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How BJP's 2024 campaign is different from 2004's "India-shining"

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Niraj Sharma
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Narendra Modi (File photo)

New Delhi: Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his claim of winning 370 seats in this year's Lok Sabha elections, Congress whip in the Lok Sabha Manickam Tagore on Monday took a swipe by mentioning BJP’s “India-shining” slogan in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls.

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BJP used the “India-shining” slogan as the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee government was seeking re-election in 2004 after completing a full 5-year term but it lost to UPA.

"This kind of dream of the BJP has always failed and it failed in 2004 also when it talked about India-shining. It is going to be India-shining part 2 now," Tagore claimed.

However, senior journalist and political analyst Shekhar Iyer rejected any comparison between the 2004 and 2024 election campaigns of the BJP. 

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He said, “This year’s campaign is different from India-shining. NDA govt had achieved a lot but they started banking on those achievements.”

“BJP leader late Pramod Mahajan once told me that India-shining communication telling people that India had changed and everything was right was not enough. The communication lacked a vision for the future. The BJP should have told people what more changes it aimed at bringing in people’s lives,” Iyer said.

Iyer explained that no party wins only based on performance but on the vision for the future. “They have to keep promising and deliver those promises.”

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In his Monday speech in the Lok Sabha, Modi said that his government filled up the "ditches" left behind by the 10-year rule of the Congress-led UPA government in its first term, laid the foundation of a new India in its second term and will speed up the pace of a developed India in the third.

"The third term will witness very big decisions. It will lay a strong foundation for India for the next 1,000 years," Modi said.

Iyer explained that the third term will lay the foundation to ensure the country’s progress in each sector from infrastructure to health to education to agriculture. 

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“He is pitching for a paradigm shift which the opposition is clueless about,” Iyer added.

In his Rajya Sabha speech on Wednesday, Modi presented his vision for the next five years.

Modi said all flagship programmes like providing free ration, houses, cheaper medicines and focus will be made on neo rich.

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Modi said India will see more startups, one lakh unicorns, a record number of patents, the best universities, greater participation in international sports, transformation in public transportation, and bullet trains in the next term to see an "Aatmanirbhar Bharat".

"The third term of our government is not far away. Some people call it Modi 3.0. Modi 3.0 will put all its might to strengthen the foundation of 'Viksit Bharat'," he said expressing confidence about winning his third consecutive Lok Sabha polls.

When asked why it is difficult to defeat BJP’s campaign in 2024 for Congress as it did in 2004, Iyer said, “The Congress party campaigned against India-shining with a message that only a few people were shining while the rest of the country was in darkness. Congress is continuing with the same messaging in 2024 also. But this time, BJP is counting on its deliveries to the last mile such as building houses for the poor, toilets, free health facilities through Ayushman card, and LPG cylinders, among others.”

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In his Saturday speech in Lok Sabha, Modi said his government has succeeded in pulling 25 crore people out of poverty, and the biggest beneficiaries of its schemes are Dalits, OBCs and tribals.

Congress has been countering the claim of pulling 25 crore out of poverty by asking why the Modi government is continuing to give free ration to 80 crore people.

Iyer said that Modi answered this in his address to the Lok Sabha saying that people need help despite coming out of poverty so that they get more support.

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