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Perception Vs Reality

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi is contesting the parliamentary election-2024 for its third term as party in power. BJP is contesting this election in the midst of various contradictions. The main contradiction is the contradiction between perception and reality about the performance of BJP in this ongoing election. The […]

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi is contesting the parliamentary election-2024 for its third term as party in power. BJP is contesting this election in the midst of various contradictions. The main contradiction is the contradiction between perception and reality about the performance of BJP in this ongoing election. The Parliamentary election-2024 has already crossed its fifth phase. Other phases are on the way.
The main contradiction which BJP is facing in this election is discourse versus reality. We can say it in a media friendly term as ’perception-versus reality’. A discourse is being created by a section of media and academics who nurse an allergy virus against PM Modi and BJP that BJP is going to lose a lot in this election. But they miss that on the ground, BJP in various parts of India still contains huge popularity among the public. There may be two ways to see this picture of reality. One is BJP is still popular political option for the public due to Brand Modi, with a meaning of Modi ki guarantee, beneficiary impact (especially free ration for marginal urban and rural public), under current of Ram Janam temple inauguration, development hope which PM Modi has cultivated during his last tenure, etc.
Secondly, there is a strong alternative to the BJP for the common public. Some journalists, political analysts and academic friends always try to evolve negative discourse about PM Modi and BJP. They always count factors which are going to minimise BJP influence according to their views. They don’t discuss factors in their everyday discussions and also in public discourse, which are going to give edge to the BJP on the opposition in various parts of India. In their stories it appears that BJP may lose in some states in this election. They selectively ignore the new possibilities in this election.
In my view, with the challenge of maintaining earlier performance in most North Indian state, BJP has opened a new electoral possibility for itself in the non-Hindi states like Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. In Odisha, BJP is contesting this election with ‘Modi ki Guarantee’, Odiya identity, beneficiary impact and developmental hope BJP has created during the last 10 years. We may easily listen the admiration of PM Modi in different parts of Odisha.
However, Biju Janata Dal(BJD) is contesting the parliamentary election in the state in full form this time, but BJP has evolved leader like Dharmendra Pradhan who touches the heart and mind of people by raising issues which matters for the every daily life of common people in the state. He is taking the issue of Odiya identity further which PM Modi raised in his rallies in the state.
Many Odiya intellectuals and journalists see immense possibility in him. I also believe that Odisha needs a political solution for its great ‘Uday’ (rise) not the bureaucratic solution which BJD has offered in the form of VK Pandian, a bureaucrat turned politician, but a political solution which any visionary political leadership may give. Under the bureaucratic leadership, there is always a danger of turning the state into a bureaucratic state.
West Bengal another state for political possibility has emerged in this election. Many political analysts are of the view that in this election, BJP may improve its performance. The main cause is again growing trust in the leadership in West Bengal which combines with Hindutva and the BJP campaign against corruption in the state. BJP is trying to include as much as social communities in its politics by giving them political representation in this election. On the other hand, Trinamool congress leader and chief minister of West Bengal-Mamata Banerjee has a hope of Muslim polarisation and also political mobilisation of Bengali sentiment against BJP in the state. She believes that Bengali Bhadra Lok who is perceived as the opinion leader of society may support her in comparison to BJP.
We will have to see how the people in the state respond in this election, which has included many Trinamool cadres and leaders in its organisation and political campaign. Since BJP has started expanding itself recently, it has comparatively more space than Trinamool Congress to offer political aspirants of Bengal.
Many political analysts are of the view that BJP may also improve in the south Indian states like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. BJP is in alliance with Telugu Desham party (TDP) and Jansena Party in Andhra Pradesh. Due to its alliance with these regional forces, BJP acquired space to intensify the impact of PM Modi magic in this state. Similarly due to various local factors, inherent social -political contradictions and support of its allies , BJP may improve its electoral performance this year. BJP may also improve its performance in the state like Tamil Nadu as predicted by various journalists. Due to these new additions BJP may get new seats to recover if they lose some seats in other states.We will have to wait to see till June 4, how people are going to rewrite the fate of Indian democracy.

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