Prime Minister Modi has his task cut out for him

Unless he can make good on his promises, the electorate will not bring him back to power after five years

  • Published 27.05.19, 3:55 PM
  • Updated 27.05.19, 3:55 PM
  • 3 mins read
  •  
Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures towards his supporters after the election results at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi on May 23, 2019. (Reuters)

Sir — The massive mandate for the Bharatiya Janata Party under the charismatic leadership of Narendra Modi shows that a strong government at the Centre, under a powerful prime minister, was the primary concern in this Lok Sabha election (“A cut above”, May 24). What else can explain the fact that the electorate overlooked the BJP’s failure to fulfil previous poll promises and usher in achchhe din? The Opposition was a divided house, failing to project one strong leader who had the backing of all the regional outfits. Modi cleverly understood and exploited this major gap in the Opposition’s strategy.

But with the huge victory comes a serious responsibility for Modi. From bolstering the economy, bringing up growth rate and generating employment to appropriate measures in order to improve the lot of farmers, and small and medium-level entrepreneurs, he has his task cut out for him. However, all this must be done in adherence to the principles and provisions of the Constitution. If parliamentary democracy has survived, it is owing to the checks and balances, the freedom of speech and other rights provided by the Constitution. Unless Modi can make good on his promises, the electorate will not bring him back to power after five years.

P.N. Pal,

Calcutta

Sir — I am taken aback at the results of the 17th Lok Sabha elections. How can a party that has achieved so little receive such a huge mandate? Was some mischief afoot with the electronic voting machines? Otherwise how did many BJP leaders predict the number of seats the party would win? An appropriate inquiry must be undertaken to ascertain facts.

Sebastian Kujur,

Siliguri

Sir — There is no doubt that the Modi magic worked in this general election. How else can one explain facts like a terror-accused winning by a huge margin and even though the prime minister made his communal agenda plain, it did not affect the poll results? Amit Shah’s organizational skills, too, had an impact. People seem to believe that Narendra Modi is some kind of a messiah who will solve all their problems. A survey by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies found that nearly one-third of people who voted for the BJP did so in support of Modi, rather than the party or the local candidate.

In a bitter and divisive campaign, Modi effortlessly created binaries — nationalists versus anti-nationals, the watchman versus the entitled and the corrupt and so on — that eclipsed the other failures of his government. Of course, the bountiful coffers of the BJP — funded by secret donations — helped his cause. This majority verdict proves that Modi has an appeal that cut across barriers of class and caste.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee,

Faridabad

Sir — The people of India have unshakeable faith in the leadership of Narendra Modi. One of the factors behind the BJP’s spectacular tally is Modi’s popularity among the poorer sections of society. Further, people desired a strong leader at the Centre to tackle serious issues like terror. The BJP’s welfare schemes have contributed to this victory too. Add to that the prompt response to the Pulwama terror strike and Modi’s skilled foreign policy and one arrives at the winning equation.

R. Ragothaman,

Ooty

Sir — In normal circumstances, a country would be embarrassed to re-elect an openly communal party like the BJP. But instead, India has given it a landslide win. Despite the exit polls, I was hoping against hope that my country had not been swayed by hate. But it is time to open our eyes to the harsh reality.

The economy is in the pits, people are jobless, the Rafale scam has been exposed but none of this seems to matter anymore. Apparently, all that matters is the desire to drive minorities into a corner. This is disheartening. In 2014, the BJP had hidden behind the agenda of development. But this time round the gloves came off. After all, the BJP fielded a terror-accused and she won. We are staring at a very dismal future.

Afshan Adeeb,

Dubai, UAE

Sir — Narendra Modi deserves high praise for ousting his opponents. The Opposition has tried several tactics to slander Modi — hurling abuses, alleging corruption and so on — but people have seen the development of India instead. Even our chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, left no stone unturned to vilify Modi. The language that was used against him is not fit for public discourse. But all in vain. The election results are proof that people support Modi. Besides, the sound and fury of the Opposition was only to hide their insecurities.

Samir Chakraborty,

Howrah

Cool quotient

Sir — Necessity, evidently, is the mother of invention. A woman in Ahmedabad — summer temperatures are known to soar in Gujarat — has come up with a novel idea to beat the heat. She coated her car with cow dung, claiming that it kept the temperature cool without the help of air-conditioners. The vehicle, adorned with rangoli designs and a rather special coat, has caused quite a stir. Apart from its cooling capacity, the cow dung might help the owner in another way: the pungent smell would keep other vehicles away from its vicinity, making a ride in this special car unbelievably smooth.

Avishek Patel,

Calcutta