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  Opinion   Edit  01 Apr 2024  AA Edit | From Meerut, PM fires first shot in campaign

AA Edit | From Meerut, PM fires first shot in campaign

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Apr 1, 2024, 12:55 am IST
Updated : Apr 1, 2024, 12:55 am IST

Modi's Meerut Manifesto: A Vision for a Developed India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other NDA leaders during an election campaign rally ahead of Lok Sabha polls, in Meerut, Sunday, March 31, 2024. (PTI Photo/Arun Sharma)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other NDA leaders during an election campaign rally ahead of Lok Sabha polls, in Meerut, Sunday, March 31, 2024. (PTI Photo/Arun Sharma)

No one adheres as deeply to the political wisdom of aeons — that it is the spoken word that makes history whereas the written word only chronicles it — as Prime Minister Narendra Modi who — while firing the first campaign bullet for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections — aptly chose Meerut in Uttar Pradesh where a long, long time ago, Mangal Pandey fired the first salvo of the First War of Indian Independence.

Instead of asking voters to vote for a candidate, or a particular scheme, or his own party, Mr Modi, during his master class in oratory, set a broad, positive narrative filled with a euphoric optimism, saying the time for India has come and that the vote for 2024 was to be for a developed India.

Viksit Bharat, Mr Modi told the exuberant crowd, would mean that an India, which had moved from being No. 11 in GDP amongst nations in 2014 when he took charge as Prime Minister to No. 5, helping over 25 crore people escape the clutches of poverty along the way, would not only finally eradicate it completely, but also transform itself into a model nation. Recalling how he had started his first campaign a decade ago from the same venue in Meerut, Mr Modi asked the people to focus on the larger goal of making India a developed nation and not fall for any distracting promise or allurement that would take them off the path of irreversible progress.

Emphasising upon the changes brought about in the last 10 years, he also spoke of transformational infrastructure of world-class standards, the rise of India’s image in the world and the unleashing of woman power. His words made the people burst out in slogans calling for winning more than 400 seats in the forthcoming elections.

Sounding extremely confident about his win, the Prime Minister said that the BJP has already started working on the roadmap of development during the next 100 days of his prospective third term, with a special focus on not just the current generations but also the future generations.

Speaking of the audacity of his vision, Mr Modi said that such was the staggering list of achievements of the government that this was not unwarranted, because on it were goals considered unreachable not so very long ago, such as the building of the Ayodhya Ram temple.

Drawing a broad arc, Mr Modi unleashed a diverse range of underlying emotions from pride as Hindu to nationalism involved in strengthening the armed forces and reforms in the social and political areas. Those included abolition of triple talaq, the passing of the women’s reservation bill and the setting aside of Article 370, not to mention various welfare schemes.

Each of these reforms and changes was considered impossible before he came to power as PM, Mr Modi reminded his audience, urging it to further imagine what such a trajectory could achieve in a cumulative manner over five years. The Opposition needs to outdo itself by a huge multiplier to match such a powerful appeal. After all, nothing wins an election as easily as oratory does.

Tags: prime minister narendra modi, 2024 lok sabha elections, meerut