Realizing the importance of the ongoing campaign and polling for Narendra Modi’s third term in 2024, BJP throws everything possible in the elections. The Congress hits back hard too. Who has the upper hand as of now?
With Rajasthan set to witness assembly polls on Saturday, the star campaigners from BJP and Congress held rallies and launched attacks at each other. BJP has been persistently accusing the Congress of appeasement over vote bank politics while Rahul Gandhi sharpened its attack on the BJP and terming the party’s top brass “pickpocketers”.
Rajasthan is set for assembly polls on November 25, with votes to be counted on December 3. Of the 200 assembly seats, 199 will be contested on November 25, as elections in the Karanpur constituency were adjourned due to the passing of the Congress candidate Gurmeet Singh KoonarIn 2018, the Congress won 99 seats, while the BJP won 73.
When BJP marked its campaigning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the lead and joined by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party national president JP Nadda, Congress brought in party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi and party MP Rahul Gandhi to light up the campaigning battle.
Addressing a public meeting at Rajasthan’s Ramgarh, the BJP national chief urged the people to give Narendra Modi a third straight term as prime minister in next year’s general elections in the interest of making the country the third-largest global economy by 2027-28.
While, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot emphasized the importance of repeating the current government, and highlighted his tenure’s achievements, fulfilling ten guarantees, and promised to implement seven more if voted back into power.
Addressing a public rally in Bhilwara’s Shahpura of Rajasthan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again hit out at the Congress leadership, accusing it of indulging in ‘dynastic’ politics and said that the grand old party strives to ‘punish’ its leader Sachin Pilot for his father’s revolt against high command in 1996. While taking a dig at the BJP for asking the people of Rajasthan to make a “double engine” government in the state along with the center, Priyanka Gandhi said that the Prime Minister had all the time to watch the cricket World Cup final, he did not find any time to visit Manipur which has been ridden with violence for the last so many months.
She added that their engines were already running out of steam in states like Madhya Pradesh and also at the center.
Comparing the governance of BJP and Congress, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the policies of PM Modi have taken the country’s economy from 11th to 5th position globally while Congress leader Sonia Gandhi is repeatedly engaged in relaunching her son Rahul Gandhi in politics.
Highlighting the BJP’s efforts, Shah mentioned, “It was the BJP that made the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) a constitutional body. We also gave the nation its first OBC Prime Minister. Congress never worked for backward communities; they only made false promises to them.”
Amit Shah further hit out at the Gehlot government and said that he had never seen a more corrupt government in his entire life. “I never witnessed such a corrupt government in my life. Once a BJP government is formed here which will have the vision of PM Modi, we will open an investigation and all these corrupt people will be punished,” he said.
Meanwhile, down south, Union Minister and Telangana BJP President G Kishan Reddy on Wednesday confirmed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the poll-bound state for the party’s election campaigning. Kishan Reddy said that the Prime Minister will visit the state on three days, November 25, 26 and 27 adding that the state needs a “double-engine” government.
“PM Modi will participate in a roadshow in Hyderabad on November 27. Union Home Minister Amit Shah will be in the state on November 24 and 26. BJP national president JP Nadda, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh will also be coming to Telangana,” Reddy said.
The BJP chief claimed that though Congress is eyeing forming a government in Telangana, the people will not “bless” the party.
“After Karnataka, Congress is dreaming of forming the government in Telangana. The people of Telangana will not bless the Congress party. A double-engine government should come to Telangana so that the people of the state receive all benefits,” he said.
He also dared the Congress party to make a person belonging to the Backward Community (BC) as Chief Minister while vowing on the BJP’s behalf to bring a BC person to the CM’s chair if the party is voted to power.
BJP President G Kishan Reddy on Monday launched a scathing attack on the Congress alleging that it was taxing the people in Karnataka to fund the election campaign in Telangana. “Congress party came to power in Karnataka on the basis of five guarantees. But they are not fulfilling these guarantees. Every section of the society in Karnataka is against Congress. On the orders of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, Congress indulging in corruption is gathering crores of rupees by the way ‘election tax’ in Karnataka to fund its election campaigns in Telangana, Chhattisgarh & Rajasthan” Telangana BJP Chief Kishan Reddy said.
The allegations come after several senior Congress leaders and ministers like Karnataka Deputy CM DK Shivakumar have been campaigning extensively in Telangana for the Congress. The BJP which unveiled its election manifesto for Telangana on November 18 has also attacked the ruling BRS calling for the removal of the Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao. “KCR ko hatao, Telangana ko bachao, BJP ko jitao” Kishan Reddy said while addressing a press conference in Hyderabad.
In another development, the Congress on Sunday constituted an election coordination committee for the Telangana assembly polls to coordinate the election campaign of the star campaigners. As per the notification issued by the party, Challa Vamshi Chand Reddy has been appointed as convener of the panel, with Mahesh Kumar Goud as co-convener.
The committee includes three other members: Syed Azmatullah Husseni, Nuthi Shrikanth and N Preetham. “The AICC has approved the proposal for the constitution of a Coordination Committee to co-ordinate the election campaign of the star campaigners, for the ensuing assembly elections in Telangana – 2023, as follows, with immediate effect,” the party said.
The BJP knows the importance of this election and how important it is for the party in the 2024 national elections. In fact, some leaders are already talking about it. Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has expressed confidence in Narendra Modi securing a third term as Prime Minister saying that the way he has taken the country forward, his upcoming tenure will be a defining moment for India.
Speaking about a training session organized in Bhayandar’s Uttan for the election in-charge of the party ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2024, Fadnavis said, “I informed party leaders in the meeting that the upcoming Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections are more important for the nation than for the BJP. The way Modiji has taken the country ahead, his upcoming tenure between 2024 and 2029 will be a defining moment for India.”
“Therefore, we have to strengthen the party at all booth levels and constituencies before the Lok Sabha election. We have to strongly back our alliance partners during elections. Accordingly, everyone in the party shall work keeping these things in mind,” he added.
Hitting back at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his remark, blaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India’s defeat to Australia in the final of the cricket World Cup, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said the PM may bring bad luck to ‘corrupt’ leaders in the Opposition but people regard him as a ‘messiah’.
Fadnavis said, “Who is scared of PM Modi these days? It’s the corrupt leaders and evil-doers who are living in fear of him. Hence, it is quite normal for them to feel that way about him. However, for the common man, PM Modi remains a messiah, the country’s savior from corruption. They regard Prime Minister Modi as a leader who is determined to take the country forward.”
“As far as Rahul Gandhi is concerned, not even his own party leaders take him seriously. So, even I don’t take him seriously,” the Maharashtra Deputy CM added.
Who the electorate of Rajasthan and Telangana and other states, which are going or gone to polls this month, will take seriously would be known only on December 3. And that will also give a major indication for 2024.