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What everybody missed: undercurrent created by Modi wave

cities Updated: Mar 11, 2017 23:44 IST

DEHRADUN: The BJP’s sweeping victory in the Uttarakhand assembly election Saturday was almost on mark as far as poll surveys go. The party termed it a victory of “Narendra Modi’s style of leadership” and “complete rejection of Harish Rawat’s leadership.”

BJP won 57 of the total 70 constituencies while Congress got 11. The Congress received another jolt as Rawat lost at both the seats he contested from --- Haridwar (Rural) by 12,278 votes and Kichha by 2,127 votes. Rawat lost both the seats to the BJP.

The BJP’s landslide victory also proved the political pundits wrong. They had predicted a hung assembly.

Analysts, in fact, missed the strong undercurrent sweeping the state in favour of the BJP owing mainly to the Modi wave. Three factors seem to have worked in favour of the saffron party. One of these was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to demonetise the high value currency notes. The other was the BJP’s poll-plank of corruption against the chief minister. And the third issue that clicked with people was Modi’s poll plank of development. He had assured that if voted to power the BJP would ensure development in the resource crunched hill state.

Its anti-corruption tirade against Rawat also fetched it a huge electoral mileage. Things also worked in BJP’s favour owing to the way it publicised the sting video purportedly showing him offering bribes to dissident legislators to save his government last year.

Last but not the least, what clicked for the BJP was the way Modi sold his demonetisation move as a tirade against black money. The people lapped up that logic as this correspondent noticed from their reaction during a pre-poll survey carried out in the hills in December, just days after the Centre recalled high value notes.

Speaking to media in Dehradun, BJP spokesman Munna Singh Chauhan attributed Rawat’s defeat to thriving corruption and a strong anti-incumbency. Chauhan said the massive surge of support for the BJP reflected in the trends and results available so far were due to a clear “Modi wave which has only gathered steam over the two-and-half years of his extra- ordinary performance at the Centre”.

“People were totally disillusioned with Rawat government under whom corruption flourished like never before and they were desperately looking for change. Narendra Modi’s style of leadership, his head-on approach towards dealing with corruption inspired confidence among the masses who voted overwhelmingly in favour of the BJP for a clean and accountable government,” he said.

It was a vote against the Rawat government’s non- performance, his arrogance and undemocratic approach, Chauhan said.

First Published: Mar 11, 2017 19:55 IST