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‘Jai Shree Ram’ missing in Modi’s victory speech, invokes ‘Jai Jagannath’ instead

‘Jai Shree Ram’ missing in Modi’s victory speech, invokes ‘Jai Jagannath’ instead

The BJP and its allies have managed to secure the required numbers for forming the government, but the falls they have felt in their so-called bastions like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and West Bengal are formidable for the BJP as a political party which has relied more on people’s religious sentiments.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi won from Varanasi with a margin of 1,52,000, which is much lower than what he had earned in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. At one point, he was seen trailing behind the Congress candidate, a reflection of his waning popularity in the Hindu heartland.

Meanwhile, as a party, the BJP has much for joy in Odisha where it could make significant advancement both in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

Addressing the people soon after the results came out, PM Modi began his speech invoking “Jai Jagannath” and “Bharat Mata ki Jai,” instead of the usual victory chant “Jai Shree Ram,” which political experts see as a shifting political focus. The BJP was defeated in Ayodhya, where the party flaunted the Ram Temple on the land of Babri Masjid to show their championing of the cause. In Ayodhya, the Samajwadi Party’s Dalit leader, Awadhesh Prasad, won.

The BJP’s triumph in Odisha stands out as a significant milestone. For the first time, the party is set to form the state government, winning 78 of the 147 assembly seats. The Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which has dominated Odisha’s politics for over two decades, saw its presence drastically reduced to 51 seats, with the Congress securing 14. In the parliamentary seats, the BJP clinched 19 out of 20, leaving the BJD with no representation.

Modi’s speech celebrated the party’s achievements across various states, highlighting leads in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, and Bihar. He also noted the assembly election victories in Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Sikkim. Yet, conspicuously absent from his address were any mentions of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, where the BJP faced significant losses.

In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP, which previously aimed to secure over 70 seats, managed only 33 seats, down from 62 in the 2019 elections. The opposition INDIA alliance, including the Samajwadi Party and Congress, made substantial gains, with the Samajwadi Party winning 37 seats. The overall performance in Uttar Pradesh, where the NDA (BJP and RLD) won 36 seats against the INDIA bloc’s 43, marked a significant shift in the state’s political landscape.

Maharashtra, the second-largest state, also saw a challenging outcome for the BJP. Despite alliances with breakaway factions of the Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party, the NDA failed to dominate, with the Mahavikas Aghadi (Congress, NCP, and Shiv Sena) winning 30 out of 48 seats. Modi’s speech only briefly mentioned Maharashtra, noting the 350th birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji.

The BJP’s electoral strategy emphasized welfare schemes and development, which Modi underscored in his speech. He highlighted initiatives such as Har Ghar Nal se Jal, Awas Yojana, Ayushman Bharat, and women-led development. Modi reflected on the nation’s progress over the past decade, from economic growth to advancements in space exploration, and reiterated his vision for India’s future as a global economic and industrial powerhouse.

While the campaign had its share of communal rhetoric, Modi’s victory speech focused on the party’s achievements and development agenda. He emphasized the importance of national interest, citing the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic recovery. He asserted that India’s rapid growth is a testament to the administration’s effective governance.

Modi also addressed concerns about the inclusivity of his government, asserting that efforts have been made to uplift all sections of society, particularly the economically disadvantaged. He emphasized the BJP’s commitment to reducing poverty and promoting women’s opportunities across various fields.

The Prime Minister positioned the BJP’s victory as a reaffirmation of Indian democracy and the Constitution. He extended his gratitude to the Election Commission of India for conducting the world’s largest election successfully, amidst scrutiny and accusations of partisanship during the electoral process.

Equating his victory with Jawaharlal Nehru’s record of winning a third consecutive term, Modi acknowledged the mandate bestowed upon the NDA. He looked forward to an era of “Green Industrialisation” and reiterated the goal of making India the third-largest economy.

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TAGS:Narendra ModiNDAINDIALok Sabha Elections 2024
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