Millennium Post

Will Modi’s poll blitzkrieg help in wresting power?

Will Modi’s poll blitzkrieg help in wresting power?
It’s so that the BJP is contesting the 2014 general elections on Modi Shining slogan. The basic difference between the two campaigns is that India Shining slogan was floated across the nation to promote the achievements of Vajpayee government, while on the other hand in this election (2014), the party is presenting the achievements of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and seeking vote in the name of Modi model. The outcome of India Shining campaign is known to everyone. The bigger question is will the BJP be able to achieve the numbers to form government at the Centre?

In 2004 elections, the high-tech poll campaign of BJP was managed by relatively ‘technocrat’ leader Pramod Mahajan. BJP’s campaign in 2004 broadcasting the success of Vajpayee government using government exchequer was the brainchild of Mahajan. On his direction, the departments under the central government spent thousand of crores in publicizing the achievements of Vajpayee government through advertisement in newspapers, televisions and hoardings across the country. The photo of the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was placed prominently in every advertisement.

The campaign of India Shining continued even after the announcement of poll dates of 14th Lok Sabha election. But, now the cost of campaign was included in the party head instead of government exchequer. It is pertinent to mention here that in 2004 too, the poll surveys conducted before the polls had predicted the formation of BJP government.

The efforts of Pramod Mahajan were washed away just after the results of the 14th Lok Sabha election were announced. The seats of ruling BJP reduced to 138 from 182 and Congress emerged as the largest party bagging 145 seats. The Congress also clinched the UPA alliance with other regional parties and with the support of Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Left Front formed the UPA government at the centre led by prime minister Manmohan Singh.

In the present the Lok Sabha election, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is heading the poll campaign committee. Somehow similar to Pramod Mahajan, Modi is also highlighting his achievements. A budget of Rs 5,000 crore has been fixed for the poll campaign. The hoarding with photos of Narendra Modi has been installed across the cities and national highways.

The expected expenditure on these hoardings is about Rs 2,500 crore. The budget for advertisements in newspapers and magazines is around Rs 650 crore while for televisions it’s about Rs 1,000 crore. It’s been calculated that the amount spent on advertisements during T20 World Cup was about Rs 150 crore, while the expenditure on Radio and Online Media is about Rs 35 crore. A sum of Rs 500 crore has been allotted for the advertisements during the last leg of campaigning.

Modi’s high profile poll campaign is very scientific too. Modi has formed a team of backroom boys, which gives suggestions to election campaign committee on the basis of internal surveys. Finding the negative response of slogan abki baar, modi sarkar, backroom boys’ team apprised about its outcome to poll campaign committee members. Acting on their suggestion, the campaign panel started stressing on party and Modi equally. It’s after this that during the poll campaign posters with BJP’s Lotus symbol with the message to press the button of Lotus installed across the country.

Interestingly, surveys conducted before the beginning of world’s largest democratic poll predicted that BJP-led NDA is likely to get majority to form at the government in Delhi. Recently, a TV channel’s survey claimed that NDA is getting complete majority, but in contrary the news coming from states have different to say. The reports of poll outcome from other states, including Uttar Pradesh predict that BJP’s move to field wrong candidates will cost the party dearer in the general elections.

Interestingly every survey is predicting that BJP-led NDA is all set to come to power at the centre, but what is the sample of the survey? This has not been revealed. We have to see whether the poll surveys of this year would prove right in comparison to the 2004 surveys or not?

As like 2004, this year too BJP is claiming ahead of all in the poll fray on the basis of extensive poll blitzkrieg. Whether BJP will get the benefits of its high-tech poll campaign or not could be decided only after the counting of ballots on 16 May. Till then, it could be said that election process for the 16th Lok Sabha seems to be very interesting and the poll results are expected to be surprising.
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