Media Watch Narad : General Will Prevailed
So Narendra Modi made it and his fabulous success has come as a surprise to all, including the sceptical media. The Hindu (May 17) said, with the “BJP winning a majority on its own, a remarkable paradigm shift has taken place in the trajectory of Indian parliamentary politics.” The paper made the point that the Bharatiya Janata Party has come to power “free from the pressures of coalition politics, giving it unfettered space and scope to govern.” Noting that “an indefensibly uninspiring campaign led by Rahul Gandhi failed to rally a young and impatient electorate” the paper further said that “the BJP’s landslide victory, almost entirely attributable to the sweeping effect of the Modi wave across India reflects the intensity of the desire for more effective governance.”
|BJP has become the first non-Congress party since Independence to gain majority on its own.
Deccan Herald (May 17) said that the BJP victory “is a historic win by any standard” and “the man of the moment is undoubtedly Narendra Modi”. The paper praised him saying he “planned the best strategies, implemented them and marketed his position best”, thus succeeding “in reaching out to the largest number of people and convincing them of his bonafides.” The paper said “neither Sonia Gandhi nor Rahul Gandhi could pose a challenge to Modi and in the process the party has sunk to its lowest strength in the history of Parliament.”
The Indian Express (May 17) considered Modi’s victory as a “mandate for change” for “decisive governance”. It said: “The man who single-handedly delivered the incredible victory for the BJP and has also created an atmosphere of legitimacy for its ideology is undoubtedly Modi.” Pointing out how the Congress has been wiped out in so many states, the paper said “the 2014 election has thrown up a national leader of unprecedented popularity with mass backing, ideological conviction and political courage.”
The Times of India (May 17) felt that “the landslide in favour of the BJP and Modi can re-shape established verities of national politics.” Praising Modi for his “relentless and indefatigable campaign which not only crystallised people’s doubts but also offered a positive message of development and better days to come, the paper said that aspirational sections of Indian society has two factors: India’s demographics which is tilting towards youth and the telecommunication and internet revolution. The Modi campaign, said the paper “has shown an awareness of and adroitly leveraged both these factors.” The paper added: “Modi is a conviction politician who can think out of the box and challenged conventional wisdom of 20th century Indian politics.”
Business Line (May 17) said Modi’s “victory was fashioned by a vote of different kind: for one, this was more the victory of a man than a party.” On the flip side the results reflect a deep revulsion for the Congress which led a government that was at once deeply ineffectual and corrupt.” The paper said “the country will hope that he can bring the focussed target-setting and problem-solving approach that worked so well in Ahmedabad to New Delhi.” Writing in Deccan Herald (May 17) BS Arun said that “in a country that saw coalition politics reigning supreme in the last two decades, the BJP’s stunning victory in the Lok Sabha elections is nothing short of a political tsunami.” “Also”, he said, “for a party that won just 115 out of 453 seats in 2009, to secure a mandate that it got and reach the majority mark (272) on its own is almost a miracle.” But Balbir Punj, National Vice President of the BJP had some good advice to give. Writing in The Indian Express (May 17) he told the new government “to live up to the decisiveness that people expect of it and must act against the cronies who made fortunes out of scrambling for the nation’s natural wealth.”
(The writer is senior journalist and former editor of Illustrated Weekly)