Saturday, 18 January 2020

Obsession with Modi

Updated: August 12, 2016 1:26 pm

Sonia Gandhi launched her party’s campaign for forthcoming UP assembly elections from Varanasi. Why does Varanasi, which is most nurtured constituency of Narendra Modi? It is said that the wise men in the party wanted to show that she had no less pulling power than Modi. And did it prove anything? Although mid-way of the road-show, she felt uneasy and the rest of the programme aborted, it showed that the crowd was not as enthusiastic as when Modi came to the city for the first time. And if one goes by what was being talked at tea-stalls and egg and bun dukaans, things were mixed, more seemed thankful to Modi.

Congress workers were initially worried that the crowd at the statue of Ambedkar was very thin. But a Congress supporter sitting at a tea-stall opposite the statue site, Mohammad Isa said, “The crowds will come. They will build up, you wait.”

“It is true the Congress will not win,” he says, “but who else will I vote for?  As Muslims, my family has always voted for the Congress. But then grudgingly he acknowledged, “Since Prime Minister Modi was elected, it is true that roads have improved here.”

The improvement in Varanasi, from better roads to cleanliness, is acknowledged freely as the result of the PM making this as his political home.

But there were others, all pro-Modi. Lallu Singh, a farmer, interjected that the BJP, who he supported in 2014, will make big gains. “In my village, it took me just a month to get a bank account opened,” he said of the PM’s Jan Dhan scheme to ensure all families have a bank account.

But surprise of surprises was a sudden claim by a few youth. They said they hear Rahul speak in Lucknow to party workers.  “Wo josh mein kya kya gali di BJP aur Modi ko.”

Congress will not win but it will ensure  Papu’s survival. “Pappu paas hoga.”  But Sonia’s Varanasi experiment failed, because it had to be aborted. A BJP leader darkly said it was a divine intervention. For this, we will have to ask Vishwanth baba!

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