In the early stages of the Gujarat election campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the entire Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) brigade, sought votes on the basis of development, the progress made by Gujarat on the Industrial as well as Agricultural sectors and of course the trump card, Prime Minister Modi himself.
However, the Congress juggernaut, led by Rahul Gandhi, started gaining momentum. The Gujarat model was questioned and the BJP found itself on a sticky wicket. For a change, Rahul Gandhi started asking some very pertinant questions and for the first time, BJP had no convincing answers. The much lauded oratory of their leadsrs was over ruled by these questions. One may credit Rahul Gandhi or his advisors for this sudden burst of intelligence. The fact of the matter was that the BJP had no counters to these questions.
The Hardik Patel sex CD campaign did not work. The “chai pe charcha” was not working. The anti-incumbency factor was staring BJP in the face. The smear campaign about Rahul Gandhi’s temple visits was not working. The media blitz of the BJP was not as effective as it was and neither were Prime Minister Modi’s speeches. With these unexpected developments, the BJP blinked.
And what better way to garner votes than invoking Pakistans hand in the Gujarat elections. The Prime Minister had used this in the year 2002 by mentioning “Miyan Musharraf” and sweeping the elections. Even recently during the Bihar elections, the BJP President, Mr. Amit Shah had stated that if the BJP loses in Bihar, crackers will be burst in Pakistan. And lo behold, the BJP won.
Then came the “neech” remark made by Mani Shankar Aiyar of the Congress. As a counter to this, the Prime Minister, spoke about an informal dinner party which took place at Mani Shankar Aiyers residence. The dinner was attended by Ex-Prime Minister Dr. Manmoan Singh, Ex- Vice President Mr. Hamid Ansari, several diplomats and also diplomats from Pakistan who were on a visit to India. The Prime Minister tried to spin this dinner into some kind of a conspiracy against India, being plotted by the Congress with the support of Pakistan. The Prime Minister also stated that Pakistan wanted to see Mr. Ahmed Patel as the next Chief Minister of Gujarat. It needs to be noted that Mr. Ahmed Patel is a close confidant of the Congress High Command and had got one up on the BJP President Mr. Amit Shah during the recent Rajya Sabha elections. Also the fact that he belonged to the Muslim community should not be missed out.
Even the biggest sycophant in the BJP would agree that Narendra Modi had stooped to a new low by talking about this. The normally reticent Dr. Manmohan Singh had strong words for Narendra Modi, demanding an apology from him. Rahul Gandhi too asked Modi to speak about Gujarat and not about Pakistan as it was the Gujarat elections.
Did the Prime Minister need to stoop to such low levels? People may not be very happy with the BJP, which is the ruling party. But the lack of someone who they can look up to as a credible alternative bugs them no end. The Congress will come up with a better performance in Gujarat this time. However, it is the BJP which will form the Government.