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Election Pitch

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With the political scene hotting up in Uttarakhand, BJP President JP Nadda is the latest to arrive with the purpose of marshalling the troops. Having benefited in the previous election from anti-incumbency and the power-struggle within the Congress, the BJP will now require a more positive agenda to win over the voters. There are some very fundamental issues that require very sophisticated explanations and these have to be brought into the grassroots narrative by party activists. The inability to do so could allow the opposition to run with a more simplistic storyline. The latest addition to the mix – the Aam Aadmi Party – is particularly good at that.

Voters always are concerned about their economic situation – inflation, lack of jobs, the availability of government, facilities, sops, etc. The problems regarding these can emerge from government failures or unavoidable circumstances. Or, the immediate fallout of very necessary long-term reforms that look beyond the five-year election cycle. Any government that undertakes the last has to be confident of public support, otherwise its efforts can be easily derailed by the cheap, short-sighted populism of the opposition. The manner in which unexpected crises like Covid-19 can upset the equation was seen in Donald Trump’s defeat in the United States. All these issues need a detailed and factual explanation in layperson’s language. First, of course, the BJP workers need to understand the intricacies themselves.

There are also explanations to be provided regarding actions taken by the BJP government in the state, thus far. Why was Trivendra Singh Rawat removed from office? Are the achievements during his tenure, if any, not those of the BJP? Then why have the CMs that followed him not underlined the continuity of policies and governance, instead of harping on their own term – in Pushkar Singh Dhami’s case, the past month? It is in such matters that Nadda will have to initiate a balance.

India is passing through a very critical phase at the present at many levels. The government at the Centre requires the support of as many states as possible to project a sense of confidence and longevity. Fortunately, much of Uttarakhand’s population is nationalistic in its approach, making the Modi factor quite significant at election time. However, the BJP cannot afford to take this for granted and must work doubly hard to provide convincing answers to the people on the basic issues that impact their daily lives. That will ensure an election victory similar to that of the previous one.