative politics. By joining hands with Jignesh Mevani and Alpesh Thakor, people with divisive agendas, Rahul Gandhi has given ample proof of his politics of compassion and love, of social harmony and unity.

The nation has not forgotten that it was Rahul Gandhi who visited Dadri in UP to fan passions over the death of Mohammad Akhlaq. He tried to gain political mileage out of the deaths in Ballabhgarh, Haryana. By engaging in petty politics over the death of a university student in Hyderabad, was Rahul Gandhi trying to give a message of peace and harmony? By aligning with JNU leaders shouting anti-India slogans, was he trying to promote national integration?

What Rahul Gandhi has failed to understand is that the Indian public is sensible enough to decipher his negative and divisive brand of politics. The people, through EVMs, have been giving an apt reply. They are fully aware of Rahul Gandhi’s political acumen and politics of convenience. For instance, he chooses to visit mosques during the elections in UP and temples in Gujarat. During the UP elections, he never went to the Ram Temple despite visiting Ayodhya.

Politics is a serious affair. It is not a “Pidi” business. Using his pet dog to ask political questions only shows his intellectual bankruptcy.

A politician’s life should be transparent and he should lead by example. But in Rahul Gandhi’s case, it is just the opposite. His long absences during Parliament sessions and his extended, secretive sojourns abroad lead to speculation. When Rahul Gandhi should be engaged in a serious assessment of his party’s drubbing in Gujarat and HP, he chooses to watch a movie. This shows the level of seriousness of the president of India’s oldest political party.

On November 8, 2016, Modi took the most courageous decision of his political career. He declared war against black money. Similarly, in 2017, the Modi government introduced the revolutionary GST regime. Despite efforts by opposition parties to malign the PM and doubt his intentions, it was the people who stood by his side and wholeheartedly supported his bold decisions.

All these decisions directly impacted all Indians. But Modi successfully passed the litmus test in the 2017 assembly elections in UP, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa. Now, the Gujarat and HP results have punctured the Opposition’s view that the country and its business class are against GST. Interestingly, Rahul Gandhi’s highly negative campaign against GST in the industrial township of Surat has fallen flat on its face, as the BJP has won a majority of the seats from the region.

Post 2014, the Narendra Modi juggernaut continues to roll across India, resulting in the BJP forming governments in 19 of the 29 states. Since Modi became the prime minister, the BJP has won nine states. Modi’s quest to make India great again is being strongly supported by the people. The Modi Era has strongly begun.

While people believe in the prime minister’s vision of creating a New India by 2022, the Congress president is busy sowing the seeds of hatred and negativity to meet his political goals. While Modi talks about growth and development, Rahul Gandhi harps on “vikas going mad”. India is witnessing an interesting struggle between the Modi brand of politics, which talks about inclusive growth and all-round development, and Rahul Gandhi’s politics of lies and negativity. Indian democracy and its electorate are mature enough to understand what is good for them. And election after election, the people are giving clear and decisive verdicts.