Prime Minister Narendra Modi is invincible. We know it for a fact. But you see, the media has often been reluctant to admit the same. It is a painful pill that has always been hard for them to swallow. The writing has been on the wall since 2014, and the many state elections that followed have only highlighted what has been obvious. The fact of PM Modi is the most popular and loved Indian leader was cemented in 2019, and now, with the latest assembly poll results, the man has turned into what Vir Sanghvi has called a “Teflon-coated” leader.
Indian media – at least an adamant section of it, has finally realised the power that brand Modi yields. If Rahul Gandhi keeps losing elections, Narendra Modi keeps winning them. Writing for The Print, journalist Vir Sanghvi said, “His popularity is bullet-proof.” He added, “If these trends hold, then the BJP is chugging comfortably along to another term in office.”
A certain section of India’s media has refused to read the writing on the wall. With the BJP winning four out of five states that recently went to polls, including the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, Indian media and some select portals have been harked back to reality.
What’s Global Media Saying?
Apart from the usual stereotypical addendums that get associated with the BJP, global media has been rather open about stating the obvious. CNN said, “Home to more than 200 million people, the state’s election result is often seen as a precursor of what can be expected in India’s general election. Uttar Pradesh votes for the largest chunk of legislators in the national parliament, and the BJP’s presence in the state is likely to bolster support for Modi when he stands for election for a third time in 2024.”
The Washington Post wrote, “UP’s voters had not re-elected a state government for decades. Now, they have given the BJP a second majority in the state assembly, underlining the fact that it is very hard to imagine anyone successfully challenging Modi when elections to the national parliament roll around in 2024. If the BJP sweeps UP’s 80 parliamentary constituencies once again, a third term for Modi is almost assured.”
The Economist, meanwhile, stated, “At the national level, the BJP has become an increasingly lonely shark. Unless its opponents work out how to join forces, Mr Modi’s party will continue to swim unchallenged.”
The Wall Street Journal observed, “With more than 200 million people, Uttar Pradesh was crucial to the BJP’s decisive victory in the last national election in 2019. The BJP’s wins will strengthen the party’s control in Parliament’s upper house, where it doesn’t have a majority.”
BBC wrote, “For one, this win tightens the BJP’s grip on power, deflates a splintered opposition and places the party well ahead in the race to win a third term in the 2024 parliamentary election. Second, the win emboldens the BJP to push ahead with its successful strategy of combining strident Hindu nationalism with strategic welfarism to woo voters. Third, the win firmly establishes Mr Adityanath as a mass leader in India’s most politically significant state.”
Stating the Obvious, Albeit Very Late
What we know for years, is only now being said by mainstream media – especially international news networks. PM Modi remains invincible. The opposition is in disarray. The Congress has lost an election in Punjab, and their electoral story in that state is over. The party cannot stage a comeback in Punjab any longer. It’s curtains down for them there.
The Aam Aadmi Party is being treated as a pariah by India’s opposition camp. DMK, TRS, TMC and other opposition parties – none of them has congratulated AAP for its spectacular victory in Punjab. Arvind Kejriwal is the next big thing in Indian politics. Unlike other opposition leaders like Stalin, Mamata and KCR, Kejriwal is not bounded by a “regional identity.” That scares opposition parties of India.
Arvind Kejriwal has made it a point to not attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He knows for a fact that such a strategy will backfire. And that speaks volumes about PM Modi’s own image. Not only is he invincible, but leaders merely speaking against him will be tossed in the trash can by Indians. Moving forward, 2024 seems like a seamless election for the BJP to win.