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Monday, May 20, 2024

PM Modi’s biggest TRP is his own credibility

Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed power at the centre in 2014 and after the completion of ten years, he has a number of achievements to display. However, his biggest “TRP” is his own credibility among the masses of the nation. When he is fighting the general elections for the third time this year as the leader of the BJP-NDA, he is indeed the most credible face among all the politicians and the political leaders of the country. He has earned this indomitable stature due to his irreprochable image. His unstained visage indeed gives him a very clear edge against all his opponents in the eyes of the masses.

People have developed a great belief in his statements, announcements, speeches, declarations and promises. When PM Modi speaks in terms of “Modi ki guarantee”, people in turn take it as a real and achievable promise on behalf of the Prime Minister. It is due to his unflinching commitment towards nation building, dedication towards the upliftment of the downtrodden and devotion towards the cultural divinity of India that have taken him far ahead of others in the hustings. Modi doesn’t only set the trend, he is in fact the trend himself.

The Indian socio-political scenario and history of elections during the Congress rule for the last several decades are bereft of such examples where the rulers at the centre would show any kind of benevolence towards its opposition. There are instances to exhibit where the Congress rulers in New Delhi tried not only to tarnish & damage the political career and fortune of several leaders in the opposition but also made serious attempts to finish the same. PM Modi, while being in opposition earlier and particularly when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, was himself a victim of this design and sinister conspiracy. But he survived these disaster after disaster with his grit, perseverance, great commitment, people’s support and an amount of luck as well.

When Indira Gandhi was ruling the nation during the seventies of the last century, she had to undergo a massive series of protests initially in Bihar followed by a nationwide agitation popularly known as the JP movement. In Bihar, it was the Abdul Gafoor government that attracted the public’s anger against it due to the corrupt and non-transparent image of his regime. Jai Prakash Narayan, a freedom fighter and a prominent social activist led the agitation supported by all the major opposition parties in Bihar.

In the midst of the strong agitation, the Allahabad High Court, on the petition filed by Raj Narain, set aside the 1971 Lok Sabha election result of the Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. She was found guilty of corrupt practices during the election campaigning. This was a huge setback to the Congress government at the centre which was already under fire due to the strong agitation in Bihar. This development brought the whole issue pertaining to corruption in public life to the centre stage of the political scenario; and the JP agitation against the Congress government gained gigantic momentum. It was on 12th June 1975 that the judgement was delivered by the High Court and on the same day, Congress lost the Assembly elections in Gujarat to the Janta Front.

These unforeseen and unprecedented developments led Indira Gandhi to the brink of resignation from the Prime Minister’s position. But she chose a different path and clamped an internal emergency in the country followed by press censorship and rigorous ban on 29 social and religious organisations in the country. The government put all prominent opposition leaders throughout the country into jails and used all methods to crush opposition. It was completely a fascist design employed by the Indira Gandhi regime to continue in power and keep opposition behind the bars. The then government didn’t miss any opportunity to tarnish and finish the opposition and also all the differing voices in the socio-political spectrum throughout the length and breadth of the country. The whole nation was converted into an open air jail.

The opposition leaders, their parties, cadres and committed supporters underwent a very difficult phase of their life for more than 19 months but kept their struggle going in all circumstances. They suffered a lot due to the government’s repressive measures and their voice was muzzled mercilessly. Lok Sabha tenure was also extended by one year. Suddenly, the government announced its intent to hold general elections in March 1977 and freed the opposition leaders to take part in the elections. The opposition leaders under the leadership of JP reorganised themselves and used the God given opportunity fully; and fought the elections gallantly despite all odds. The results of the elections dethroned the Indira regime, and the Janta Party, a conglomerate of five political parties represented by more than 300 winning Lok Sabha members formed the  government at the centre. This was how the attempts to finish the opposition by the Indira Gandhi regime were grossly defeated.

During the tenure of the government led by PM Narsimha Rao, one more serious attempt to tarnish the opposition and especially its top leadership was initiated by the Congress regime. In 1996, serious Hawala money allegations were levelled against the national leaders of various political parties who were in the centre of the socio-political scenario of the nation. Leaders like L.K.Advani, Madan Lal Khurana, Devi Lal, Sharad Yadav and others were accused of receiving money on the basis of the entries recorded in the personal diaries of Jain brothers, the Hawala brokers. These diaries were confiscated by the authorities in various raids on the Jains.

These allegations created a political storm but the BJP leaders took a high moral ground and resigned from their positions in the Lok Sabha and as from the Chief Ministership of Delhi. L.K.Advani said, “I quit from the membership of Lok Sabha over the Hawala because I listened to my conscience. I won’t enter the Parliament unless I am absolved of the false allegations”. This was seen as a very bold and courageous step taken by Advani and Khurana in order to maintain probity in public life. However, the relevant court acquitted them in 1998 and dismissed the case against them.

Again during the regime of PM Manmohan Singh, the opposition parties, especially the BJP, were accused of various charges including rioting in Gujarat, bomb blasts at various places, fake ‘Hindu terror’ accusations, human rights violations and other allegations regarding ‘fake encounters’. Both PM Modi and HM Amit Shah, in the capacity of the Chief Minister and MoS Home in Gujarat respectively, were grilled by the investigating agencies. Amit Shah was even put behind the bars for the offences which were never proved correct in the courts. The cases pertaining to Narendra Modi were dragged from the lower courts to the Apex Court of the nation and he was always acquitted by the courts at every level. Both Modi and Shah and also the others accused in various cases cooperated with the investigating agencies and the police, and faced a very tough time.

In addition to this, a vicious campaign against them was meticulously unleashed by the Congress leaders, ministers and the biased media channels and the press. There was a concerted effort aimed at to malign the BJP leaders and create doubts about their political ideology, practice and character. No stone was left unturned to arouse public passions against the main opposition party and the leaders. Things changed only when the BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi swept the 2014 elections and repeated the feat, rather improving its performance, in 2019.

The report card of the last ten years of the government at the centre needs no certificate other than the one that the people would be required to furnish in the shape of the 2024-mandate. Unfortunately, the opposition seems as the most disorganised this time because of its own reasons and defaults. Then many among the opposition leaders are facing serious cases of corruption and money laundering. The actions of the investigating agencies against some of the current opposition leaders are being followed independently by the agencies with the approval of the relevant courts.

All allegations, accusations and charges against the opposition in regard to the corrupt practices that the ED, CBI and NIA are investigating in the current context pertain to the charges levelled by the opposition leaders themselves against each other. Many of their cases were initiated during the earlier Congress regime and most of the leaders among the accused are free only because of the bail granted to them by the courts. The non-cooperative attitude and the delaying tactics adopted by the accused towards the law and investigating agencies have brought the credibility of the opposition to the lowest level. This will also have serious repercussions against the opposition in the voting pattern and behaviour of the voters in the ensuing elections.

It is here that the public draws a comparison between the two sets of political spectrum. All instances in political history and the current scenario showcase Congress and the Indi-Alliance in a very poor light particularly in regard to the credibility of the leaders of the both sides of the political divide.

While the opposition leaders have lost face so far as the issue of corruption in public places is concerned, PM Modi stands tall with huge credibility on his side. This is surely this time in the minds of all concerned, the ruling alliance, opposition parties and also the all important eligible voters. Common sense says that the public would love to go by the proven credibility rather than the doubtful actions of the doubtful leaders…….!

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Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo
Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo
In-charge Dept. of Political Affairs & Feedback, J&K BJP. Can be reached on [email protected]

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