Modi back in focus in poll-bound states

The security breach involving the prime minister’s convoy in Punjab has given an opportunity to the BJP to put PM Narendra Modi once again at the centre stage of the party’s campaign in election-bound states.

The party will keep on raising the issue in the upcoming elections and frontal organisations will also plan events around that, said BJP leaders.

They said the incident will help the party galvanise voters in the name of Modi, especially in a crucial state like Uttar Pradesh. By keeping PM Modi at the centre of the party’s campaigns, the BJP hopes to benefit as it did in the past.

During the Lok Sabha election, the Congress had coined the slogan ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ (the watchman is a thief), targeting the PM. However, BJP functionaries added ‘Chowkidar’ before their names on Twitter and other social media platforms, and it worked for the party. Earlier, too, the party successfully turned any attack on Modi in its favour.

“Congress government in Punjab is toeing a line which is in sync with the Khalistani forces, just to win an election above national interest, and it is unfortunate,” Vivek Thakur, UP BJP election co-in-charge, told ET.

Like Thakur, other BJP leaders have sharpened their attack on the Congress. On Thursday, BJP leaders across the country visited temples and prayed for the long life of PM Modi.

“These are programmes which are not planned. The party goes by what the people of the country feel and react to a particular incident,” said UP BJP spokesman Rakesh Tripathi. “Obviously, there was anger among the people over the security breach and everyone prayed for the PM’s long life.”

Tripathi said the party will continue with such programmes, keeping in mind the “public sentiment” on the subject.

On Friday, while addressing a meeting of intellectuals in Agra, UP minister Shrikant Sharma raised the issue of the PM’s security and termed it a conspiracy by the Congress. “The people of the state will reply to Congress through their votes in upcoming elections,” he said.

The security breach issue is likely to stay alive politically since an inquiry has been ordered in the case and a Supreme Court hearing is going on.

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