With assembly elections barely a week away, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday addressed a key election rally in Punjab’s Jalandhar district, asking voters to re-elect the government of Akali Dal-BJP combine once again.
Modi targetted Congress party mocking it for the alleged incidents of corruption during the UPA rule but cleverly chose to avoid actions his government has taken to punish the allegedly corrupt politicians even though he is about to complete three years as prime minister at the Centre.
He made a desperate plea to voters to support him for his decision on demonetisation and sought to project Prakash Singh Badal’s as a messiah of farmers.
He claimed that Akali-BJP government was set to return to government after the results of assembly polls are announced on 11 March.
However, the crowd present to listen to a leader, no less than the country’s prime minister, did not appear to back Modi’s claims on Punjab’s incumbent government’s popularity.
The photos (see above) being widely shared from the venue of Modi’s rally showed plenty of empty chairs even after he had arrived to speak.
In addition, Aam Aadmi Party’s Vandana Singh posted two videos, that appear to show disenchanted crowd leaving the venue even when Modi was speaking.
The TV channels showed his speech, which lasted for 1 hour and 18 minutes, uninterrupted in full and yet there was no sign of cameras installed by BJP bothering to capture the sight of swelling crowd. In fact their cameras did not turn to crowd even once.
This was a marked departure from the BJP’s attempts in the past to frequently show ‘enthusiastic crowd’ often chanting ‘Modi Modi’ during prime minister’s election rallies.
It appears that even the organisers were embarrassed to turn the cameras’ attention to crowd for the fear of being exposed on the glaring lack of response from ordinary voters in the poll-bound state.
Another notable omission from PM Modi’s speech was his decision to nor target Aam Aadmi Party for his criticism. Not once did he make any references to Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal or his party, AAP.
Modi’s party, the BJP, has been lately avoiding AAP spokespersons from TV debates with some of its representatives even leaving the debate midway after learning about the presence of AAP’s participation.