What Modi has done right

Post the victory of May 16, 2014, there was an understandable level of restlessness in the right wing. For most of us (including me), a clear majority of 272+ seats was a gift straight from the moon. My own expectation was a little over 190, possibly kissing 200. That Modi would propel the BJP into the 272+ orbit was absolutely special.

Suddenly finding itself in the 272+ orbit, Modi was bombarded with expectations. The right wing wanted its core agenda implemented on the spot. But as Modi continued to play good cop, kept talking of “Team India” and went out of the way to give respect and courtesy to the vanquished, the frustration mounted.

I must say that I felt cold and uninspired a day before the name of the UP CM was actually announced. That’s when everyone was convinced that Manoj Sinha was taking over the reigns. I looked up Manoj Sinha, simple man, soft spoken, well educated and well meaning. But what does he have for me, a core BJP supporter? Basically nothing.

For me, saffron in Uttar Pradesh had just gone beige. The win had become so bland it tasted like defeat.

You know when somebody prepares a grand feast but forgets to put the salt? It ruins everything.

And then Modi goes boom and appoints Yogi Adityanath for Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Suddenly, the Lutyens editors are squirming in their seats, rubbing their eyes in disbelief and there are boisterous scenes of celebration in Lucknow.

Victory finally feels like victory.

This smack on the faces of the elite is a symptom of a changing Modi, one who is slowly but surely ratcheting himself up.

We probably won’t know for sure until 2019, but Modi has consistently avoided falling into the traps that the Vajpayee government fell into.

I feel that by far the No. 1 decision that Modi made was the installation of Amit Shah as BJP president. In Amit Shah, the BJP has a President who is full time 100% committed to winning elections instead of hankering after a plum ministerial berth.

Contrary to this, during the NDA-1 government, all talent migrated completely to the government leaving the party and its organization in tatters. If my memory serves me right, they had people like Jana Krishnamurty and Venkaiah Naidu as party president. There’s nothing wrong with these honest well-meaning folks, but they weren’t the type who were particularly good at strategizing for elections.

During Atalji’s tenure, the party kept losing election after election in the states. At one point, the Congress reached a peak of 15 Chief Ministers or so. In fact, it was Narendra Modi’s 2002 win that put some brakes on the Congress’ victory march. Of course those were different times and Atalji had a very different set of challenges running his coalition government, but the fact remains that the BJP organization suffered during 1998-2004.

The second thing that Modi did masterfully is shed the “pro-rich” image. Well, to be fair, his real trick here was to go glacially slow on reforms, unlike the Vajpayee government (the most reformist government till date). So, that’s not much of a trick really. Nevertheless, labels have power and Modi’s opponents tried to hit him with the same club of “suit boot ki sarkar”.

This was the real achievement of demonetization. Modi’s statement of taking on the corrupt was so powerful that it took the imagination of the poor by storm. Of course, Modi could lean here on the lessons from Vajpayee’s experience. Don’t go too quickly on reforms, or you won’t be around to harvest the crop. Manmohan reaped all the credit for what Vajpayee sowed. It still hurts.

Of course, Modi’s opponents did him a favor by trying to hit him with the pro-rich jibe too soon. He realized what could happen, did a tactical retreat on the Land Bill and proceeded to build his own pro-poor image that may now be his strongest point.

Modi understood that he needed to win the states to “demonetize” the Congress party. He understood that the secular establishment had a back up plan. From academia to media to the judiciary, he needed to hit their citadels one by one. You can’t uproot a 70 year old tree in one fell swoop. You have to go slow.

So, that’s what he did. Modi has used his first term in power to build the national base for the BJP. He’s expanded the party into Maharashtra. He’s won back the lost ground in Uttar Pradesh. The Sangh’s dream of saffronizing the North East has become a reality. He’s also picked up Haryana, the only Hindi belt state that had puzzlingly never seen a BJP government. Only the city state of Delhi continues to confound him.

Modi has now created a launchpad of about 200 seats from where the BJP will start in every election. The party’s previous peak was just 183 seats. Modi has now raised the floor to 200. From 2019 onwards, the BJP’s battle will be for the remaining stretch of 72 seats. It will win some elections and lose others … but BJP will be the dominant party of India for the foreseeable future with always a minimum of 200 seats.

Modi now feels safer with the reins of power.

Untitled

There will be more to come. A new Modi is emerging.

The other day Praveen Patil said that 2014 was NOT NaMo’s electoral Mount Everest. He’s right. The mistake liberals have made from Day 1 of the Modi government is that they have tried to stop BJP from repeating 2014. They never seriously considered the possibility that Modi aims to go far beyond 2014.

