As the seventh phase of election approaches to closure, the groundswell in favour of Prime Minister Modi is becoming stronger. Except in the last few days, not one political analyst had foreseen the velocity of this groundswell even in a State like Bengal. The largest size of the Prime Minister’s public rallies have been in Bengal.
The positive reasons for the Prime Minister’s acceptability has been his decisiveness, integrity and performance, his delivery of resources to the poor, and his security doctrine which has been a game changer. The NDA’s strength has been a complete absence of any confusion about leadership or programme. There is an absolute consensus.
The not so positive reason for the Prime Minister’s high acceptability levels is the absence of any cogent or coherent alternative. Conventionally, it used to be referred to as the ‘TINA’ factor. This effectively means that ‘There is no alternative.’ If the Opposition is giving vague assurances of an alternative, the same is either too scary or absolutely frightening. The Opposition could not forge an alliance in several key States. They do not call a meeting of different Opposition parties for the obvious fear that many will not attend the meeting. The common thread which brings them together is negativism – to get rid of one person. They have no agreement on either a leader or programme. They are a completely fractured Opposition which could not come together before or during the election. Who will believe their assurance that they can come together after the election? They are institution wreckers. They do not allow Parliament to function. They attack and intimidate Judges. Now Election Commission is their next target. The attack on the EVMs and the Election Commission is an advance alibi for defeat on the 23rd May, 2019. Their leaders represent temperamental mavericks, some highly corrupt and many – a governance disaster. The electorate wonders, if they can ever provide a cogent alternative. Past history belies the longevity of such opportunistic and fragile combinations.
To the electorate, they provide an absolutely frightening scenario. I have long argued that aspirational societies look for a better tomorrow. They are averse to suicidal choices. The frightening and scary scenario that the Opposition promises will be responsible for its rout. This consolidates the groundswell in favour of Modi.