As MODI fest starts, Sonia eyes stopping Modi hurricane

Hardeep Singh Bedi | Updated: May 26, 2017 04:24 IST

New Delhi [India] May 25 (ANI): This Friday i.e tomorrow two important political developments will be taking place in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will kick start 15-day M.O.D.I. (Making of Developed India) fest from north-eastern frontier state Assam to mark the completion of the NDA government's third anniversary. Also, Congress President Sonia Gandhi will discuss a possible strategy with 26 non-NDA political parties in New Delhi to finalise a joint candidate for the post of President against the probable NDA candidate. PM Modi, his entire cabinet, with Bhartiya Janata Party President Amit Shah and other Party office bearers will leave no stone unturned to market the NDA government's achievements of last three years beginning from tomorrow. And on other side in Delhi, Sonia Gandhi will be trying to forge a new possible alliance against the BJP, which will be first discussing about upcoming Presidential election in July this year. Several Top opposition leaders like Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, Rashtriya Janta Dal’s (RJD) Lalu Prasad Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati’s representative, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s representative and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK) is expected to join hands to counter Modi for President election. The luncheon meeting called by Sonia at Parliament House is also being seen as a bid to unite all the political parties to counter the NDA in 2019 general elections. Recently, Sonia, who was in self-imposed political hibernation, took the affairs of the party in her hands and made many organizational changes in the party. Political analysts believe that Sonia was forced to take the center stage again after her son Rahul Gandhi failed to dent the political prospects the BJP in recently held assembly and local bodies’ elections. United opposition would again meet in Chennai on the occasion of DMK supremo M Karunanidhi's birthday on June 3 as they are yet to see who the NDA chooses to be its candidate. However, the Opposition is trying to pose a united front at a time when the BJP is at its acme and there is a leader who doesn’t behave like a ‘routine politician’. Since the landslide victory in 2014, the BJP has performed well in the recently held state elections. The duo of PM Modi and BJP President Amit Shah stitched the most astonishing win in India's largest state- Uttar Pradesh- with 312 seats out of 403 seats. UP is a state that gives hint which party would be forming next government at Centre. An analysis of the nation's current mood portends that a perception continues to build in favour of Prime Minister Modi, who has taken several bold steps that don't suit a typical politician. The demonetisation was one such step. The economic and political pundits may have reasons to declare it a farce but the fact of the matter is that the poor and middle classes believe that Modi boldly waged war against the black money hoarders. These classes faced most difficulties post demonetisation but the election results show that they acceded to Modi's appeal to support him in his 'war against black money'. Modi's another revolutionary step was to grant banking access to the poor and downtrodden through Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY). The 'elite' critics and political pundits didn't take it seriously when it was launched. But, they didn't realise that a bank account was the ‘most prized possession’ for crores of poor Indians. After three years, the average deposit per PMJDY account has more than doubled from Rs. 1,064 in March 2015 to Rs. 2,235 in March 2017. This data shows that the PMJDY was a masterstroke of Modi. All erstwhile prime ministers would connect with the masses via media, especially state run Doordarshan. But, Modi chose All India Radio to connect with Indians a.ka. real voters via his Mann ki Baat. The Prime Minister himself is most tech-savvy politician with 3.1 Million followers on Twitter. Here is another example that the Opposition will have to deal with a Prime Minister who thinks out of the box. Before Modi became Prime Minister, Mahatma Gandhi was being portrayed as political icon of the Congress party. But, Modi broke that perception by launching a nationwide Swacch Bharat Mission in the name of Gandhi. The PM is leaving no stone unturned to spread the cleanliness mantra of the Mahatma. Actually, Modi is doing what the Congress missed. Modi is a workaholic and as a result he inspires his ministers to become his alter-egos. Till now, he has managed to give a ‘scam free government’. With a clear cut mandate of the majority Indians, Modi has marketed India very well at the international level. India has alienated Pakistan globally. Modi understands the mood of countrymen and acts accordingly. For example, the Prime Minister was under deep pressure when Pakistan tested his temper with mounted aggression along the Line of Control (LoC) last year. Breaking the normal procedure, the Modi government publicly announced that Indian Army conducted surgical strike on the terrorist camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) in September 2016 to avenge the killing of 19 soldiers in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian Army also on Tuesday released a video which shows Pakistani posts along the Nowshera sector in Rajouri being hit. This was a retaliatory step after Pakistan’s Border Action Team (BAT) mutilated bodies of two Indian soldiers in Krisha Ghati in Jammu and Kashmir on May 2. The effects of the surgical strikes on ground could be debated, but Modi has given a sense of confidence to the Indians that there is a strong government in Delhi. It is a fact that perception is jugular vein of politics and for the time being Modi has an edge over his political rivals as far as the perception is concerned. It would be interesting to see that whether Sonia and other opposition leaders will be able to stop Modi hurricane or not. They, however, will be facing a herculean task to regain the lost trust of the voters. (ANI)

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