Modi mocks Congress repeatedly in Gujarat: Will it help BJP’s poll prospect?
Gandhinagar, Nov 29: On Wednesday, after a gap of almost 24 hours when Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to Gujarat to campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the upcoming Assembly elections, he almost repeated his speeches from Monday's rallies to woo voters.
The content of his addresses are slightly different, but in essence all his speeches are the same--attack the Congress for the survival of the BJP in Gujarat, where the party is facing anti-incumbency wave after its long rule of 22 years.
So, there is no mention about the issues and problems concerning the voters of Modi's home state in his talks.
Like on Monday, when Modi addressed four rallies, on Wednesday, again the PM will take part in four public meetings.
During his very first rally on Wednesday, Modi targeted the Congress again. Mocking the Congress for distributing hand pumps in water-starved areas of the state, Modi in Morbi said, "For the Congress, 'development' was giving hand pumps. For the BJP, it is SAUNI Yojana and large pipelines that carry Narmada waters."
In Morbi, once again Modi "insulted" late Indira Gandhi by making a gesture of sealing his nostrils while trying to imitate the former PM who was photographed holding a handkerchief to cover her nose during her visit to the place.
"When Indira Ben (sister) came to Morbi, I remember there was a photo of her in the Chitralekha magazine with a hanky over her nose due to the foul smell, but for Jansangh/RSS the streets of Morbi are fragrant, it's the fragrance of humanity," Modi said.
On Monday, when he officially started the BJP's Gujarat election campaign, Modi decided to target the Congress by attacking the party's strongest leader ever, Indira Gandhi. He also called the former PM "anti-poor".
"Overnight, Indira Ji removed Morarji Bhai (Morarji Desai) from the Cabinet. She didn't open doors of the bank for the poor. When we got the opportunity to serve, the thing we did was to start the Jan Dhan Yojana and focus on financial inclusion," Modi said in Surat, where small-time traders and businessmen are openly expressing their anger against the Modi government over the demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The Gujarat Assembly elections are scheduled on December 9 and 14. The results will be declared on December 18. On Monday, Modi launched the BJP's Gujarat elections campaign with a series of rallies in Saurashtra and Kutch.
In all the election rallies, the PM's speech focussed on attacking the Congress and reiterating his special bond with Gujarat, Modi's homeland.
So far in Gujarat, Modi is trying his best to create an anti-Congress wave by portraying the grand old party as anti-poor, anti-Gujarat and anti-Gujaratis. The PM's election campaign strategy is also a mix of nationalism and Gujarati pride where he is trying to depict himself as the "son of Gujarat" who will do anything to save the pride of the state.
"Ye maati meri maa hai zindagi laga doonga iska karz chukane mein (This land is my mother, I will spend my whole life paying my debts to my motherland)," Modi said on Monday.
"We are not here for power, we are here for the 125 crore Indians. We want to take India to new heights of glory," he added. The PM added that "Gujarat is my soul and mother. My relationship with you is that of equality since you call me brother", highlighting the cardinal truth that Modi is the "son of the soil" and he understands the pulse of his voters well.
Political analysts say that Modi targeting the Congress won't help the BJP in winning polls as times have changed since 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
"Now, it's the BJP's government at the Centre and in Gujarat. The BJP is in power in Gujarat for the last 22 years. Modi has been ruling over India for more than three-and-a-half years.
"Blaming the Congress and playing the victim card won't help the BJP in Gujarat where there is a strong anti-incumbency wave against the saffron party," said a political commentator.
"I believe the issues raised by him are not striking a chord with the people because he has been talking about Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and incidents that are decades old," political observer Hemantkumar Shah told CNN-News18.
The voters want to hear Modi's plans to rescue the country from the twin economic blows of the demonetisation and the GST.
The Dalits, the OBCs and the Patidars, who are openly protesting against the BJP and the PM, want Modi to talk about them and their problems.
"Modi is running away from real issues. He is only targeting the Congress. We are not interested in fake talks, we want solutions," said a college-going student from Gandhinagar.
A BJP supporter in Gujarat said "no matter what Modi still enjoys a huge support base in Gujarat". "He is the pride of Gujarat and people will vote for Modi."