Modi made a strategic blunder in throttling Congress bank accounts, arresting Arvind Kejriwal, and threatening the opposition.

Opposition leaders at a rally in Uttar Pradesh. Photo: X/@INCIndia.

By Sanjay Jha

After the end of the second phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, a few key takeaways emerge

1) The voter is fed up of lies, spin-doctoring and subpar propaganda. They trust no one. But after ten years in power, the trust-deficit with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is highest.

2) There is a huge fatigue factor with Narendra Modi; the standard accusations of dynasty, appeasement and corruption tag are not working at all, as people see the same in the BJP and probably worse. Strange as it may sound, he is both the BJP’s asset and a liability.

3) The anti-Muslim/minorities polarisation of Modi is not working and has further damaged his credibility. The crude, vulgar and cheap potshots have angered the sensibilities of the common Indian or at least left them extremely dismayed.

4) Modi/BJP thought that the 2024 election was done and dusted after the consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple. But barring a few pockets in northern India, the feel-good factor is having negligible impact as an electoral factor. India has moved on to bread-and-butter issues – the BJP’s Achilles heel – unemployment and inflation etc.

5) The arrogance of power led to Modi announcing a sure-shot victory of 370 seats; this has led to a counterwave in support of the underdog, the Congress/INDIA alliance. The voters don’t like to be taken for granted, especially when the incumbent has actually underdelivered, and the alternative, despite its problems, seems more sincere.

6) Modi made a strategic blunder in throttling the Congress’s bank accounts, arresting Arvind Kejriwal and threatening the opposition. That has since become the national narrative of the 2024 elections; fear and hate is being seen as Modi’s legacy, two very powerful human emotions. What started out as a funny description has now become the BJP’s political brand: It is a washing machine. Every Indian knows and castigates the politics of vendetta. The ED/CBI/Income Tax trimurti abuse is the albatross around the BJP’s neck. The electoral bonds scam drove a huge nail in the coffin.

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