Modi Steals The Thunder, Opposition Rattled

With just over a fortnight left for the first phase of polls 2019 it’s advantage Modi with a big A. If the preemptive air strikes on the terrorist camp in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was not enough to pin down the opposition, then the “Mission Shakti” -which catapulted Bharat into the select 4 with USA, Russia & China being the other 3- has flattened & rattled the opposition.

Not only was the opposition in disbelief but even the Western media (NY times) seemed baffled and wanted more proofs before they could issue their defunct certificate to us for being a space power.

The timing of the announcement by the PM can be debated till the chickens come home to roost but what is undeniable is that the country’s stature and prowess has taken a big leap after this announcement.

Some of our media for obvious reasons are giving the ludicrous logic that this move will add to the space junk and equating it with pollution in the Ganges, forgetting conveniently that with a bully like China breathing down your neck you need all the deterrence at your disposal.  Only if these peaceniks could force China to change its stance on Masood Azhar.

Our nation is surrounded by hostile neighbours who are in occupation of our territory in spite of our peaceful intentions and “Mission Shakti” will fortify us apart from providing our country with the much needed deterrence.

The setbacks in the Hindi heartland in the 3 assembly states set the party back, and the bickerings with the alliance partners of the NDA including Shiv Sena did not help matters. However, Modi and Shah were able to iron out the differences of the alliance partners in the nick of time and the NDA ship is on course for victory.

The interim budget with its tax sops and incentives for the middle class set the tone for rejuvenating the party cadre. The aerial strike at Balakot inside Pakistani territory in response to the Pulwama terrorist attack addressed the nation’s rage and had a calming effect on the families of the martyrs .

The diplomatic onslaught launched by the government to jettison Pakistan before and after the strikes was exemplary as it isolated Pakistan within the global community. Modi’s warning to Pakistan matched his deeds as the the aerial strikes deep into Pakistani territory demonstrated.

The unprecedented move not only dented the enemy morale but it also dented the morale of the opposition which had raised a crescendo against Modi after Pulwama citing intelligence failure and slackness in retaliation. The hawk like precision in snooping on the terrorist camp and coming back unscathed showed meticulous planning. The uncompromising posture put forth by the government in bringing back its captured fighter pilot was a welcome change from the succumbing attitude of the past governments.

It was reflective of Modi’s decisiveness and clarity of thought in crunch situations and this has resulted in instilling the nation with pride and self confidence.

The setback in the Hindi heartland States seems to be a thing of the past. The aerial strikes together with the confusion in the opposition ranks, and the ability of the BJP to keep its allies in important states (Shiv Sena in Maharashtra) has meant that it’s clear advantage Modi as we reach the home stretch of election 2019.

In 2014, the BJP had won all seats on offer in States like Rajasthan (25/25) and Gujarat (29/29), apart from turning stellar performances in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bihar. The party won 195 of the 249 seats on offer in these 6 States, which accounted for almost 70% of the total seats won by the party.

Thus, it was assumed by political analysts including yours truly that in the absence of any Modi wave akin to 2014, the BJP will not only find it very difficult to repeat its performance but was likely to suffer losses in 2019  given the defeat in 3 States of Rajasthan, MP and Chattisgarh, and the wobbly alliance with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra.

In that scenario, to offset the loss of seats in the Hindi heartland, the party would have had to make inroads in the Southern States and the North East which looked daunting, given the party’s past record in these 2 regions, mainly the South which has 131 seats up for grabs.

However, since then the party has restitched its alliance with the Shiv Sena and the aerial strikes with laser guided precision which annihilated the terrorists in Balakot has painted the entire nation in patriotic colours much to the chagrin of the opposition.

The entire nation was enraged after Pulwama and wanted revenge. All eyes were on Modi and he did not disappoint as he made the Indian Air Force launch a deadly Mirage attack, not in POK as Pakistan was expecting, but deep into Pakistani territory in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The opposition only made matters worse for itself by asking for proof and questioning the strikes. It is most likely that they will be made to pay for their follies by the electorate of this huge and diverse country at the hustings in the summer of 2019.


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About the Author

Aman Gupta
Political Editor, Samast Bharat magazine