MODI’S MASSIVE ROAD-SHOW: DAY 2 IN VARANASI, BEFORE THE CAMPAIGNING ENDS ON MAY 10

GENERAL ELECTIONS 2014

Modi’s road-show in Varanasi, from the helipad of Banaras Hindu University to the city office of the BJP, and the huge crowd moving with it is a classic case of how the decisions taken in frustration and panic boomerang – in this case the initial denial of the permission to the rallies of Narendra Modi in Varanasi and the subsequent flip-flop by the Varanasi district administration resulting in the delayed permission over Modi’s rallies that boomeranged and hit back massively.

And the way the BJP has exploited the developments, it shows undoubtedly a sound presence of mind and an equally sound campaign management by the BJP core team.

It is praiseworthy if seen from a neutral analytical perspective.

If seen from the campaign management angle, the refusal of the ‘delayed’ permission for Modi’s Beniabagh rally and Ganga Aarti by the BJP was a masterstroke, a deft move that resulted in an almost 5 Kms long road-show with people on both sides of the road that just ended after spending quite a long time (over 3 hours) on Varanasi roads.

And there was much more crowd on the roads and in the streets than it was visible on the TV screens.

The flip-flop by the district administration and also by the Election Commission gave the BJP an opportunity to create a media spectacle of playing the victim card that sidelined any possibility of the steps that the administration could have taken in the name of maintaining law and order situation asking Narendra Modi to avoid the road-show.

Managing the crowd at Narendra Modi’s rally was much easier than managing the people’s outpour throughout the stretch of Modi’s trip to the BJP office.

The fact that Modi’s caravan crisscrossed the city through its most crowded areas like Sonarpura, Shivala, Godowlia and Luxa, and that too, during the rush evening hours, when traffic moves inch by inch, only exacerbated the misery of the city administration as it could not say no to Modi after the fiasco yesterday.

Any more ‘no’ could have resulted in more protests by the BJP compounding the gains from the wave of sympathy (obviously due to the ‘victim card’ that the BJP earned yesterday) when the polls were just three days away.

And this trip, from the BHU helipad to the central election office of the BJP in Varanasi, that was technically not a road-show, indeed became a massive show of strength with people thronging the Modi cavalcade throughout the entire stretch.

Narendra Modi and the BJP score handsomely here.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

MAY 8 MORNING: DAY 2 IN VARANASI, BEFORE THE CAMPAIGNING ENDS ON MAY 10

GENERAL ELECTIONS

Sympathy is always good for electoral politics. And when there is an issue to score sympathy midst an ongoing election, the beneficiary is going to be virtually unstoppable in exploiting the ends to gain the electoral mileage.

And the flip-flop by the Varanasi District Magistrate with a ‘Yadav’ surname yesterday on giving permission to Narendra Modi’s election events in Varanasi, with perceived elements of a sort of conspiracy hatched by the ruling Yadav family of Uttar Pradesh (if the BJP allegations are to be taken in account) was a perfect fodder for the BJP.

Narendra Modi has already won the Varanasi constituency. Main focus of the BJP is to maximize the impact of the Modi factor in the remaining seats of Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to score as many wins as possible.

And the Varanasi DM’s flip-flop coupled with the Election Commission’s perceived inaction in the matter yesterday made the BJP charging them left, right and centre that prepared the ground for today’s acts on ground that began this morning and are expected to build by afternoon when Modi addresses a rally in Varanasi’s rural outskirt of Rohania.

BJP’s top guns and workers have taken to the streets in Varanasi and Delhi simultaneously. Central Elections Commission’s office in Delhi and Banaras Hindu University’s main gate in Varanasi, so far, have been the initiating points of mobilization. Arun Jaitley and Amit Shah are sitting on Dharna while Narendra Modi has slammed the Election Commission in an Azamgarh rally.

And all this is coupled with round the clock, minute-by-minute media coverage, reaching to the masses including the intended vote bank, something that the BJP and Narendra Modi would love to see happening. And add to this is yet another Narendra Modi interview scheduled on a national news channel this evening.

When would the Modi opponents learn that their desperate acts like these are helping Modi only? But, then, the time has already run out for them.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

MAY 7: DAY 1 IN VARANASI, BEFORE THE CAMPAIGNING ENDS ON MAY 10

GENERAL ELECTIONS 2014

As expected, it has begun.

Amit Shah, the BJP UP in-charge and Narendra Modi’s lieutenant addressed a late night press conference yesterday slamming the District Magistrate of Varanasi, who is also the Returning Officer of Varanasi.

The day saw high pitched protests and pressers by the BJP top brass against the Varanasi DM for denying permission to Narendra Modi rallies in the city, especially at the Benia Bagh Park. Many letters were dashed to the Election Commission demanding action against the DM. Arun Jaitley was on the job till late evening.

The late night presser of Amit Shah was to hit back at the DM after his ‘delayed’ permission late in the evening that left the BJP with no time to manage the Modi rallies tomorrow. Obviously, the ‘Yadav’ surname of Varanasi DM gives the BJP enough edge to sound victimized in this case.

But the war cry the BJP has successfully managed to raise on the issue is basically about the larger picture covering the canvassing base in the remaining seats of the Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar that are to vote on May 12 in the last phase of the General Elections 2014.

Narendra Modi’s victory in Varanasi is an unambiguous outcome, irrespective of the time he has devoted in the city or is to devote in the city. He won the constituency the day he decided to contest from it. The only factor to be seen here is his margin of victory.

Whatever were the intentions and the reasons of the District Magistrate of Varanasi, it gave the BJP an opportunity and they grabbed it, and exploited it efficiently.

Whatever reasoning the Samajwadi Party might have had for pushing the city DM (if it was so, as alleged), it is going to help the BJP only.

And the developments related to the episode have enough fuel to add significantly to the BJP’s possible protests today.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/