At the conclusion of the last phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Republic Media Network's double exit poll has predicted a repeat of the saffron wave across the country, with the NDA projected to secure a return to power. If the poll is indeed correct, here are ten reasons why it is certain that there is a Modi Wave 2.0 across the country:
Reason 1 - The mega Modi record is established and acknowledged: The BJP hasn't ceded much in states in which it is in power at the assembly level, with even the likes of Haryana and Maharashtra projected to deliver a significant number of seats. Meanwhile, even in states where it isn't in power the BJP continues to make strides ahead. These include the likes of West Bengal and Odisha where the party earlier had almost no footprint. This is indicative of the fact that Modi as Prime Minister is a concept that carries little anti-incumbency.
Reason 2 - The Amit Shah master strategy: If the NDA does come to power again, an enormous amount of credit must go to BJP president Amit Shah who has transformed the party into an all-conquering election-winning machine. While the end-2018 assembly election results had presented a setback, as per the 2019 election projections, the party has widened its appeal. Shah's macro- and micro-level acumen are both to be credited.
Reason 3 - The abuse became Modi's armour: The Prime Minister read out a 50-strong laundry list of abuses the Opposition had used against him over the years towards the end of the campaign even as Mamata Banerjee continued to add to what he said was a 'Dictionary of Love'. However, if the exit poll is to be believed, the people of India haven't responded positively to the continuous personal attacks.
Reason 4 - Checkmated Opposition's Communal/Casteist campaign: While there was a flagrant use of communal statements from either side with the EC being forced to intervene on multiple occasions, in states which have long witnessed religion and caste being the sole means for winning elections, counterweights like development and nationalism were employed. The Modi government passing the 10% EWS reservation also helped it negate attempts such as the Congress' in Gujarat where the Patidar community was assured reservation despite the Supreme Court clearly not allowing for it.
Reason 5 - Electorate identified with nationalism: The events following Pulwama saw the Opposition responding in a highly peculiar manner, attacking and questioning the armed forces on the veracity of the Balakot air strikes. Some, like Navjot Sidhu openly and repeatedly insulted the forces. Modi, however, went hammer and tongs in telling citizens that India would no longer tolerate being attacked. While Pakistan was given a bloody nose, diplomatic-level wins were also achieved with Wing Commander Abhinandan's return being secured from Pakistan and Masood Azhar being declared a global terrorist by the UN.
Reason 6 - Modi's zero tolerance for corruption: While the Congress attempted to paint the 'Chowkidar' as a 'Chor', the attack doesn't appear to have cut the mustard as per the exit polls. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's own Surgical strike on corruption via demonetisation and the implementation of programmes such as the Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM trinity) have helped propagate the image that a systemic crackdown on the means to corruption took place. Add to that the crackdowns on Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Christian Michel, Robert Vadra and the contrast with the previous UPA's 2G and Coalgate scams.
Reason 7 - Modi wave washes out state anti-incumbency: Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan may have voted against Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Vasundhara Raje just months earlier but as per projections, that anti-incumbency hasn't carried forward against Narendra Modi. That electorates that only recently voted for the Congress in droves now voted for Modi says a lot about his continued appeal.
Reason 8 - The campaign of lies fell flat: Rahul Gandhi had made Rafale and farm-loan-waivers his main poll plank. However, both ended up hurting the Congress president himself. He was forced to apologise to the Supreme Court for misattributing its statements, while the farm-loan-waiver promise was proved to be a lie with Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath himself admitting that it hadn't been delivered as intended. Following the exit polls, the MP Opposition has even sought a floor-test against the Kamal Nath government.
Reason 9 - The Priyanka Vadra flop show: Priyanka Vadra's entry was purported to be a gamechanger but the party's performance in Uttar Pradesh, as per the exit polls, has left a lot to be desired. She also baulked at the challenge of taking on Narendra Modi in Varanasi.
Reason 10 - Zero Opposition Index of Unity: The Congress failed to stitch together an alliance in Uttar Pradesh, and as per the exit polls, failed to stitch together winning alliances in any other major states. On the other hand, in the day since the exit polls, the BJD has already issued statements indicating that it would be open to allying with the BJP.
Republic World brings you comprehensive election news coverage and phase-by-phase election updates of the Indian General Elections 2019. The 2019 Lok Sabha Elections will be held from April 11 to May 19 in seven phases, with the counting of votes scheduled for May 23. Get all the latest election news, highlights, controversies, polls, live updates and results of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, only on Republic World.