Midst the growing clamour in Bhartiya Janta Party of making Narendra Modi the prime-ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections, he landed in Delhi yesterday. He met the prime-minister and addressed a jam-packed audience at the Sri Ram College of Commerce of Delhi University. Like his proven ability, he delivered a speech that had the audience glued.
And like any Modi movement, the hyperactive media went in frenzy. Modi was all across, painting every news website, inhabiting every news channel. Expect the printed word following the trend when the newspapers come to stands.
Predictably, the focal point was the ‘prospect and contention’ on Narendra Modi’s prime-ministerial candidature and obvious cropping-up of his comparison with Rahul Gandhi.
As the equations and the goings of the moment say, Narendra Modi is having the clear advantage when we project the elements for 2014. Almost every survey report declares him the most popular leader in the country and the most preferred choice as the next prime minister. And it is not without the elements of reason.
Rahul’s chances are fishy. He figures in every such report but Modi has been able to maintain and widen the gap.
So, what are the principle elements that place him ahead of Rahul Gandhi? I see three as the cardinal ones.(Sure, more can be added.)
POLITICAL CAREER – THE ROLE MODEL STUFF
Modi has risen from nowhere, from a family that belonged to the lower stratum of India’s multilayered social weaving. He began his political career as a nonentity, the office boy of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The journey to the political top has been gradually scaled up with hardwork, nothing like a fairytale. That makes Modi role model for millions in a rich country of poor people.
Rahul’s background is elitist. No matter how many night-outs at Dalit huts, he is not going to be able to change this perception. The skepticism only aggravates given Rahul’s short career in active politics that is absolutely short of any significant political and social achievement. Instead, Rahul has, in his account, social blunders like Kalawati, Maval and Bhatta Parsaul. Also, the country is still unaware of Rahul’s intellectual credentials. Rahul may be a political alternative given his Nehru-Gandhi lineage but everything else in his record-book scuttles his chances to be seen as a role model.
Modi has a proven political track record with three consecutive electoral victories. And mind you, these all have been convincing victories, routing not just the opposition parties, but also the factionalism in his own party fueled by big names including a former chief minister and influential community leader. Also, in last two elections, even the RSS worked anti to him.
Rahul has big electoral failures in his name since he started taking centrestage of the election campaigning for the Congress party. The most notable ones are Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Some assembly victories that came to the Congress party cannot be accorded to Rahul’s stature.
Modi is high on confidence. Rahul must be in introspection mode if he has to do the damage control. Complacency is going to be big killer adding to the misery in an election where the Congress party’s prospects are already being written off.
KNOWING THE CONTEXT – THE EFFECTIVE OUTREACH
Modi is cunningly brilliant to exploit the words of others to his own advantage. He plays the victim card, impregnated with the religious sentiments, subtly well. He knows what to say and how to package his message keeping in mind the audience. He shows a craftsmanship of a corporate communicator here.
On the other hand, Rahul has failed again and again on this front. The emotional quotient that happened to the high point of his political speeches when he had begun his active politics career has become a worn-out and tired element of repetition, added and fueled by poor audience research and lost context. Now Rahul’s speeches attract attention more for their lack of depth and misplaced mode of delivery.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/