In the ongoing saga of Election 2014, the confidence level of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is inescapable.
Look how unabashedly Modi has already
started saying, “When the US president
comes to see me” and “When the Australian
PM comes to see me,” etc. This confidence,
or over-confidence, or shades of arrogance,
is due to the huge hard work that has gone in
behind the scenes by Team Modi.
How the BJP has geared up with resources
and is staffed by extremely motivated and
disciplined youth is what people will be talking about much after this election ends.
In Uttar Pradesh — the state with the
largest number of seats in the Parliament —
when thousands of sari traders get their
parcels from Surat, they find a chit with each
sari saying, ‘Vote for Modi.’ That’s the level of
penetration done by Modi’s marketing team.
If the BJP and Modi win the election, as
they are so confident of doing, then incredible things will happen in terms of building
up the election machinery, which the
Congress will find difficult to match for a
long time to come.
It is not that the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan
Samaj Party, South Indian parties or Left
parties are not doing things intelligently. Of
course, they are and have got success for it,
but a ‘holistic approach’ to election manage-
ment is a new feature of Modi’s campaign.
Modi is single-handedly changing the for-
mula to win elections. With money, human
resources, mobile technology, the Internet,
advance planning and tremendous confi-
dence, he has spread his image more in UP
villages than in urban areas.
Modi is more profoundly spoken of in UP’s
villages than in urban areas. If Modi is the
hero of the BJP campaign, the cell phone is
the heroine. The latter has changed the
grammar of Indian elections.
Brajesh Shukla, a senior journalist who
has visited more than half of UP in the last
six to eight weeks, finds Modi turning into a
symbol of hope for people living in misery
and waiting endlessly for development.
Pankaj Jha, editor (UP), ABP News, has
visited 62 of UP’s 80 Lok Sabha constituen-
cies. He agrees that Modi is getting an unqu-
alified response in the villages: “Some two
months ago, there was some hesitation in
UP about Modi, but now people say let’s not
waste our vote. They want to try out Modi.
At many places the BJP candidates are dis-
liked, but because of Modi they might vote
for the BJP.”
While Modi may or may not be able to
bring a profound change in running the
country, as too many external factors are
involved, a change is sure to come in the cul-
ture of political parties and the way they
conduct elections. The way political parties
build their election plank and go to the peo-
ple will never be the same again.
To understand the use of technology and
to understand how Modi set out to harness
youth power in UP, India Abroad visited the
BJP’s Lucknow headquarters, located oppo-
site the majestic Vidhan Sabha building.
Its first floor is occupied by young people;
computers and servers, and huge posters of
Modi, Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah. In fact,
a small call center is at work here.
The man in charge of the young team and
their computers is Sunil Bansal, 43. He is
entrusted with implementing the political
strategy of Modi and Amit Shah, who is in
charge of the BJP’s election campaign in UP.
The Modi-Shah duo is doing some innovative things in marketing political ideas in the
land of the Ganga. They are using easy-to-
Left, Amit Shah, second from left, the man in
charge of the BJP’s UP election campaign, gets a
brief from his crack team at the party’s headquarters in Lucknow.
Above, Sunil Bansal, the man entrusted with
implementing the political strategy of Narendra
Modi and Amit Shah.
‘In UP there are villages
where development is
zero. We knew that if we
took Modi there we can
change the contours of
this election... For these
poor people we got a
special 16-minute video
message by Modi made
in which he speaks
emotionally about UP,
how he will develop UP.
Our vans, all equipped
with GPS, drive to these
villages, and have
covered 45,000 of
them. I can say the BJP
has a worker in each of
the dark zones in UP
Modi is the hero, mobile
phone the heroine in UP
Sheela Bhatt on how Team Modi is changing the rules of the election game in India
PHOTOGRAPHS: SANDEEP PAL