15 June, 2021

Modi Sarkar @Two

The BJP is wringing the most out of the Assam victory to put a coat of paint on the thinning Unstoppable Modi mystique

Photograph by AP
Modi Sarkar @Two

In his two years in office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi never perhaps needed electoral relief as much as he did in May 2016 to reinforce the perception that he is a doer, who can get things done. Not only was some remission needed from the bad press he and his ministers were getting for dismal performance, the unstoppability mystique, muscularly built around Modi during the 2014 campaign, stood decisively damaged with the los­ses in the Delhi and Bihar elections and needed some salvaging.

No wonder the BJP made an event of a one-out-of-five victory in the recent ass­embly elections, projecting the impressive 86 seats it won with its allies in Assam as a barometer of its growth across India and, as BJP president Amit Shah put it, “an approval of Narendra Modi’s performance over two years”. The desperation for good press was quite evident at Shah’s three-day media meet, held May 25 onward at the Ashoka hotel in Delhi: Shah was opening up to the media for the first time since taking over as party chief. But the hard fact remained that, other...

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