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Posted On: 15 MAY 2019

Modi hai to 300 seats for BJP mumkin hai

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's out of the box thinking and willingness to risk his neck for the greater good of the country has left his opponents flustered. The Kaamdar is being attacked from all sides by naamdars of Congress along with nakaampanthis like Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee. Mr Modi's opponents are unable to comprehend as to why their propaganda about Gabbar Singh Tax and demonetisation hurting growth and pushing up unemployment, and farmers distress is failing to find favour with the electorate.

The answer is simple. Having risen from the bottom of the pyramid, Mr Modi empathises with the common man and understands his needs and ambitions. New India no longer wants doles from the government but demands empowerment. The poor have realised that freebies are impediments to their moving up the social ladder and act as sedatives to their aspirations.

A case in point is the soaring dissatisfaction in Delhi against Arvind Kejriwal who rode piggyback to power on Anna Hazare's movement against corruption. Kejriwal captured the imagination of the common man, especially the middle class which provided funds and volunteers for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) starting from the 2013 Delhi Assembly elections. In his 45-day reign with the support of Congress, Kejriwal pioneered the politics of buying votes by giving doles like susbsidising electricity, providing free water and taking on the water mafia. The freebie culture endeared him to the slum dwellers and the lower middle class. The out of power Kejriwal continued to lure voters at the bottom of the pyramid with promises like no demolitions of slums, dharnas against inflated power and water bills, supporting autorickshaw drivers strike. Though wiped out by the Modi tsunami in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, AAP made a stunning comeback in 2015 Delhi elections bagging 67 of the 70 seats with its vote share jumping to 53.4% from 33.1% in 2014 Lok Sabha polls and in 29.49% in 2013 assembly elections.

The same strategy of wooing the poor with subsidised government schemes and ignoring the middle class was adopted by Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal in 2016 and KCR in Telangana in 2018 to outwit opponents and retain power. BJP, which used to be called a Brahmin-Bania party with middle class as it core supporter, also cleverly cultivated the poor to ride to power in six of the seven northeastern states. The work of RSS at the grassroots level over the years through initiatives like the Eklavya schools set up the platform for BJP to prosper.

Prime Minister Modi, on the other hand, prefers empowering the poor and improving their living standards rather than giving them the opiate of subsidies. The Jan Dhan Yojana ensured that the MNREGA workers got their wages directly in bank account and the contractor could not take his cut, which translated into more money in the poor man's wallet. The Ujjawala yojana provided relief to the housewife and the Saubhagya scheme lit up the villages. The farmers were provided soil cards, higher MSP, crop insurance and Rs 6,000/year financial aid for those with small holdings.

At a time when GST and notebandi were supposed to have ruined the MSMEs and created unemployment, Mr Modi's multi-pronged strategy opened up new avenues for the poor. Mudra loans led to the blooming of entrepreneurs at the bottom of the pyramid, while programmes like startup India and make in India attracted investments from India and abroad and created new jobs.

Modi is putting into practice the adage, if you give a hungry man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. The empowered poor are fed up with crumbs being thrown in the name of NYAY and prefer to earn a living with dignity. They have developed self-belief and have faith that Modi hai to mumkin hai.

The policies of the Modi government have propelled the Indian economy to the sixth position in the world and the country is poised to move to the third spot by 2030. Compulsive contrarians keep accusing the Modi government of fudging GDP numbers and hiding jobs data but his connect with the poor was evident even during the Rajasthan assembly elections which BJP lost. The voters could be heard sloganeering Vasundhara teri khair nahi, Modi tujhse bair nahin (Vasundhra won't be spare but we have nothing against Modi). The loss of middle class support to BJP as reflected in setbacks in elections in the five states in 2018 will be more than compensated by voters from the lower strata. The Modi tsunami will wipe out the opposition and BJP alone will win over 300 seats while the NDA will cross the 350 mark thanks to Modinomics. The Modi mantra for staying on the top is empowerment of the bottom of the pyramid.

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