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17 thoughts on “What Modi has done right

  1. Very good post CW. I also believe, NaMo is lucky unlike Atalji. Social media arrived much after Atalji’s rule. People started to feel who is right and who is wrong after social modia arrival. During Atalji’s rule only MSM was source for any achievement. MSM made people fool like anything during his tenure. Now, people really do not trust MSM. They get all real news from Social media. Modi has created a good foundation. He is also lucky in one way that, opposition is not united. This is only because Modi has made hindus united as Dr Patil suggested. There is no possibility that this hindu vote is getting split in 2019. I have gut feeling that, 2018 to 2019 will be one of best year under Modi’s first term. Because of this, BJP alone may cross 300 in 2019.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In my opinion, Modi & Shah wanted to take a “politically correct” decision of not appointing Yogi as CM of UP. They did not appoint Yogi as CM for pleasing the ‘Hindutva’ constituency of BJP.

    They actually appointed him because that was the only feasible thing to do to ensure that there is no dissent in the ranks & file of the party till 2019. If they had appointed any other person, then we would have seen unhappiness in the ranks of so many carefully cultivated caste groups.

    To be seen as catering to Hindutva constituence turned out as a bonus to the duo. Now with Yogi as CM, the media is behaving exactly similar to how they behaved when Kejriwal took over as Delhi CM. Lot of publicity, write ups. Negative or positive, publicity is publicity.

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    1. If Yogi was not made CM party would split and Modi loss from Varanasi in 2019 would be guaranteed.
      The core cadre of atleast UP can see that he is a fraudster.
      There is a world beyond ModiSlaves. That sees it as it is.
      That he is a LYING fraud.
      I hope Yogi is not like him.

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      1. I am enjoying your Pain … Keep writing… You are proving right to us that Ego of Liberals is hearting very badly and there Hearts now start even bleeding.. My Bro we are proud to be ModiSlaves as we are not Luytean 10 Janpat Salevs.. We will keep your heart Bleeding …my bro..

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      2. This is what happens when the sweet dreams of fiberals end up in nightmares. Those who were leading five star lives chanting Gandhi-Nehru have started suffering seizures. Please do not lose heart, you may still keep dreaming along with your master who sleeps during parliament sessions.

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  3. CW, Can you allot one write up on Arvind Kejriwal and his great loss in Punjab?

    Also can you predict the future of AAP?

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  4. Dear Sujoy,

    (to use your correct name, which I will from now onwards)

    The major mistake by NDA-1 was made not only by Vajpayee but also by Advani, who fancied himself as a master strategist. So in 2004 the BJP contested just 360 seats, leaving the rest to various allies. In particular, at that time Chandrababu Naidu was playing hard to get with the BJP (he has since learnt his lesson), so there was ample scope for the BJP to grow in the old AP. But Advani put the brakes on the growth of BJP and put together a motley assortment of allies. Let us not forget that in the 2004 election, Congress got 141 seats and the BJP 138 — a difference of just three seats! For those three seats India paid the huge price of ten years of loot by Santa Sonia and her mafia. Had the BJP contested more seats (like the 430+ in 2014), it would still have emerged as the single largest party in 2004 and might have formed the government.

    In short, the major difference between Advani’s “strategy” (if it might be so called) in 2004 and the Modi-Shah strategy in 2014 was that in 2014, the BJP wanted to win as many seats as it could ON ITS OWN. The duo will follow the same strategy in 2019 too, I am sure.

    I fully concur with the observation of Mehul that social media has made a huge difference. In the pre-SM days, many of us were frustrated by the biased coverage of the MSM, but had no way to identify and connect with others who felt the same way. This is what social media has allowed us to. Now the toothpaste cannot be put back into the tube. SM is here to stay and MSM is dead and gone. Perhaps Arnab Goswami’s Republic channel will be worth watching; he has already roped in Major Gaurav Arya.

    The other day Saba Naqvi wrote a “sensible” article about how there is now a need to redefine what secularism means. Had she written that article BEFORE the UP election, one might have taken her seriously. But now it just looks like a strategy to ingratiate herself with the BJP and its followers. There will be many such neo-converts, and Modi-Shah need to watch out for them.

