One of the key strengths of Prime Minister Modi is his astute political acumen and his ability to pack punches in his speeches delivered, tailor-made to the occasions and contexts, that establish direct connect with the people and make immense sense to them, and which makes him the star campaigner for his party for every election and a nightmare for the opposition when he campaigns. Normally he doesn’t directly boast of his strengths, but this is one strength that he himself openly flaunted once, when in one of his speeches in the Parliament, while talking of MNREGA he looked at the Congress party MPs and said “Don’t underestimate my political acumen”.
In the last two election rally speeches in Jalandhar and Goa, he eminently displayed this trait again, as we could see from some of the power packed statements that drove his message home to the people listening to him and his direct and veiled attacks on the opposition. For instance, look at his statement – “Punjab is more than a state, it is the land of brave-hearts, martyrs and saints. Some people for their political gains bad mouth, humiliate the state.” In one stroke he kindled the Punjabi pride and attacked both Congress and AAP for bad mouthing the state as drugs inflicted. This is a tactic he used successfully in Gujarat too, as whenever Congress attacked him, he used to convert that as an attack on 6 crore Gujaratis. Here too he was telling the Punjabis how their State is being maligned by the propaganda carried out by AAP and Congress, something that would definitely be driven home to every Punjabi heart. Besides his reference to Congress as a “sinking ship”, is also a tangential reference to the fact that even their best “Captain” (Amrinder Singh) cannot save this ship.
Similarly in his Goa address, he cleverly asked the audience “Why is that Congress is getting beaten black and blue in every corner of the country in all elections.” He then immediately referred to the Demonetisation and how from the Congress Minister’s house in Karnataka black money worth about Rs. 150 crores of new notes and gold, was unearthed and how the Karnataka Government has still not sent even a notice to him. He smartly presented himself once again as a warrior against black money and how Congress party even after the rout in many elections, is still immersed in corruption, through this latest incident.
He then also asked the people, why India is being hailed across the world today. When people answered it is due to Modi, he denied it and said it is because of the 125 crore people who decided to give an absolute majority to a party after about 30 years and that is the reason. If we had continued in the same coalition government mode, with political constraints, perhaps we wouldn’t be respected as much as we are being respected now. This was again a clever reminder to the people there in Goa as also in other states like the UP, that alliances and coalition are disaster for the political and economic reforms of the country, but only absolute mandate would embolden an honest politician like him to take daring moves like Demonetisation and Surgical strikes. This is a very clear attack on all alliances and ghatbandhans as to how that could weaken the country because of coalition compulsions.
He also didn’t forget to invoke the role played by Manohar Parrikar in the Surgical strike and thanked Goa for giving one of the best defence ministers of the country. He then went on to say how “others” (including our own opposition) are still studying how it happened, when it happened and all, whereas it happened so quietly and efficiently. He said in an obvious reference to AAP without naming them, that the Opposition is already building up excuses for the defeat, like how “some” are blaming the Election Commission for keeping both Punjab and Goa elections on the same date and alleging it is because of the pressure by PMO. He mocked them by saying, how those who don’t respect the “Vyavastha” (Systems and Institutions), and would question the EC itself would respect Democracy and serve people. He further rebutted this point by saying, “If you don’t trust the umpire, why do you enter the arena to play?”.
It is this ability of the PM to communicate the message that he wants to, directly to the people that makes him the most feared politician by all Opposition parties and the most sought after orator by the public in general.