After completion of four phases of elections to Lok Sabha the war of words seems to have turned much more bitter. The campaign style of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has completely changed from what it was in 2014. Five years back Modi was an icon. The efforts that were put in to create a brand image made one feel that his campaign style will one day become a subject matter to be discussed in B schools and in lessons pertaining to public administration. Five years down the line, Modi’s campaign style still can be a subject matter of comparative study for future politicians.
In 2014 Modi’s carpet-bombing style worked and created new confidence among people that he would usher in changes. But all that brand image has now crashed. One does not know whether it is overconfidence or panic reaction but from day one the war of words has turned so bitter between Modi and his opponents that election rhetoric has ceased to be weapons of political battle. The spar has turned personal from political and this is something which was never so intense in the past.
Never did one see a Prime Minister indulge in rancid exchange and threaten the chief minister of West Bengal that 40 of her MLAs were in touch with him and would walk over to BJP after the elections. This is something which is nauseating. Was this the Achche Din Modi had promised in 2014? Achche Din for whom? For the people or for him to remain in power. He keeps on accusing the opposition of daydreaming to come to power and says that power is lust for them. What is it for Modi then?
Is it not a fact that nurturing democracy requires interpretation of provisions of the Constitution in true spirit if he is so serious about his 2014 slogan to usher in ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas.’ The prime minister’s threat that 40 MLAs are in touch with him now raises many questions. Does this mean that he wants to retain power come want may and encourage horse trading? The BJP unsuccessfully tried this in Karnataka. ‘Didi aapne vishwas ghat kiya hai,” the PM said. But do not his words amount to vishwasghat with people who vote for a particular candidate? Is it not a violation of Anti-Defection law? “With just a handful of seats, Didi, you can’t reach Delhi. Delhi is far away. Going to Delhi is just an excuse.
Her real intention is to politically establish her nephew,” he said and this is not the first time PM indulged in direct personal attacks. He did the same thing in Andhra Pradesh and called the chief minister ‘U’ turn CM and father of Lokesh etc. Craving for the second term as PM is not a crime but showing lust for power and stooping down to any level is not good. What is most shocking is that EC which served notices to Rahul Gandhi and several others has not even batted an eyelid to this statement. The EC has no objection if the PM reviews cyclone with Union Cabinet Secretary but chief minister of Andhra Pradesh who was also duly elected along with Modi in 2014 has been barred his cabinet secretary, even intelligence DG from reporting to him.
Even when a natural disaster is around the corner, the EC is preventing review meetings by line departments by the chief minister and the cabinet. The bureaucrats need political guidance in such situations but EC refuses to permit it through elections are over. The officials have not conducted any mock drill so far though IMD says the cyclone is going to be extremely severe. So far, no information about the opening of cyclone shelters has been made. The code cannot be above the Constitution. Certainly, the next government needs to review the issue.