How Modi won 2019- TsuNaMo 2.0
TsuNaMo 2.0: Modi has reinvented Indian politics and this landslide indicates some deep structural shifts. What accounts for the shift from anti-incumbency in 2014 to pro-incumbency? On the positive side inflation was managed well but on the negative side joblessness & farm distress appears to have grown more acute. What role did the Welfare Schemes, Balakot Air Strike & Modi`s popularity played in this historic mandate? The so called “secular” model followed to woo minority and specific caste seems to have crumbled. Many dynasts have lost election. The Indian polity is dynamic and the voter cannot be taken for granted in the name of secularism, family contribution & legacy, religion, caste or election time doll outs. We will discuss what Reforms including some structural reforms are needed to make India ready to move to No.3 position by becoming $10 trillion economy by 2032.
For a chunk of Mr. Modi’s supporters, it is probably a misguided notion of Hindutva in peril, the Ram Temple in Ajodhya or cow protection. For others, it may be about unquestioning nationalism and unbridled machismo directed at Pakistan. Some influential pro-BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) voices are arguing that the voter was unconcerned about economic issues. The angry and abusive rhetoric of ardent party supporters, even in victory, seems to support the belief that people voted for partisan and divisive politics. But believing this to be the mandate could turn out to be a huge mistake.
However, With great power must come great responsibility.
The Modi tsunami, where for the first time after 1971 a party has come back to power with an absolute majority larger than what it had before, unveils the beginning of a ‘new politics’.
The second coming of Narendra Modi has made many dynasts appear irrelevant.
The magnitude of the Modi victory has rendered hitherto caste fiefdoms largely redundant. Thus far, conventional politics tended to rely on the political arithmetic of caste or community. It is increasingly clear that in the new scenario, caste arithmetic can be finessed by political chemistry.
The voter, rising above primeval loyalties, is aggressively asking who in the political firmament is best suited to provide the leadership the nation needs. He combined eloquence, charisma, decisiveness, will, vision, cultural rootedness and indefatigable energy that won over even his most trenchant critics.
People of India want a credible narrative.
BJP had clear-cut narrative crafted. It consisted of development economics, focusing on the welfare benefits that had touched the quality of lives of people, be it through toilets, housing, electricity, direct benefit transfers, gas connections, health schemes and infrastructure projects. To this was added a muscular opposition to appeasement politics, which tapped into the Hindu backlash, starting from the Shah Bano case of 1985 that perceives ‘vote bank’ politics prevailing over an equitable respect for all religions. Nationalism was a third ingredient that, especially after the Balakot attack, resonated with the people. India is a young, aspirational and impatient country, with 65% of its people below the age of 35. The young are tired of the formulas of the past. Their surge of upward mobility wants to embrace the possibility of the new – new possibilities, new avenues, new vision and new opportunities – for personal advancement that go beyond the dole mongering welfarism of other parties.
This has been demonstrated by the inroads BJP has made in Odisha, the north-east, and even more dramatically in Bengal, which was considered by most political pundits as a fortress reserved for the formidable Didi. There are exceptions to this rule, such as most notably, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. But there is no guarantee that BJP will not make a dent there as well, in course of time.
Rahul was naive in sticking to the rules of the game and raising relevant issues like farmers’ distress, unemployment, discontent among small traders, etc. or making offers like NYAY. He most probably failed to read the changing mood of the nation shifting from secularism to communal jingoism. Modi on the other hand, very deftly kept changing the goalposts throughout the campaign. From Balakot & ‘ghar mein ghus ke maara,’ he shifted to a very frontal but below the belt attack on late former Prime Minister and then suddenly propped up Pragya Singh Thakur to milk gains from the communal divide. This confused the opposition parties and swayed the electorate. In the short term, it is the victory of tactics over a straight forward attack.
This is the New India and the new generation has spoken. The youth has voted for the current heroes. Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Nehru have been forgotten, the old order changed yielding place to new. Hindutva will rule the minds of millennials for the next fifty years. The original Preamble to our Constitution did not have the word secular as the makers thought that it came naturally to the Indians. They have been proved wrong in the last three decades. Hindu upper castes would comprise a solid bloc that can neutralize the Muslim vote (which, in any case, is split among several parties).
