How Modi's strong leadership paved way for BJP's win
New Delhi, May 23: Narendra Modi is set to return as the Prime Minister for the second as the BJP routed the opposition in Lok Sabha elections 2019. The BJP is set to get absolute majority on its own for the second consecutive time after 2014 when it was the first time in 3 decades that a single party commanded majority in Lok Sabha.
Also, it is the first time in independent India's history that a non-Congress prime minister has returned to power with a full majority for a second term.
BJP's performance to a large extent depends on winning the perception and narrative battles. Till about December 2018, the Congress and the opposition seemed to be gaining momentum on the narrative front amid Rafale allegations and talks on a pan-India 'anti-BJP' firming up.Then in January, Priyanka Gandhi entered politics and many thought that the Congress unleashed its trump card.
The real changes in the perception began after the Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy on February 14 and the response of India's forces as well as the government. 12 days after Pulwama attack, Indian Air Force carried out Balkot air strike inside Pakistan territory. It was then the first time in three decades that Indian fightres entered Pakistan's air-space.
The Balakot strike took a Centre stage in BJP's campaign. There was no rallies by PM Modi or Amit Shah in which the Balakot strike was not mentioned. The national security, strong anti-terrorism stand and in-the face response to Pakistan became part of BJP's narrative and somehow unemployment, economy and effects of demonetisation took a back seat.
According to a data, India hit an 40-year low in unemployment data, but that made little impact, no matter how hard the opposition tried. Modi went on a rampage, accusing the Congress led UPA govenment of being weak and indecisive on the response to terrorism front. 26/11 Mumbai attack was raked up, and the BJP blamed the Manmohan Singh regime for not acting sternly after that.
Slowing economy, lynchings, and rising attacks by the cow-vigilantes all got overshadowed by Modi government's stong stand on terror. Modi left no stone unturned to project his government as being a 'strong one' that can give a fitting reply to Pakistan. The narrative turned into propaganda, and gripped the nation. And today, the BJP is looking like bettering its 2014 performance, riding on its win in the battle of narrative and perception.