March 11, 2014
Is 'Narendra Modi wave' real or just a hype: Is it corporate groups' sponsored campaign to pitch for NaMo as next PM?
The question has come to fore as the public rallies of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi fail to draw the expected crowd.
In Lucknow, the capital of most populous state of the country, there wasn't substantial gathering at the much-awaited rally. Such was situation that the workers had to be brought in from neighbouring towns in trucks and buses at the last moment, to swell the size.
The organisers had said that there will be 5 lakh people at the Ambedkar Ground but when Modi came to address the audiences, the figure was far from the lakhs announced for days before the much-hyped public rally in the capital of Uttar Pradesh (UP).
An interesting aspect is that print and electronic media has stopped writing about strength or crowd size now. The 'Chai par Charcha' or the 'Modi Chai' programme has also seen empty chairs in many cities. Similar was the situation in rallies in Jammu and Bhopal.
The organisers expected lakhs but the figure at most places remained in thousands. The figure of 50,000 in a rally is not bad but it is not in sync with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) poll managers who claim that there is a national wave.
The rally in Purnea (Bihar) was held on March 10. It had substantial crowd. Modi sharply attacked the Congress and his own former ally, JDU. Modi said that Nitish Kumar is too arrogant and has an ego as high as Himalayas.
The Lok Sabha elections are quite close now. Till now Modi seemed to be ahead in the election campaign due to the strong strategy and media blitz. His detractors say that big business groups like Ambani and Adani are behind him.
Congress has also asked how he funds have been coming to finance the huge public rallies, helicopter rides and immense publicity drive. Many leaders say that the wave has been managed on television.
There have been accusations that due to the business groups' stakes in TV channels, there was pressure on editorial staff to give excessive coverage to BJP. But on the other hand, BJP and RSS cadre say that there is tremendous support for Modi at the grassroots.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also made similar accusations apart from Congress. Just two months from now we will now, if it was real or fake. BJP has little to gain in South India. In MP, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, it is tough to hold on to existing tally. Hopes are pinned on Gujarat and Bihar.
While new allies have come, there is infighting in UP among senior leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi, Lalji Tandon and Rajnath Singh. If Rajnath Singh-led BJP gets Mission 272 accomplished, then its sure that NaMo wave was real. Else, it will be just like India Shining that had come a cropper during the earlier BJP campaign.
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