– V.N. Balakrishna | April 28, 2014
Ahmedabad | With six phases of election already over and Lok Sabha elections moving to a grand finale, Congress irascibility has been rising with its frequent complaints to the Election Commission as if to keep the inevitable from happening. In its latest salvo against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, it accused him of filing his nomination papers from Varanasi on a day when “polling was being held” and “holding a road show to influence voters.
There is palpable sense of frustration and fear in highfalutin mother-son duo managing Congress affairs about power slipping out of their hands once the May 16 results are out.
Never have flag-bearers of Nehru dynasty been so rattled as they are today. With Modi juggernaut rolling inexorably muckraking and abuse seems to be the weapon of choice. Union steel minister Beni Prasad Verma calling Narendra Modi an ‘animal’ while addressing party workers in Gonda in Uttar Pradesh and saying “he needs to be taught a lesson” are pointers to defeatism percolating to the rank and file of Congress.
Be that as it may, never before has a prime minister been forced to deny a wave as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did when he claimed soon after casting his vote in Guwahati, “Modi wave is a creation of the media. I don’t think the country as a whole is struck by any Modi wave.”
If proof is needed, Varanasi presented plenty of it last Thursday when a sea of humanity gathered in the sizzling sun to see Modi coming to file his nomination.
“Na bhuto na bhavishyati” (never witnessed before and never would be in future), said BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad when asked by the media to comment on the never-ending sea of humanity. Senior television journalist Barkha Dutt, no novice to major electoral battles, was truly impressed wondering if “Namo wave” had turned into tsunami of sorts.
The Modi juggernaut is truly mindboggling. The sea of humanity waiting to see Modi on a day when temperature soared to 43 degrees C had to be seen to be believed. For three hours, despite the heat, Varanasi danced, cheered, and showered rose petals on Modi as he rode on an open truck in the biggest road-show ever. The sweltering heat was forgotten as hundreds and thousands lined the 2-km journey with conch shells and slogans renting the air in support of Modi.
Modi himself was awed by the human wave of support. “I feel as if the BJP has not sent me here…but Ma Ganga has summoned me. I pray for strength so that I can serve this city,” Modi said before he filed his nomination papers. And this legacy of Varanasi welcoming Modi wholeheartedly was certainly not good news for the defeatist Congress.
Varanasi is no ordinary city. It’s a city of holy of holies. It is a city soon to be a game changer; a city to be remembered for giving India a “development” prime minister in the 21st century for changing India’s destiny and infusing hope for change.
When Modi paid floral tributes to the statue of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya (an educationist known for his role in independence movement and Hindu nationalism) it was time for brazen political venality as hordes of Samajwadi Party workers descended to wash the statue with Gangajal.
“Shameful that those who washed the statute are the very same people who gave freedom to terrorists,” lamented Ravi Shankar Prasad on the merchants of divisive politics.
There is more to it than meets the eye. The upsurge in emotion is not merely a sign of anti incumbency wave rising to overthrow Congress but it is a positive indicator that reiterates Modi as a persona; a leader India has been waiting for, and now come to deliver.