    By the way, Burqa has written an article for WaPo without mentioning 2002 even once! It’s a miracle!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2017/03/17/narendra-modis-rise-and-the-failure-of-liberal-politics-in-india/?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.ce879e567f33

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  5. Agreed with you MSM is most dishonest People in the world as mention by Correctly President Trump.. Its SM which give people to raise the voice express there views from these soul and judge the right or wrong and denounce and differ with the MSM views. I remember when I was a in my early age of school days I used to Read Rajasthan Patrika the dominant Hindi News paper in North India I used to considered a permanent truth whatever written in that newspaper and I used to be confused as I mostly disagree with the newspaper content but there was no way to be correct myself and Prove my views right rather than newspaper views. Now I feel cheated by Rajasthan Patrika by such a biased and Congress Favored Reporting that even today people of Rajasthan start calling Rajasthan patrika as a Congress Patrika. this changes happened due to social media only. People now aware of this fact and even denouncing these MSM from India.. its a very good thing happing now in India.. Technology is a potent weapon for us in today world to counter leftist establishment..
    Recently I was watching NDTV on 10 March and although there faces seems like very sad but they complaining that BJP expected win on 11 march because of SM of live telecasting of PM Modi speeches in People Smart Phones during voting day also… Even People going for voting also watching PM speeches in Phones.. that way MSM feeling heat of SM and there Dominance and EGO is badly hurting… and PM Modi and Amit Shah’s Jodi and people like me and you rubbing salt in there wounds of MSM after winning hearts of ordinary people whom MSM called Communal Forces of India.. I called myself Communal Forces Because of MSM….

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  6. Excellent article, CW. Some very good comments on this thread as well, esp by Mehul and Prof Vidyasagar.

    Based on what I have read, Yogi Adityanath seems to be the tallest and most respected BJP leader in UP so his choice as CM was not surprising at all. From grassroot workers to party leadership, everybody was clear on that aspect. We will never know if the Manoj Sinha rumor was stage-managed by BJP to not give the game away or the Lutyens media desperately trying to swing it in his favor. While I would love to hear a UP person’s opinion, my gut feeling says Yogi is Modi 2002 reincarnation. When the English-speaking media goes hysterical over a politician in India, it usually means the guy is worth his weight in gold and will be good for the country. 🙂

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    1. Dear DallasUS,

      As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of my former Ph.D. students is from UP, and he is very very enthusiastic about the Yogi. That is just one data point, but here is a highly educated person who likes the new CM.

      The media has already started its game-playing They are going on and on about the shortage of some stupid kababs in Lucknow, as if that is the most important thing in the world! I guess they are too stupid or too arrogant to realize that the more they demonize a person, the more the rest of us support him.

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      1. That is good to know.

        I heard about the “Tunday Kababs” deal….wow, there’s no level they cannot stoop to. It is actually laughable now.

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  7. 1) what action is taken bjp govt in assam on illegal Bangladeshis?
    2) what is the deal on Kerala and wb? Why no action on the murders and illegal immigrants in wb?
    3) what is prakash javadekr doing in hrd..All schools are still teaching leftist history ..even iits are corrupted thru humanities dept.
    4) why no action on Sonia.vadra.pchidambaram.ndtv in spite of all the data ?
    5) do Muslims and christians need to be called minority still? What action is taken?
    6) why all temples still under govt control? Why can’t they be freed so hindu money stays with hindus…

    What is modi waiting for?

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    1. Assam government is now the most stridently pro-Hindu government in India. Thousands have been rounded up and asked to provide documents. All illegal settlements of Bangladeshis in Kaziranga have been demolished. Unofficial Friday leave in Govt supported madrasas canceled. Sanskrit being taught in every government school.

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  8. Thanks CW…V happy to note these starter steps. People are solidly behind for all the big bang steps he has taken – Demonitization/surgical strike/yogi…hence his mandate should be doing more of such high impact drastic steps rather than making minor tweaks in existing frameworks/systems and administration since all of these are completely corrupted for decades. For TN, I feel that BJP has to focus on corruption free narrative rather than religion. For this, he has to demonstrate maximum action on Sonia/vadra/PC/barka/maran etc…it beats me why this is not happening. Catching low level bureaucrats does not provide sufficient optical effect to the common man. The big names have to be penalized. Hope Modi acts on these soon.

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    1. NaMo has a BIG ALBATROSS around his neck known as Arun Jaitley, who has been protecting all corrupt elements from the UPA era, including Chidambaram and his son Karthi. To me it is NOT enough for NaMo to say “I won’t allow any corruption on my watch.” He also has to punish the corrupts from the previous government. He has NOT done that, to my disappointment.

      Prasad Javedekar in such a crucial ministry like HRD is a total disaster! He is utterly clueless and is a poor replacement for Smriti Irani. My friends who are “in a position to know” say that while Smriti was very smart, she was also very arrogant, Perhaps she had an inferiority complex because she is only a high school graduate. I guess that is why she was shunted off into Textiles. But if she defeats Raowl in Amethi in 2019, then it would be difficult to keep her out of a key ministry. I hope that by then she would have learnt her lesson and matured a bit.

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