Modi also projects a different kind of backward caste identity that’s fluid, aspirational, upwardly mobile and less dependent on specific caste networks. As smart phones spread and cities expand, this style may appeal more to Hindu lower castes.
“Factor” markets of land, labour and capital need market-oriented reform for efficient allocation of resources; so do agriculture and education. At the same time, the state must step in and provide quality inputs where the market cannot provide these (such as healthcare, basic education). Unproductive subsidies must be cut, and the autonomy of public institutions respected and expanded. Such reforms, whose objective is to ramp up India’s global competitiveness, may be painful at the beginning.
The highest ever turnout recorded in any of the general elections till date. The percentage is 1.16 % higher than the 2014 elections whose turnout stood at 65.95 %; 900 million people were eligible to vote, with an increase of 84.3 million voters since the last election in 2014, 15 million voters aged 18–19 years became eligible to vote for the first time.
Vote Share-37.46% (BJP) 45% (NDA), Swing: +6.12% (BJP) + 6.5% (NDA)
The Bharatiya Janata Party garnered 37.4% of the votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The NDA as a whole received nearly 45% of the vote. This is the highest vote share received by the party nation-wide in any Lok Sabha election since the party was (re)formed in 1980.
The BJP-led coalition (with the Shiv Sena, the Janata Dal (United), the Shiromani Akali Dal, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam among others) won a cumulative vote share of nearly 45%, which is higher than what the NDA got in 2014 — 38%.
In contrast, the Congress party failed to improve on its vote share from 2014 and gathered 19.5% of the total votes.
Opinion polls were proved wrong.
BJP's vote share surges: In its landslide victory, the BJP has seen its vote share soar past 50 % in at least 13 states and Union territories, a feat which the rival Congress could manage only in Pondicherry. Besides, the main opposition party's voting percentage has remained in single digits in politically important states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, as per the latest data from the Election Commission. As per the preliminary estimates, the BJP has significantly improved its national vote share from 31.34 % in 2014 to a new record high, while there appeared to be only a marginal change in case of the Congress from its 19.5 % score of the last elections.
Opposition`s Bigwigs bite dust
Rahul Gandhi's defeat in family bastion Amethi to BJP's Smriti Irani by a margin of over 55,000 votes, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Malikarjun Kharge, Moily, Digvijay Singh, Laloo`s Daughter, Former PM Gowda & Family Members, Ashok Chavan,Gehlot Son, Mehbooba Mufti, Sheila Dixit, Bahubali Pappu Yadav & Wife.
Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Tejaswi Surya, Azam Khan, Bahubali Ansari
BJP retains Hindi heartland: proving skeptics wrong, in 5 key Hindi-speaking states of UP, Bihar, MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, as the party bagged 165 out of 185 seats, strike rate of nearly 90 %.
Modi govt was much more efficient in delivering welfare programmes than UPA & kept inflation down. Congress counter of ‘chor’ Modi bombed.
How Social Media played big role
India has 30 cr Facebook Accounts, 20 cr WhatsApp Members (In 2014, the instant messenger had only 5 Cr monthly active users), Twitter 3.44 cr, 45 cr Smart phones (3 times more than 2014 election), 1.14 billion mobile phone connections. Modi has 4.3 cr Facebook followers whereas RaGa has only 22 lakh Facebook followers. There are over 200 Facebook Groups and Pages with more than one lakh followers which are currently influencing the group members and followers with biased political content WhatsApp is another fake “news factory” where more than 87,000 groups are targeting millions with political messaging.
Remember 2016 US Election-Trump won proving everyone wrong?
Reasons How & Why Modi (&BJP) Won:
1) Different Strategies: BJP made it a national presidential-style contest. Congress made it 543 individual elections.
2) Congress walked into the trap deeper. It didn’t bother offering even a notional alternative, and also decided to focus its attack entirely on Modi as Chowkidar Chor Hai. It is hard to fight to your adversary’s strength.
3) Booth level workers: BJP leadership has invested a lot in building human resources in the past five years. Its membership campaign, despite courting controversies, provided it with a strong base of a large number of committed workers across the country. In this election, every appeal by PM Modi to the votes in his public speeches were widely circulated and made viral by the BJP cadres. The BJP formed small teams of four to five workers in areas covered by every single booth in all the Lok Sabha constituencies. This last mile connectivity of the BJP was a big advantage for the Modi government in the Lok Sabha election.
