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BJP contradicts voices from within, highlights PM and muscular nationalism

The BJP says that ground reports suggest that many voters feel only Modi can give “a fitting reply” to Pakistan

By J.P. Yadav in New Delhi
  • Published 30.04.19, 6:34 AM
  • Updated 30.04.19, 6:34 AM
  • a min read
  •  
BJP president Amit Shah addresses a public rally “Vijaya Sankalp Sabha” in Morada, on his Odisha visit to attend an election campaign in support of party candidates, Saturday, 27 April 2019. (PTI Photo)

The BJP is so convinced that the cocktail of muscular nationalism and maximum leader is more potent than bread-and-butter issues that it appears willing to contradict its own voices to amplify the testosterone-driven message.

Ram Madhav, the BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir minder, last week sought to tone down the party’s rhetoric on Article 370, which grants special powers to Jammu and Kashmir, and told a party meeting that the final decision would be taken “collectively” by Parliament. “Development is the sole agenda for this election,” he said in the Valley.

On the same day, BJP chief Amit Shah renewed in Jharkhand a pledge: “We will remove Article 370 if you make Narendra Modi Prime Minister again.”

BJP sources said the pitch was suited to the remaining three rounds of polling covering multiple heartland states.

At the same time, Modi has been seeking to turn it into a presidential-style election, making other BJP candidates redundant by telling voters that once they press the lotus button, the vote will go directly to him.

The BJP says that ground reports, including those from Bengal, suggest that many voters feel only Modi can give “a fitting reply” to Pakistan.

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