24×7 Aggressive Campaigner

3 Min
<strong>24×7 Aggressive Campaigner</strong>

Atul Cowshish

Not that there was any doubt about it, but while replying to the Lok Sabha debate on the motion of no-confidence in him, Narendra Modi again confirmed that he is a 24×7 campaigner of the BJP. His manifestly passionate hatred for the opposition, especially the Congress and its leader Rahul Gandhi, will always get the better of him even when the occasion demands his response to a literally burning issue—the apparently unending unrest in Manipur.

What he probably fails to see is that his unrelenting criticism, laced with plenty of irrelevant references, is beginning to sound too repetitive to most of the audience, barring, of course, his army of worshippers. He thinks he continues to win millions of new followers each passing day and, therefore, he predicts a third term for his government.

Manipur is not the only ‘burning’ issue in the country; Haryana (Gurugram) is no less serious. But violence and unrest seem to exist only in the minds of his critics whom he identifies as ‘anti-national elements’ who are obstructing the pace of his development roadmap for the country.

When he first entered parliament after winning the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, he bowed his head at the steps of that ‘temple of democracy’, which led to the belief that Modi respects that ‘temple’ as much as the temples he visits. That has turned out to be false because in the last nine years his visit to the Lok Sabha chamber can be counted on finger tips

The no-confidence motion was brought up by the Opposition with the intention of ensuring his presence in the House. It was hoped that he would tell the nation how his government proposed to douse the fire that has been raging in Manipur for months. 

He did dwell on Manipur for a few minutes at the end of his another marathon speech but only after the opposition had been provoked enough to stage a walkout. His diagnosis for Manipur troubles was bizarre: the Congress was to blame for the state of affairs in the BJP-ruled Manipur.

Equally bizarre was his assertion that whatever the government had to say on Manipur has been said in the House by the home minister Amit Shah. Well, Shah had stumped everyone when he dismissed the demand for dismissal of Manipur chief minister because he was ‘cooperating’! Why has the ‘cooperation’ failed to improve the situation in Manipur?

Even the courts feel the law-and-order situation in the state has broken down under the watch of the chief minister but that is not sufficient ground for his dismissal. 

Neither Modi nor Shah seems to have any roadmap for bringing normalcy to a sensitive north-eastern state where the distrust between the two major communities has become unmanageable—something that is not visible to the government of Modi.

Modi may assume that the power of his ‘oratory’ demolishes all manner of attacks by the Opposition but he ought to have known that some of his own party members, including a member of his council of ministers, have clearly blamed the chief minister for the deplorable state of affairs in the state.

It will appear that Modi has placed his trust in some kind of divine intervention in Manipur—and all other hot spots in the country, including the so-called millennium city Gurugram and its vicinity.  

Many observers are of the view that the heightened bitterness in the language spoken by Modi shows an inherent fear of losing the ‘do and die’ battle that lies ahead in 2024. His vocabulary to denigrate and demolish the Opposition may endear him to his die-hard supporters but it fails to win over the ‘floating’ voters who generally play a decisive role in the outcome of polls.

Diversionary tactics employed to derail attention from issues highlighted by the Opposition in and out of Parliament are now inviting ridicule. The ‘flying kiss’ controversy was used to divert attention from the Opposition attacks in parliament.

The Modi government may have set a record in the number of suspensions of members of parliament. It is ridiculous for today’s ruling party to deplore the tactic of ‘disruption’ of proceedings when the BJP as an opposition party used to resort to this practice unfailingly. Two of its stalwarts, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, both dead now, used to swear by the legitimacy of parliamentary disruptions. (SAT)