Urvish Kothari on the Gujarat chief minister's desperate search for tangible issue that could swing the voters his way.
Even as the first phase of polling in Gujarat ended on a high note without any obvious issue, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is yet to find a winning issue -- a single issue he can rest his campaign on. It has been a disappointing search for Modi.
It's impossible to predict the impact of his strategies on the poll outcome. Yet, one can safely gauge the buzz generated by different planks and projections of his campaign. A for Asmita (self-pride) & Apmaan (insult)
Much before the poll season entered in final lag, the Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party slapped a few television ads on the viewers quite literally. The ads depicted a fellow being slapped by an unseen person's hand, implying central government's injustice to Gujarat. It has been an old, almost customary grouse, usually generating hostile resonance for the central government. Not this time, though. A man representing Gujarat slapped after 11 years of Modi rule? That sounded quite contradictory for target audience -- especially the youth. Also, the slap campaign had dangerous traits that challenged the basic structure of India and its constitution. The ad became talking point but not to the advantage of the BJP. The campaign was withdrawn unceremoniously.
The way multiple appearances of Modi with the help of 3D holographic technology were announced ('for the first time in the world'), one may assume Modi was the inventor of the said technology. It might have been a killer app only if it had clicked. Very first 3D appearance had problems in the sound. It was a dampener with hundreds of chairs remaining vacant at the venue. Modi continued with the show undeterred. The technicalities were sorted out in next performances and the shows continued. But they can hardly be called a crowd-puller. His detractors had a chance to poke fun...