Rajat Sharma

Modi is post-independent India’s most popular leader

The results of five assembly elections have written a new chapter in India’s political history. No leader has achieved such a huge popularity from the masses since independence, and 100 pc of the credit goes to Modi’s magic. The people of Uttar Pradesh have blatantly rejected Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi, the Congress party’s strength in the assembly has shrunk to less than that of a small regional party Apna Dal, and BSP leader Mayawati was so much worried that she has laid the blame on EVM ‘rigging’.

One cannot fail to agree with BJP chief Amit Shah’s remark that Modi is independent India’s tallest leader. Modi achieved popularity within a very short time and this was nothing less than magic. For 13 years, Modi ruled Gujarat, but from November 2013 onwards, Modi toiled endlessly and crisscrossed the nation to establish himself as a national leader.

The 2014 Lok Sabha polls proved that he was India’s most popular leader. For the last three years as PM, Modi has not taken a single day’s leave, working 18 hours daily, and this was noticed by workers, farmers and poor people, who viewed him as a poor man’s icon. The result was: all caste combinations and Hindu-Muslim equations were smashed and all sections of people stood behind Modi.

In Uttarakhand, the BJP scored a historic victory, as chief minister Harish Rawat lost from both the seats he contested. It seems Rawat failed to feel the pulse of the people, whereas Modi’s popularity and Amit Shah’s strategy worked. They understood the mood of the electors, took risks in opting dissident leaders from the Congress, placated their own leaders and the result was a huge landslide victory.

The Aam Aadmi Party was so badly mauled in both Punjab and Goa, that its supremo Arvind Kejriwal did not dare to venture out of his residence. The LEDs that were hung outside his residence were quietly moved out and the crowds that were invited melted away as the poll trends came in. The credit for Congress victory in Punjab goes to Capt Amarinder Singh and the Akali Dal was not as badly mauled as was expected. The results showed that the people of Punjab, which was dissatisfied with the Akali Dal, refused to accept AAP as the alternative, and the Congress reaped the benefit.

The people of Goa and Manipur gave fractured mandates, but the BJP is hopeful of getting support from 3 MLAs to form its government in Goa, while the Congress is hopeful of getting support from 3 MLAs to form its government in Manipur.

The results were a stinging slap in the face of those opposing Modi. Rahul Gandhi had described Modi’s rule as “suit-boot ki sarkar’, Modi responded by launching pro-poor schemes like Jan Dhan and Ujjwala LPG. Kejriwal described Modi as friends of the rich, Rahul alleged his government was being run by Adani and Ambani, leaders like Nitish Kumar, Mamata Banerjee, Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal were projected as alternatives.

These leaders were expecting Modi to lose in UP, then in Gujarat, and later in the 2019 LS polls. Modi today proved that he is unmatched in toiling hard, in executing schemes for the poor, and in invigorating his party. People will now be expecting Modi to rule for the next 10 to 15 years, and this seems to be the message that emerges from today’s results.

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