Modi kicks off poll campaign in Haryana: Will BJP be able to encash PM's popularity?

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Modi at a rally (file photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday kicked off BJP's poll campaign from Haryana's Karnal district and went all guns blazing at the Congress government. The PM who also happens to be the party's poster boy urged the people of Haryana to vote for the BJP for the state's development.

Starting his speech in his trademark 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' chant the Prime Minister bowed to the land of Haryana where epic battle of 'Mahabharata' took place and where Lord Krishna delivered the Gita. Modi also bowed to the land of 'Karnal', named after 'Dan Veer' Karna.

PM goes all guns blazing at ruling Congress

Attacking the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led government in the state the Prime Minister said it is spreading lies about the Centre by creating rumours that the central leadership has stopped exporting Basmati rice produced by Haryana farmers.

"However, in reality, Congress in Haryana has imposed 4 per cent tax on rice farmers," said Modi.

Addressing the concerns of farmers in the State, the PM said, "Farmers are forced to sell rice at higher prices. Who has stolen farmers' land? I want to help you but even the police here won't listen to me. Because there is Congress Government in Haryana. Congress Government in Haryana has misled the farmers."

Giving statistics about state's poor governance Modi held the ruling Congress government responsible for the state's poor condition.

He said, "There is lack of electricity and water, we want to change that. In development, Haryana is at 20th position. In per capita expenditure on agriculture, Haryana is at 18th position. Who is responsible for this?"

The PM just like his Lok Sabha poll campaigning pitched for making Haryana Congress-free and bring the BJP into power in the state with full majority.

Appeals to the people to vote for development

Pitching for his party's development plank the PM said that his government at Centre so far has delivered what it has promised and is consistently trying to bring the country back on its growth track.

"I want you to vote for the BJP so that it forms the government with full majority. Change is important if you want to move forward. Make Haryana free from the Congress misrule," Modi said.

The PM also reminded the people of Haryana that his government will not be able to fulfill its promises if there will be a barrier of a Congress government in the state. Hence, to remove this blockade the people of Haryana must ensure that the BJP gets a clear majority.

Will Modi be able to convert his popularity into votes?

PM Modi may have made a perfect start to the crucial assembly poll in the state and the charmed one and all at the massive gathering in Karnal. But, the BJP has its own cup of woes in Haryana as the party faces a challenging task of coming to power for the first time, on its own.

Though PM enjoys a massive popularity amongst the people of state which is evident with the fact that the BJP had won seven of the ten Parliamentary seats in the state during Lok Sabha polls. The party is depending entirely on its poster boy Modi to create history in Haryana.

And the reason why PM Modi is showing keen interest in the assembly poll campaigning because it is his image at stake in the October 15 assembly polls. The BJP will have to suffer a lot of humiliation if its performance doesn't turns as expected and the PM certainly is in no mood to give the opposition an opportunity to attack his party.

The BJP has no popular mass leaders in the state and that is why party is asking votes in the name of Modi and the Centre's performance so far. There is no denying the fact that the PM is a very popular leader and enjoys massive fan following here but it will be interesting to see if this popularity alone helps the party come to power in the state.

But state polls are a different ball game altogether where local factors and regional politics play a vital role. Notably the BJP has never been a force to reckon in Haryana because it was never associated the state's local issues. This time though, the party has changed its tactics and tried to make its ground at the grass root level. But whether it worked into party's favour or against will be known only on October 19.

Hence, the party's path to Haryana Assembly is not a cake walk and banking solely on 'Modi magic' might just prove fatal.

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