A Campaign Lost

The polling for the Gujarat elections is complete and the verdict which is right now closed in the voting machines will be out soon. The campaigning for the elections which started with a new mild Modi, talking about the development and an over charged congress ready to take him down, changed drastically during the course of elections.

A lot has already been said and written about the way Modi talked about the encounters, and we all know about the criticism which he drew for his talking on this subject. From all sides everyone condemned him for his returning to Hindutva and all sorts of conclusions were drawn from this step of his. Some said that the development mantra didn’t found any takers; some said that congress was surging ahead in the polls and as a desperate move he resorted back to Hinduism. There were other theories as well which were brought to light by our ‘political pundits’, but they all had one thing in common i.e. criticism for Modi. But he had his own explanations on the matter.

If we look at the whole Gujarat election campaign then few things are very clear in front of us. The way congress carried out their election campaign, it is not difficult to infer that it was a fiasco. The points on which they sought an election to the power were very naive. From the beginning itself with ‘Chak De Gujarat’ they were going wrong and as the time passed the things became worse.

The one point program of congress was ‘Modi Hatao’. A very common question which arose, ‘Modi ko hatane ke baad kya? [What after removing Modi?]’. Congress failed to give any alternative to Modi, who was the only possible and available option. Moreover it is very difficult to understand how your election agenda can be about removing one person. In the history of Indian politics, no hate campaign has ever benefited the perpetuators, and whenever it has been carried out against a popular leader it has always backfired.

In addition the kind of statements which the congress polity made during the election has been so inexperienced; one wonders if any one in the congress even knows the ABC of politics or not? The ‘supposed would be PM, the current PM and the Super PM’ all proved this fact. Rahul Gandhi said that centre gave maximum funds to Gujarat. One would like to know why? Is there anything special about this BJP ruled state? Why centre was partial against other states in allocating funds? Why funds were not distributed evenly?

He has just begun his political carrier and we forgive him for such ‘petty’ mistakes. But the present PM is even a step ahead. He said that all the development in Gujarat took place because of centre’s funds and schemes. Didn’t he himself accepted that development did take place in Gujarat? Moreover doesn’t this statement of his prove that Modi’s administration was efficient enough in utilizing the funds and implementing the schemes, better than the other Congress ruled states? Does it not prove that he is an able administrator? How do you expect people to vote him out, because he implemented all the ‘Centre’s scheme’ and utilized ‘their allocated funds’ in an able manner?

We all know about the mistake which ‘Super PM’ committed by calling someone [no one in congress knows whom] ‘Maut ka Saudagar’. In the present scenario, any mention to 2002 or something communal in Gujarat is bound to benefit BJP only [http://www.zhagdoo.com/2007/10/30/gujarats-new-big-bang/]. Still BJP was not talking about it initially. They were trying to be aloof from it. Everyone made all the efforts to make Modi talk on the subject, but the politics which he played here is really appreciable. He had almost vowed not to start the topic, because he knew congress will definitely do it, and once they did, he gave it a photo finish to reap all the benefits, in a much better way. Add to this, they coined a new term ‘Hindu Terrorists’. Need I say anything more?

The anti-incumbency which could have benefited congress in a huge way, was utterly wasted. It is a world known fact that whole of Gujarat’s administrative staff was very upset with the reforms Modi introduced and made them work day and night. Had this huge section been fully tapped along with the alienated rebels, upset of not getting the power share during his regime, congress would have easily sailed to the power.

But no they were more than happy with their ‘Modi Hatao’ and ‘Chak De Gujarat’ slogans. They were content with the cars they got from the national office, to carry out the campaign effectively. They were satisfied with the crowd coming to the rallies, does not matter if it did not turns to vote for them. They were glad with the ‘Maut ka Saudagar’ remarks, even if they backfired. They were pleased with the EC and Supreme Court’s notice to Modi, hardly counts that they have zilch affect on the voters.

The results which will be out soon, will definitely have surprises stored for everyone. But whatever the result may be, the congress has lost this battle of campaign, and this loss will certainly affect them at other places too.

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