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BJP relying on Narendra Modi in Haryana elections reflects poorly on state leadership

As the message of Modi is being spread across the state, it has also highlighted the lack of state level leaders in the party. With the presence of Modi, the BJP has turned the state elections into national polls.

Pragati Ratti, Priyanka RathiPragatiRatti

Updated:October 11, 2014, 9:52 PM IST
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BJP relying on Narendra Modi in Haryana elections reflects poorly on state leadership
As the message of Modi is being spread across the state, it has also highlighted the lack of state level leaders in the party. With the presence of Modi, the BJP has turned the state elections into national polls.

Karnal: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), hopeful of a repeat of the success of Lok Sabha polls in the Haryana Assembly elections, too, is once again playing the Narendra Modi card. With the Prime Minister addressing rallies across the state, the local leadership has been sidelined.

As the message of Modi is being spread across the state, it has also highlighted the lack of state level leaders in the party. With the presence of Modi, the BJP has turned the state elections into national polls.

BJP MLA candidate from Karnal Manohar Lal Khattar, who is being called an 'outsider' by the rivals, said there's no running away from the fact that his party is highlighting Modi. "Why should we not ride on the Modi wave? It's because of him that we have a single party government at the Centre. I would keep Modi at the forefront even in the smallest of elections," Khattar said.

Khattar was also confident that the Modi wave will sweep his constituency. Even locals opined that the Modi wave still exists and may help the BJP garner more votes.

Even Karnal BJP MP Ashwini Kumar Chopra stressed on the Modi wave. When questioned why the candidate is not being highlighted, Chopra said, "The Modi wave is still on. There are so many regional factors and circumstances in Haryana have also changed. The Assembly polls are going to be a real test for the BJP."

Ambala BJP MLA Anil Viz stated two reasons for the party sticking to the Modi factor. "Firstly, it is the first time after indepndence that any party has been able to dethrone the Congress with a single party majority and it all happened because of Modi. Secondly, after Modi became the Prime Minister, it is the first time that an Indian leader has got such a welcome internationally."

The party has so far not portrayed any chief ministerial candidate to avoid any possible rift in the party as there many aspirants for the post. The move may backfire as in state elections people are more likely to vote for someone they know and who can resolve local issues of water, road, electricity, cleanliness.

The Congress, on the other hand, feels the BJP is being too overconfident about the Modi factor. "There is no Modi wave now. This was clear in the recent bypolls in UP and even Gujarat. Local polls are not about Modi," said Karnal Congress candidate Surender Singh Narwal.

"Faridabad has a huge population of over 25 lakh. Yet only 15000 people attended Modi's rally here. There is no Modi wave or storm or anything. I'll give the example of bypolls in UP, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. These are state elections and people cast their vote based on local issues, not the Modi wave," said Tigaon Congress candidate Lalit Nagar.

But Congress candidate from Ambala Nirmal Singh said that even as Modi cannot look at local issues, the Swachh Bharat abhiyaan can help keep cities clean if people come forward.

The INLD on the other hand feels that in Haryana, it is a wave in favour of party chief OP Chautala. "Every old man in Haryana sees himself as Chautala. There is a wave in Haryana. The Modi wave is just a farce," said Rewari INLD candidate Satish Yadav.

Modi has been a boost for the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls. However, question remains as to whether the same can be repeated in elections that are more about door to door campaigns and not massive rallies. With the BJP relying heavily on Modi, it is to be seen on October 19 whether the BJP's Modi plan will prove fruitful or backfire.

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