2024 battle royal: 'Modi Ki Guarantee' vs Cong's Nyay guarantees

Promises galore during poll season and the Lok Sabha elections would be no different with "guarantees" from various political parties set to compete during the high-decibel campaign.
Lok Sabha Election 2024 - Congress vs BJP
Lok Sabha Election 2024 - Congress vs BJP

New Delhi | Promises galore during poll season and the Lok Sabha elections would be no different with "guarantees" from various political parties set to compete during the high-decibel campaign.

Promises galore during poll season and the Lok Sabha elections would be no different with "guarantees" from various political parties set to compete during the high-decibel campaign.

Elections are often won or lost on narratives and it is the issues that connect on the ground which decides the fate of the political parties.

Here is a look at the 10 key issues that are likely to be talked about during the poll campaign by various political parties:--

* Modi Ki Guarantee: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is brimming with confidence for bagging a third term, has pitched 'Modi Ki Guarantee' as the main theme of his campaign. 'Modi Ki Guarantee', as described on the PM's website, is a guarantee for the development of the youth, empowerment of the women, welfare of the farmers, and all those marginalised and vulnerable who have been ignored for decades. The idea is also about the government's aim of ensuring saturation of all welfare schemes. It is likely to be the 'catchphrase' in this election around which much of the war of words between rivals would gravitate.

* Congress' Nyay guarantees: The grand old party found its mojo back to some extent in the state elections of Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana when it pitched guarantees to the people which clicked electorally. Now for the Lok Sabha polls, the party has strongly pitched for its 5 'Nyay' guarantees aimed at ensuring justice for youth, farmers, women, labourers, as well as participatory justice. The 'Nyay' guarantees have been presented before the people during the Manipur to Mumbai Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. The Congress' manifesto is likely to be framed around these guarantees and the party would design its campaign around them. Whether it will result in the party's electoral resurgence, only time will tell.

* Unemployment and price rise: The INDIA bloc, including the Congress, has been raising the issue of unemployment and rising prices of essential commodities. They have stated repeatedly that lack of jobs is the single biggest issue and have sought to corner the government over the issue. The BJP has hit back citing job growth and a fast-growing economy.

The poll season would see intensifying debate over these bread and butter issues.

* Abrogation of Article 370, CAA and Uniform Civil Code: These have been part of the BJP's longstanding promises to the people. The BJP has and will continue to project its achievement of implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, and the abrogation of Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir. The party's government has also passed a law on the uniform civil code in Uttarakhand as a precursor to its objective of devising such a law nationally. The Modi government has projected these actions to assert that it believes in the mantra of "walking the talk". The opposition has slammed these moves as attempts to create, divide and impose uniformity. The debate on these issues is likely to get sharper and more aggressive in the poll season.

* Ram Mandir: The January 22 consecration ceremony at the Ram temple in Ayodhya was marked by the BJP with tremendous enthusiasm. The symbolism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the ceremony and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat along with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath being at the forefront during the ceremony was not lost on anybody. The BJP leaders have credited the prime minister for making a centuries-old dream come true. With saffron flags fluttering in most parts of the Hindi-speaking belt to mark the occasion, the impact of this can be felt by everyone. Even the opposition leaders concede that the Ram temple has given the BJP the advantage in northern India. Analysts believe that much of the BJP's confidence of getting at least 370 seats stems from this 'Ram temple wave'.

* Electoral Bonds Data: The Election Commission has made the data on electoral bonds public. The Congress has demanded a high-level probe by the Supreme Court against the ruling BJP and freezing of its bank accounts for alleged corruption in the electoral bonds scheme. The issue has come to the fore right before the polls and the opposition has seized on it but whether it will work at the grassroots level or not is still to be seen. It would, however, certainly be one of the talking points during the campaign.

* 'Amrit Kaal' versus 'Anyay Kaal': Another likely recurrent campaign theme during the poll season would be the BJP's assertion that the Modi dispensation assured good governance, fast paced growth and a vision for the future. The Congress on the other hand has dubbed the 10 years of the Modi government as 'anyay kaal' marked by "unemployment, rising prices, capture of institutions, attack on the Constitution, and rising economic inequalities". While the opposition INDIA bloc is likely to highlight the government's 'failures' to claim that the last 10 years have been about show over substance, the BJP would counter it with arguments such as tiding over the pandemic, reducing poverty, free ration scheme and other welfare measures for the poor.

* Farmers issues and legal guarantee of MSP: The farmers' agitation at the borders of Delhi just ahead of polls is also likely to dominate the discourse with the opposition alleging that the tillers had been "betrayed" by the government and promising to provide legal guarantee for MSP if its bloc comes to power. The BJP leaders have been holding talks with farmer leaders to assuage their concerns and have been alleging that many of the agitators were politically motivated. The government has also stressed how its PM-KISAN scheme aid has transformed the lives of tillers. As with most elections, farmers' issues would be critical to the discourse.

* Clash of ideologies: This election also marks a crucial phase in what many call the "battle of ideologies" between the BJP and the Congress.

Both parties would present their ideological principles before the people and ask them to choose one.

* Viksit Bharat vision: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asserted that the goal of the country is to become a developed nation. He has stated that his government's actions are committed to achieve the goal by 2047. The vision for a Viksit Bharat is likely to dominate the BJP's campaign while the opposition has been dubbing it as "another jumla". However, it would remain a dominant theme during the course of the campaign.

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