Pointing the finger

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Pointing the finger

Wednesday, 22 November 2023 | Pioneer

Pointing the finger

Modi's poll campaign focuses on corruption and dynastic mindset of the Congress

As the time for polling in the next round of Assembly elections grows shorter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has intensified his election campaign and is focusing on issues of corruption, dynastic rule and development. Recently, he took the Congress Government in Rajasthan to task, accusing it of putting corruption and dynasty over development. Modi's scathing attack on the Congress Government cantered on allegations of corruption, appeasement politics and family succession. He asserted that the Congress has been engrossed in appeasement politics, leading to the flourishing of individuals with a mentality inclined towards riots and terrorism. He linked the 'grand old party' and its allies to a campaign against women, especially after the introduction of reservation for women in legislative bodies. Highlighting the party's alleged anti-women stance, Modi labelled the Opposition grouping, the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), as "ghamandiya" or arrogant; this term has become a recurring theme in his speeches. It is customary and an accepted fact that any party would attack its opponents in election rallies. In fact, sometimes election campaigns turn venomous, which is taken with a pinch of salt, but these days it is a no-holds barred fight where no one is immune or sacrosanct. While lambasting the Congress for dynastic politics, however, Modi inadvertently drew attention to the presence of similar elements in his own party.

The BJP has not been immune to dynastic succession, and this observation adds a layer of complexity to his narrative. Critics argue that both major political parties in India grapple with dynastic tendencies, making it a systemic issue rather than one confined to a specific party. If one were to analyse today's party organisation, several examples can fit the description of dynastic mindset. Rajnath’s son Pankaj Singh, Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah and Prem Kumar Dhumal’s son Anurag Thakur can fit the description well. The latest in this regard is BY Vijayendra, the son of former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, who has been appointed the BJP's Karnataka unit president. Modi also emphasised the reduction in direct taxes during the BJP's tenure, claiming significant savings for the taxpayer; he highlighted reduced mobile data prices. Underscoring the need for a Government prioritising development, Modi urged the people of Rajasthan to vote for a Government that would work towards progress. He positioned the BJP as the party that would lead Rajasthan to new heights in the 21st century. His attack on the Congress Government's alleged shortcomings might be true to an extent but he should also remember that people could like to draw parallels with the BJP-ruled States where things are no better. It is only for the voters to take a call on who they deem fit to rule them for the next five years. The States' electorate now faces the task of weighing such political claims and deciding the future trajectory of governance.

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