The Narendra Modi government has rung in the new year with an aggressive intent to decimate the opposition’s long-drawn shenanigans of portraying the government in the bad light. It has shown the will to systematically demolish all the concocted allegations of corruption levelled on it by the opposition. Continuing its attack, it has now thrown a monkey wrench for the opposition by expressing its intent to bring in the reservation of about 10% for the economically backward classes.
Learning from the setback it received in the recent defeats in the Assembly elections 2018, the Modi government has visibly recalibrated its election campaign policies. From being on the defensive against the opposition’s accusations, PM Modi and his ministers have decided to take the saddle and charter his own path for the big battle in 2019. The recent announcement of offering reservations to economically backward classes is hailed as one such political masterstroke to meet that end.
The BJP has finally found its foot for the upcoming electoral battle. Post-election defeats in December 2018, the saffron party realised that it can no longer yield the narrative on a platter to the opposition by pussyfooting on the outlandish assertations made by Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party. The mealy-mouth approach embraced by the BJP regarding Rafale Deal, farm loan waivers not only rendered it helpless against the increasingly defiant Congress but also emboldened the cadres of the Indian National Congress.
The attacks intensified and the BJP ministers were caught in the crosshairs of Congress politicians who wasted no opportunity to cash in on the BJP’s non-committal approach. However, the defeats in the elections struck a sobering realisation to the BJP-high command. The subsequent election speeches given by Modi dwelled more on what his government has done for empowering the farmers and how Congress has been fooling the farmers from years with their election lollipop trickeries like granting farm loan waivers.
BJP top brass spoke in unison about Congress’ past betrayal with farmers. The messaging had coherency. Even on the Rafale deal, the hobby-horse for Rahul Gandhi and the Congress to portray the government in neck-deep corruption was dealt with finesse by the senior BJP leaders. They piggybacked their claims about the Rafale deal by citing the Supreme Court’s validation of having no procedural or pricing violations in procuring the Rafale jets.
Arun Jaitley, the Finance Minister of the country eloquently demolished in the parliament all the misgivings the Congress party had raised about the Rafale Deal. It appeared that Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi were taken off-guard by Jaitley’s ruthless onslaught. If this was not enough, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pummeled the already battered Congress to bits by her gamely defence of the jets deal and slamming Congress for jeopardising the country’s security by inordinately delaying the fighter aircraft deal.
Now, mounting the counter-attack on Congress, the BJP started attacking Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi for the National Herald case in which there occurred alleged involvement of transfer of the government property worth crores for just 50 lakhs to a trust owned by the Gandhis. Modi’s speeches and BJP’s pressers also started seeking identities of “Mrs Gandhi” and the “Italian lady’s son R” mentioned by the AgustaWestland middleman Christian Michel in his deposition to the CBI and the ED.
The Congress was already battling from the body blow it received from the SC’s Rafale verdict. Amidst this, a ruthless and aggressive BJP severely hamstrung the Congress and its ecosystem by engaging in an all-frontal attack. With the Congress already having peaked at their narrative, in the crucial months leading up to the 2019 elections, they don’t have too many issues to bank upon.
This Modi-Shah’s turf. They are known to set the narrative and dominate it. The concerted attempts have laid the foundation for the BJP. While the opposition continues to flounder, the BJP which is in a pole position may well have struck the last straw on the camel’s back by offering 10% reservations to the economically backward upper class. It has already started causing excessive hand-wringing among the usual suspects.