OPINION | Bihar Assembly Poll Results: Modi Factor Becomes The Brahmastra to Win Elections
PM Narendra Modi addresses party workers in Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI)
The NDA and chief minister Nitish Kumar were facing a tough challenge from Tejashwi Yadav this time as the exit polls illustrated. But when Modi started campaigning, the NDA made a comeback in the contest.
- Last Updated: November 13, 2020, 8:14 IST
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You must have heard of Raja Bali of Kishkindha. He had got this blessing from Indra that whoever would face him in the battlefield would end up transferring half his strength to Bali. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too has got this blessing from the people of the country, it seems. The outcome of the Bihar elections proved this once again because by upsetting all the predictions of the exit polls the NDA has retained power in the state. How is it that every seemingly difficult election ends up in a victory for the BJP and its allies once PM Modi enters the battlefield!
How did the Modi factor work in Bihar?
Modi addressed 12 rallies in Bihar and most of these candidates backed by him ended up winning the elections. The BJP’s strike rate in the Bihar elections is 70%. It has been made evident time and again that Modi pulls the NDA out of trouble.
Nitish's shortcomings were camouflaged
Modi, by the sheer weight of his work and by taking it to the people, covers up the deficiencies of his colleagues. Bihar is the latest example of this. When the campaign started there, chief minister Nitish Kumar was clearly trailing. Not happy with the seat-sharing arrangement, Chirag Paswan of the LJP had already left the NDA. On the issue of unemployment, Tejashwi had cornered Nitish badly and it seemed this time there would be an upset. But when Modi started campaigning, the NDA made a comeback in the contest. Modi knows what people want to hear and he knows how to address them and tell them about the work his government has been doing all this while.
People believe Modi
During the coronavirus pandemic, millions of people faced the problem of livelihood but Modi ensured that 80 crore poor people get free ration during the crisis that continued for 7-8 months. This has cost the state exchequer ₹1.7 lakh crore. Till Chhath Puja, every person would get 5 kg wheat, 5 kg rice and 1 kg pulse, which has benefitted a huge number of people in Bihar. In the same way, he ensured ₹500 per month for 20 crore women of this country and also helped the poor get gas connections which made them committed voters of Modi.
Modi was successful in sending this message during the election that he is not a person who only serves up dreams to the people but also puts in all efforts to translate them into reality. This is the reason why people believe in him.
According to the biggest investor of the world, Warren Buffet, communication is the most effective tool for being successful. This is true even for PM Modi. He very easily connects with the people and because of this he is very effective in communicating his words from Bihar to Madhya Pradesh and from Uttar Pradesh to Karnataka.
Modi has the ability to turn even criticism in his favour. Recollect his elections in Gujarat which were said to be his toughest, but whatever criticism came his way, he ended up benefitting from them. Most of the time, his opponents are left behind in this art. In the same way, when Modi said, “Mother Ganga has called me,” the whole of UP ensured that he got a landslide victory in the state in both the parliamentary and assembly elections. He always speaks keeping in mind the public that has turned up to listen to him and this connects him instantly with the people. While campaigning in Bihar, he used local languages initially to address the people.
His being active on social media has helped him connect with the youth. He knew that ‘Bihar mein ka ba…’ was trending in the state, so in one of the rallies, he said: "Bihar is the heart of India, Bihar is the pride of India, Bihar is one state which gave the slogan of 'total revolution'. Bihar is self-sufficient."
PM Modi has the ability to communicate with the people with new slogans. So, to convey the idea to have governments of the same party at the Centre as well as in the state, he used the term "double-engine government" and it became an instant hit and conveyed the meaning that he wanted votes for the NDA government in the state as well. In the same way, he used the term "double yuvaraj" for Tejashwi and Rahul and this said everything about them. Apart from the BJP, the NDA too has benefited from Modi’s popularity not only in Bihar but also in by-elections in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat and Manipur.
Modi has changed many trends. For example, political parties usually do not fight elections on the issue of development, but the PM has made development the central theme of the election campaign and has been successful in changing the discourse.
Modi uses smartphones and social media to convey his message to the masses. This helps him connect with the youth but, at the same time, he has also used traditional mode of communication like radio to connect with the people. And yes, letters as well. On the last day of the election campaign, the letter he wrote in the name of the people of the state became hugely successful and people talked about it.
All this has ensured that Modi's charm among the populace remains undented and his opponents have a tough challenge on their hands.