Exit polls show victory of Moditva

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Image courtesy Twitter)

As the two-month long mammoth exercise of Lok Sabha elections 2019 concluded on Sunday locking the fate of parties and personalities in EVM machines, the counting on Thursday will reveal what mattered the most— Modi, Mudda or Mahamilavat (alliance).

If exit polls are to be believed, it’s a saffron surge in North India— be it BJP fighting alone in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh (which it lost in state polls recently), Karnataka, where it seems defeating an alliance of Congress and JDS, Uttar Pradesh, where it fought an umbrella alliance of the SP, BSP and RLD with help of two smaller allies, one of which turned rebel in the end and in Bihar and Maharastra, BJP’s umbrella alliances did well.

Even before voting for the last phase of Lok Sabha polls concluded on Sunday, political parties, particularly from the Opposition were in a tizzy and the hustle bustle for government formation kicked in with TDP Supremo Chandrababu hopping from one state to other, holding meetings with leaders of non-NDA parties to work out a common strategy to form a non-BJP government if the saffron party falls short of a majority. Now it seems the enthusiasm was highly misplaced.

In contrast, there seemed to be a mood of confidence in the BJP, with Modi embarking on a two-day teerth yatra of Kedarnath and Badrinath and Shah heading to Somanath Temple in Gujarat in contrast to the back-to-back meetings in the Opposition camp.
 
A repeat of 2014 or even a result close to that will clearly be a victory of Modi factor or call it Moditva— a combination of Modi factor and Hindutva politics of the BJP on which the saffron party primarily campaigned for most of the time of polls, setting aside the development plank with which it planned to begin early.

The BJP’s big time gamble of fielding Sadhvi Pragya Thakur against Congress’ Digvijay Singh is also an indication that the party was keen to focus the narrative on Hindutva after its inability to do much on Ram Temple issue.
 
Mudda (issues) was also hardly heard in 2019 Lok Sabha polls— with issues like agrarian crisis and joblessness taking a backseat and the electoral contest boiling down in Hindi heartland to “jaati, rashtravaad and dharm" (caste, nationalism and religion). In Hindi states of UP and Bihar, what mattered more than local issues was caste, credibility and charishma. In both narrative and personality, the BJP seems to have left the Opposition far behind.
 
While travelling in the rural hinterland of the cauldron of caste politics-Bihar and the epicentre of farm unrest Madhya Pradesh—be it in the arid Chambal, bandit land of yesteryears, the RSS bastions of Indore-Ujjain or the opium belt of Mandsaur, the identity of candidates mattered very little.

2019 saw rural India reverberating with nationalistic fervour with Pakistan, Pulwama and Balakot forming the narrative backing the “Majboot versus Majboor” government narrative pushed in by the BJP.

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