NDA vs INDIA: Battle-lines Sharpen for Elections 2024


PM Narendra Modi launches, inaugurates and lays the foundation stone of development projects in Bihar (ANI)

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi focusses on his achievements in the past 10 years, the Congress party tries to corner him on the issue of jobs and caste census. How are the two alliances building two different narratives?

Our Bureau
New Delhi/Patna/Bengaluru

As the clock ticks for the general elections, the two biggest parties which lead two grand alliances are building two contrasting narratives. While the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA is focusing on the BJP-led government for the past 10 years, the Congress party is attacking and questioning the government’s report card.

As the election nears, the war of words between the two alliances is getting louder and bitter.

On Tuesday, saying the Opposition bloc that is formed with a sole purpose of defeating BJP in Lok Sabha Polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi elaborated on what a family means to him. Modi said that leaders of INDIA alliance are interested to live only for their families where as he prefers to live for every family of India. Further sharpening his attack, he said that he has been following the ideology of Nation First, ‘Mera Bharat-Mera Parivaar’.

Addressing a rally in Odisha, PM Modi said he is engaged in creating a better future for every citizen of the country. “We are helping women so that our sisters can become ‘Lakhpati Didi’. I am working to make three crore Lakhpati Didis across the country. But the corrupt people of INDI Alliance are not liking this. These people have nothing in response to our resolutions, achievements and policies. That is why the people of INDI Alliance have now increased their attacks on Modi. They are saying that Modi does not have a family, hence Modi has to be removed. These family members say that it is a fight of ideologies. The ideology of INDI Alliance is family first while Modi’s ideology is Nation First. These people live only for their families and Modi lives for every family of India. Modi is engaged in creating a better future for every citizen of the country,” he said.

He also emphasized that the only goal of the INDI Alliance is to remove Modi, whereas the key target of BJP is to make India, the third largest economic power.

“They (Opposition) have built palaces only for their children whereas Modi has built permanent houses for the poor families. That’s why I say ‘Mera Bharat-Mera Parivaar’. This is what is bothering these nepotism parties. Since yesterday, the poor, women and farmers of the country are all saying that I am Modi’s family,” PM Modi said.

Other leaders of BJP are too pitching in on Modi’s achievements.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah while speaking at the Republic TV Summit 2024 on Thursday emphasised the good work put in by the government in the last 10 years and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will continue to govern for the next ten years.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi offers a sweet to a child during the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, in Ratlam on Wednesday (ANI)

Asked about the political outlook for the next ten years Home Minister Amit said, “There is a dynamic democracy in our country which evaluates performances and gives its mandate depending on that. The mood and mandate in the past used to be based on caste, creed and religion and on the basis of appeasement. Now PM Modi has established politics of performance. Performance will determine who stays in power, the country will give an opportunity to those who perform. If we perform well, we will stay in power, if we do not control our drawbacks then we will not win. Because you have asked about the next 10 years, I can tell you that for the next 10 years it will be Prime Minister Narendra Modi only.”

The Home Minister also hit out at RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav for raising question on the absence of the Prime Minister’s family. “People who are trying to lower the level of country’s politics by talking nonsense, the public is giving them a befitting reply each time. I have seen Modi ji very closely, have worked with him for a long time. In a sense, Lalu ji has rightly said that Modi ji has no family. Because those who have families, try to make their sons and daughters Prime Ministers and Chief Ministers” Amit Shah said.

Modi is personally leading his party’s campaign with a vigor. Modi took on the INDIA bloc saying that since the opposition alliance is aware of their upcoming defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, they have now started targeting Lord Ram. “The INDI alliance knows that it is going to stand nowhere in the elections. Seeing their defeat in front of them, now they have targeted Lord Ram,” PM Modi said addressing a rally in Bihar’s Bettiah as part of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) preparations for the Lok Sabha polls.

PM Modi said on Wednesday that people in Bihar are witnesses to how the INDI alliance is opposing Lord Ram and is against the construction of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya. “In Bettiah, people experience Sita, Lav and Kush. The people of Bihar are seeing how the members of the INDI alliance are speaking against Lord Ram and the Ram Temple. The people of Bihar are also seeing who is standing with those who are insulting Lord Ram,” the Prime Minister said.

But the Congress party is also not leaving any stone unturned. The party has sharpened its attack on the Modi government as it tries to corner Modi on the issue of unemployment.

Ahead of the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday gave assurance regarding the grand old party’s commitment to offer employment opportunities to the youth of the country and annouced a five-pointer list for a new ‘Rozgar Revolution.’

The list included pointers such as ‘Bharti Bharosa’ (recruitment trust), confirmation for the first job, freedom from paper leaks, social security in the gig economy and financial assistance through ‘Yuva Roshni.’

Taking to his social media handle, the Congress Chief mentioned ‘Youth Justice’ and posted, “As soon as the Congress government is formed in 2024, a new employment revolution will begin by giving recruitment assurance to the youth of the country. Today the Congress Party is making a big announcement for crores of youth of this country, which has 5 main points.”

The first point included ‘Bharti Bharosa’ or recruitment trust by the Congress party wherein the party guaranteed recruitment to the youth and asserted that all the 30 lakh vacancies in the Central Government would be filled.

“This guarantee of Congress is for the youth of the country, in which first of all we guarantee recruitment confidence to all the youth. In which all the vacancies of around 30 lakhs in the Central Government will be filled. A timeline will be decided from paper submission to recruitment,” read the post.

The second point said that the first job of the youth would be confirmed and that the grand old party would provide apprenticeship training to every Diploma or Degree holder youth below 25 years of age in the government or private sector.

The post read, “Even after having a degree, every second youth of the country is unemployed because they do not have proper apprenticeship training. Congress Party guarantees that by bringing a new right to apprenticeship law, we will provide apprenticeship training to every Diploma or Degree holder youth below 25 years of age in the government or private sector. All apprentices will be given an assistance of Rs 1 lakh i.e. Rs 8,500 per month in a year.”

The fourth point said that Congress would offer social security in the gig economy for the welfare of the people. “Rahul Gandhi met lakhs of people during Bharat Jodo Yatra and Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra. He met many people including truck drivers, mechanics, carpenters, delivery people, and taxi drivers. Rahul ji shared their sorrows and pains listened to their problems and came to know the difficult environmental conditions in which they are working in cities miles away from their villages. He heard and understood all the problems they face, how low their salaries are, all these things,” the post said.

The fifth point stated financial assistance under ‘Yuva Roshni’ and stated that a fund would be created with an amount of Rs 5 thousand crore which will be distributed in all the districts of the country.

The other point raised by the Congress party is the issue of caste census. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has said that an X-ray is conducted when a hand bone is broken and similarly, the caste census is an X-ray for India. The Congress leader made the remark while addressing a public gathering during his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Ratlam district in the state on Wednesday. “Firstly, we will have to get an X-ray done for India. An X-ray is conducted when a hand bone is broken. Similarly, the caste census is an X-ray for India,” Rahul Gandhi said.

Congress General Secretary in-charge Communications Jairam Ramesh also said that conducting a socio-economic caste census is one of the two guarantees announced by the Congress party.

Caste census and jobs are two issues which could prove to be weak points of BJP even as the party banks on Modi’s achievements since 2014.

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