Brand ‘Modi’ takes over BJP’s campaigns in Odisha, the UP way

Prime Minister's biting attack on 'PC' culture in Odisha and assuring the people to bring an end to it looks injurious for BJD. For, Naveen’s own admission of PC existence soon after rural polls, had already done the damage

Bhubaneswar: Seemingly buoyed by the turnout and feedbacks in the first phase polls in Odisha, the campaign style of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has apparently gone for a  paradigm change in the State now. The style and substance bear a stark resemblance to BJP’s 2017 poll campaign in Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, where Modi had sought votes on his brand image.

The conspicuous resemblances were to fore in Bhubaneswar and Sambalpur Vijay Sankalp Samavesh organised by the BJP Tuesday. The changed poll strategy, many believe, had come apparently in response to CM Naveen Patnaik’s poser to BJP recently about who is their CM candidate for Odisha.

Firstly, while addressing a huge gathering in Sambalpur, Modi stressed on as how every vote of theirs goes into Modi’s account. “Aapke ek ek vote Modi ke khata (account) ko jayega,” Modi observed. The Prime Minister in the same vein had asked who will end the ‘Bhrast Sasan’ (corrupt rule) in Odisha and India – Chowkidar or Majboor sarkars?

However, the UP style of campaign became more striking in Bhubaneswar when Modi making a scathing attack on BJD over killing of a BJP worker in Khurda, asked the crowd, “Who can bring an end to goondaraj in Odisha?” The PM then charging the BJD government of being run by a coterie, who only enjoys the power in Odisha, posed a series of questions, Who can banish this coterie-run-governance from Odisha?; Who can rein in the control of brokers in power corridors? When the crowd roared Modi, Modi…, the PM then lost no opportunity to say, “give me one chance, I vow to show you the results,”. And the huge gathering at Baramunda ground went rapturous.

Political observers read the big statements of Modi as pitting of his ‘brand image’  quite directly  to take on CM Naveen Patnaik  in the 2019 polls in Odisha akin to the 2017 UP poll campaign, where the BJP went to the polls without a CM candidate and Modi in every poll meetings there had promised exactly what he did in Odisha yesterday.

Significantly, when none other than CM Naveen himself raked up the ‘no CM candidate’ from BJP for Odisha in 2019 polls after the first phase polling; BJP has brought in a strategy to pitch the brand Modi image in Odisha in a big way.

Prime Minister’s biting  attack on ‘PC’ culture in Odisha and assuring the people to bring an end looks more damaging for BJD, because Naveen himself had admitted to persistence of rampant ‘PC’ culture at blocks and panchayat levels in the State.

Moreover, a spurt in political violence and the unabated rise in crime against women and girl children in the State would bother BJD, when Modi himself has went to the town seeking a mandate to end the ‘goonda’ culture in Odisha.

Modi’s new poll strategy aka UP style ahead of the remaining three crucial phases is likely to give a fillip to the BJP’s poll campaign in the constituencies going to polls, feel political observers.

Notably, when PM Modi was taking a mega roadshow in the temple town, major thoroughfares of the city through which PM’s carcade passed saw a pitch dark ambience as the usual dazzling LED street lights had gone truant. Security officials consider it as a major security lapse.