A prolonged election schedule has accentuated an already acerbic campaign to increasingly pit Narendra Modi as the lone face of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). On innumerable podiums, across geographies, he bears the brunt as the lone speaker and is compelled to touch contradictory themes. And the blame must entirely go to the party for such extreme overload on the circuit.
Then, the Modi-centric campaign of the BJP for 2019 is but an extension of its strategy for the Uttar Pradesh elections of 2017. The Sangh ethos has never promoted individualism has forced it to put all eggs in one basket. If it had earlier smarted under the Congress heyday of “India is Indira”, it surely is as circumspect with “Modi is BJP”, an amorphous approach that it has not been able to alter. This has led to an unsteady sojourn — far back into the Nehru era for faulting on policy and governance and the Rajiv one for lack of probity — if only to showcase a perceived contrast. Not an edifying pitch to take but there was no other way. If the BJP pulls through on May 23, it would be despite its party and not because of it.
R Narayanan, Navi Mumbai
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