4) Congress`s master stroke, NYAY was too complex, too late, designed with incredible clumsiness, so those who were to get NYAY knew nothing about it.
5) Opposition parties had no credible economic agenda or alternative vision
6) With the exception of Kerala and Punjab, the BJP march has only been stopped by regional parties-TN, Andhra, Telangana, Orissa
7) BJP has used political power brilliantly to build or buy its own media, Rahul’s big media interviews (very short in duratation) came in the last phases of the polls as against Modi`s (detailed one) coverage by all. Discrediting of Luytens & Khan Market Gang.
8) Modi government was incredibly efficient at the delivery of key welfare programmes
9) Mandir & Mandal has become redundant
10) Campaign Theme: Nationalism, Hinduism and corruption-busting put Jobs & rural and farmer distress to sidelines.
11) Modi kept changing goal post during Campaign-Balakot (Ghar me ghoos ke mara), Rajiv Gandhi (1984 riots), Ram in Bengal, and Rahul focused only on Chor & not on Jobs & Agri Distress. Opposition focusing on EC, EVM & VVPAT (Loser’s crying baby syndrome)
12) Rising aversion of the young to dynastic entitlement and elitism, Rahul Gandhi nice guy, but has no experience yet. Non-committed voters are more brutal: What does he do to earn his living and fund his lifestyle? They just compare earthy, self-made Modi deservingly living it up now.
13) Modi`s attack on 10 Janpath, egged on by the extra-constitutional center of power NAC and Rajiv Gandhi life style.
14) Arrogance: Conventional wisdom has it that the loser learns more from defeat than the winner. Between the Congress and the BJP, they’ve reversed that logic.
15) Social Media-BJP`s war machine on WhatsApp & Face Book.
16) High Voting particularly amongst young voters and women. Overall Voting was higher at @ 67.11%, higher by 1.14% from 2014 level.
17) No PM credible PM face: while the BJP-led NDA had an undisputed leader in Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there was any such face in the opposition camp. Congress president Rahul Gandhi was alliance partners.
18) Divided opposition- This is what led Narendra Modi to call the opposition unity as ‘mahamilawat’ (massive adulteration).
19) Alliances: BJP scored in stitching alliances, sharing seats with alliance partners and building a solid electoral strategy whereas opposition parties could not join hands in all the respective states.
20) Negative politics: The negative politics of the opposition parties also led to its rout. Instead of presenting their own plan if they came to power, they focused more on attacking Narendra Modi. Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Chowkidar chor hai’ jibe has been rejected by the voters as well as his allegation that PM Modi indulged in corruption in the Rafael deal.
21) Women: The women seem to have proved decisive in Narendra Modi’s victory. The PM’s programmes such as construction of toilets under the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G), Electricity to almost entire rural India and distribution of LPG cylinders under the Ujjwala Yojana played decisive part in outreach to women. These programmes cut across castes and religions. Besides them, Narendra Modi also wooed the Muslim women promising to do away with the evil practice of triple talaq. Voting by women improved substantially as compared to pre 2014 period, which played big role in BJP`s victory.
22) National Security: During the election campaigning, PM Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah & other party leaders boasted about Balakot air strikes carried out to avenge Pulwana terror attack, 2016 surgical strikes launched to avenge Uri terror attack, Modi`s “ghar mein ghus ke marunga” (will enter their house and strike) & (goli ka jawab gola se diya jayega) were common refrains.
23) Development pitch: Schemes to build toilets, distribute gas cylinders, electrify households, build houses, Loans under Mudra to small & poor people to start business, Ayushman Bharat Yojana for health insurance cover for the poor, an Dhan accounts, Direct Benefit Transfer, build roads etc.
24) Hindutva: Narendra Modi wore Hinduism on his sleeves and never appeared apologetic about it. On the other hand, he mocked Rahul Gandhi for choosing to contest from Wayanad (Muslim dominated seat) besides his traditional seat of Amethi.
25) Caste equations: BJP created the correct caste equations & demolished the caste equations of the opposition parties. He gave 10 per cent quota in government jobs and educational institutions for economically weaker sections irrespective of religion and caste.
26) Decisive Victory in Key States like Bihar, UP, West Bengal & Karnataka despite United opposition due to Modi`s high pitch campaign in these key swing states.