Bengaluru: “If not Modi, then who do we vote for?” “Who is the leader of the so called grand alliance?” “Why waste a precious vote for parties, which will not win? Go with the leader instead.” The questions and suggestions are perhaps an indication to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections even as the demand for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rallies from BJP state units is becoming difficult to address as PM Modi faces the paucity of time. “The demand from all units for his rallies is at an all time high because Modi is disruptive,” said an insider.
Modi seems to have caught the imagination of the youth – the 133 million first time voters, whom he called the bhagya vidhatas in his 2017 Independence Day speech. They see in him the “father of modern India – a go-getter and one, who alone could give a timely and fitting reply to Pakistan after the Pulwama attack and catapult India into the glorious space club of three – US, Russia and China with his sudden and abrupt address to the nation on March 27 in which the Prime Minister hailed the country as a military space power after an anti-satellite missile test.
Modi is endearing to the youth because of his adventurism, whether military or space, bravado, and his push for digital technology, surveys are showing. His swachchata abhiyan (drive for cleanliness) has also caught the fancy of the youth, who carry mass cleanliness drive in their campuses and public spaces,” said a noted sociologist.
In Uttar Pradesh, the state, which plays a decisive role in the Parliament elections the slogans raised by the youth in the hinterland are - “hum bhi chowkidar’ (we too are watchmen) and “Modi sarkar phir ek baar.” “These elections are not about BJP versus the grand alliance. It’s about Modi versus who?” he said.
The choice of young candidates in key BJP constituencies is an astute political strategy, which is driven by Modi, who sees in the youth the biggest segment of electorate he needs to win over.
“Modi presents the face of action. The youth think he is dynamic, energetic and modern even though he comes from a Hindutva party,” he added.
“Despite the fact that Modi carries with him a huge baggage of Hindutva agenda and cow vigilantism, people favour him because during the Samajawadi Party regime led by Akhilesh Yadav all government appointees were Yadavs. During Mayawati’s chief ministership, the Harijans were the chosen ones and the rest of the backward classes were ignored. Soon after Akhilesh became the chief minister in 2012 on Holi, a BSP village pradhan and Dalit leader Munna Lal was brutally murdered in Mansukhpura Agra allegedly by SP workers.
“The Dalits continued to be the soft targets of the Yadavs and they have neither forgiven nor forgotten the brutality. In the villages and kasbas, the youth want to vote for Modi because of many reasons such as their perception of Modi as the hero of the country. Hindutva and non corruption are other major issues,” said a political commentator in UP....