A ground report from the Modi rally in Tumakuru, Karnataka

The practice of commenting on politics from a desk based on conjectures and politically motivated intentions is totally different from experiencing the mood of people in a political rally. The MG stadium of Tumakuru was a testament to the emphatic support and popularity that Modi enjoys in the country even today. The crowd consisted of youth, kids and elderly eager to catch a glimpse of their Prime Minister and hear his speech. Having attended a Modi rally in Karnataka during his 2014 campaign, I can surely make this comment. The enthusiasm and energy of a Modi rally have not died down in any way.

While waiting for the man of the moment, I overheard someone talking about the progress under Modi Sarkar. The person said that Modi is doing important activities one after the other and everything that he dreams of can’t be achieved in a single term. He has to be given 2 to 3 terms to implement his agenda.

This is in stark contrast to typical political commentators or Modi opponent who harps on 2 crore jobs or smart cities or other promises, which in their opinion has not been implemented. This reason is touted to be a key factor that will decide 2019. However, that is not the case among common people. They have seen self-centred politicians who have enriched themselves with political office. Modi comes across as a fresh breath of air in comparison to other politicians.

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Hindi is no barrier at all for Modi’s popularity in Karnataka. Sure, a significant number of people may not understand the language, but they do understand the message. symbolism, sacrifice, honesty and hard worker that Narendra Modi is. One person among the crowd pointed out that the local MP had built a house and a factory for himself but this man (Modi) has left his family and home for the country. This makes for a very powerful story in the eyes of the voter.

With the assistance of a translator, Modi ensured that 100% of his speech was understood by the public. More than half of the speech was dedicated to local issues by the PM. Irrigation for coconut farms, drinking water woes and corruption under Siddaramaiah were the top issues that dominated the speech of the PM. Modi squarely questioned the Congress as to why they had not attended to the problem of indebtedness among farmers during their 5 decade-long rule in the country. He added that Congress has been seeking votes in the name of poor all these days, but it is unlikely to work in future. Modi added a sarcastic remark on Rahul Gandhi’s potato-gold scheme in the midst of his speech.

Another important issue dealt by the PM was related to the role of Janata Dal (S) in the state’s politics. He pointed out the Congress had been administering municipal corporation BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) in Bangalore in coalition with the JDS. In the face of this fact, how can Congress run away from the fact that they have an understanding with the party in Karnataka, the PM questioned? This was a key message that Modi drove home to the audience as media has been trying to insinuate a hypothetical understanding between BJP and JDS in the assembly election.

The rally was well attended by people from neighbouring constituencies as well. A jam-packed stadium shouting ‘Modi  Modi Modi’ in unison was an ominous message to the NDTV jamaat which attended the rally this morning. If the momentum of the Modi rallies are carried over till the polling booth, there is no doubt that a BJP government with a full majority will become a reality on the 15th of May.

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