oppn parties Modi-Shah Team Is Too Confident

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Modi-Shah Team Is Too Confident

By A Special Correspondent

Politics is mostly about perceptions. If people think that a particular party is doing badly, it will do badly. The perception in 2014 was that Congress was doing badly and it did badly. But 2018 is a different time. The popular perception is that Rahul Gandhi is not as much of a pappu as he was made out to be. It is also believed that the Congress, though a spent force, is trying to put the pieces together and bring itself out of the stupor it went into after successive hammerings from the BJP. It is also believed that the BJP is doing badly in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Couple this with the inability of the BJP to enter the south, its feeble presence in the east and its problems elsewhere (especially UP, where the SP-BSP combine is giving it sleepless nights) and the popular perception is that the NDA is going to do badly in 2019.

But Narendra Modi and Amit Shah think differently. For them, the index of opposition unity is non-existent and they hope that the NDA will emerge victorious riding on divided opposition votes. There is no doubt that the NDA has brought in many good reforms and has taken the economy forward. It was the resilience of the economy and the effect of the prudent policies that it could withstand two massive disruptions in the form of demonetization and GST and still bounce back. But those are calculations made in seminars, drawing rooms and watering holes. In the bazaars, the talk is about rising prices and bure din. People say they are more or less in similar condition or less happy now than they were in 2014. They say that incomes have not risen as fast as have the prices of essentials. Everyone agrees that Modi needs one more term to finish his work or bring it in line but not many are willing to give it to him.

Hence, it would be prudent for Modi-Shah not to be arrogant. Vajpayee did well in his term and came out with the India Shining campaign to drive home the point. He was considered a much better PM than Modi across caste, religion and region. But he still failed to win another term. The biggest mistake that Modi has made is that he has allowed the fringe to make a mockery of his sabka saath sabka vikas promise. Despite being powerful, he failed to stop these miscreants from persecuting people over dress, eating habits, work habits and cow protection. He was not strict in stopping attacks on minorities and Dalits. He allowed his development agenda to get lost. The position now is that despite doing good work, Naremdra Modi is not as popular as he was in 2014. Call it anti-incumbency, but the fact is that the 2014 jumlas are going to haunt Modi in 2019.