Since the Assembly Elections have been announced by the Election Commission in the state of Maharashtra, due to be held on October 21, there is a certain sense of peace and tranquility amongst the Bhartiya Janta Party(BJP) ranks. Buoyed by the drubbing inflicted on the opposition in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections and the impeccable work done in the last five years by Devendra Fadnavis-led government, it seems BJP is confident in its prospects of winning the assembly elections yet again.
It has at last given Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the well-deserved breathing space that he has very well earned as the PM has had to jump into the fray and conduct his rambunctious rallies and meetings in the soon-to-be going election states whenever the dates were announced.
Earlier, whenever elections were announced, BJP used to gear up instantly in the battlefield costume prepared to go all guns blazing. But it seems like things are different this time around.
Modi, with his charisma, has itself turned the fortunes of BJP in several states, but it looks like Maharashtra is in the bag for BJP-Shivsena alliance.
The fact that Modi has been the lead campaigner for BJP in almost all the states that go to polls speaks volumes about the fact that how much he exerts himself during the election period. His love for oratory and public speaking is not hidden from anyone and he tries to leverage it in the elections by holding rally after rally.
In a report in Economic Times dated October 24, 2017, it is stated that PM Modi made nearly 19 speeches every month since he became PM on May 26, 2014 till the report was published which amounted to roughly 775 speeches in 41 months, which obviously would have included the strenuous rallies that he conducts in every state during the poll season.
Modi logged in 24 rallies to his name by the time electioneering came to an end in UP in 2017 elections but his best remains 31 during the Bihar Assembly elections in 2015.
In 2019 LS elections too, the BJP stalwart addressed a total of staggering 144 rallies and roadshows during the whole campaign spread across seven phases. He held 36 rallies and roadshows in Uttar Pradesh alone, which is an average of one rally per 2.3 seats.
The PM had also conducted over 15 rallies in the assembly elections held in the state of Maharashtra in 2014 which was dominated by the BJP.
With the opposition marginalised in the state and the party under Devendra Fadnavis invaded deep inside the state through development projects where Mr Fadnavis has aggressively pushed for infrastructure development, especially in the city of Mumbai which accounts for more than one-fourth of the annual output of the state.
The underdeveloped Vidarbha region also bagged major investment in infrastructure project which has already earned dividends in the LS polls for NDA.
The PM Kisan scheme helped the party win the trust of the farmers. Reservation for Marathas and EWS sections has created a belief that the party is willing to go the extra mile in terms of executing the decisions.
Fadnavis has also been able to weaken the opposition parties with several big leaders from Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party(NCP) joining the BJP in past few months.
The morale of both Congress and NCP is at an all-time low and the lack of a strong leader amongst their ranks is further hurting their campaign. BJP President has already said that the BJP-Sena alliance will win a three-fourths majority in the state.
Maharashtra is the most productive state in India with 400 billion dollar GDP and is aiming to become a $1 trillion economy by 2025. “We want (Maharashtra) to become a trillion-dollar economy by 2025,” said Fadnavis.
Currently, the annual GDP of Maharashtra is at 400 billion dollars, which is more than many neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The fact that the west-peninsular state is one of the biggest cash-cow for the NDA means that neither BJP nor Sena would be looking to take the foot off the gas easily, yet it seems like BJP is going to canter in the upcoming polls and despite the odd-bickering from Uddhav Thackeray led Shivsena, the alliance is all set to hold its fort while the opposition gears for another crushing loss.
Mr Modi by all accounts will be holding rallies in the state but the hard-yards have already been done by the state government and therefore the Prime Minister can afford to “chill” a little.
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