Prashant Kishor says not Opposition, but ’brand Modi’ is challenged by...

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Political strategist Prashant Kishor said in an interview, “In a country where more than 60 crore people don't earn more than 100 per day, the Opposition against the government can never be weakened.”

Written By Akriti Anand
First Published18 May 2024
Political strategist-turned-activist Prashant Kishor
Political strategist-turned-activist Prashant Kishor(PTI)

Political strategist Prashant Kishor said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being challenged by the people of the country if not by any political party or a leader.

"People are seeing in this election that brand Modi is not invincible. It's not like no one can challenge him. People are giving him a challenge, whether a political party or a leader challenges him or not," Kishor said in an interview with RTV Andhra Pradesh earlier this week.

'Opposition parties may be weak but opposition to govt is not weak'

"In a country where more than 60 crore people don't earn more than 100 per day, there the Opposition against the government can never be weakened. Never make that mistake," Prashant Kishor said. 

He said that opposition parties and or the formation of opposition parties can be weak. "But in this country, opposition [to the government] is not weak," he added.

He went on to share numbers to support his argument. Kishor said, "Nobody here [India] gets 50 percent votes. In simple terms, if 100 people vote, only 40 support PM Modi, his ideology, his work, Hindutva, Ram Mandir, Article 370 – this collectively, only 40 people are happy and 60-62 are unhappy."

He said there's a challenge before PM Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "...rural distress is a major issue in the country...even after this if BJP is winning, that means the opposition parties are not strong enough or reliable."

"...but that doesn't mean that every person of this country is happy with" the Modi government," the political strategist added.

‘Power of brand Modi declining’

Kishore compared the power of PM Modi as a "brand" in the 2024 elections to that of the 2014 elections. He said, "In 2024, people are feeling that there's no one else to vote for... Brand Modi is weakening...the power of brand Modi is declining in comparison to what was seen in 2014 and 2019."

He said that in 2014, there was "excitement" among BJP voters and in 2019, people felt the party should get five years more for development in the country. “There was a large section of people who believed in 2014 that the country will transform if Modi comes to power,” the strategist said.

However, in 2024, people feel “ab kya karen, koi doosra hai nahi to vote inhi ko dena padega [What shall we do, there's no one else so let's vote for him only]…there's a change in narrative,” Kishor said.  "The excitement among people have declined," he said.

Kishor further explained, "Between 2014 and 2019, the BJP's under-performance in all the assembly polls as compared to the Lok Sabha polls was 3 percentage points – this means if the BJP got 40 percent votes in a state Lok Sabha polls, the party received 37 percent votes in that state's assembly elections...This under-performance has now increased to 9-10 percent between 2019 and 2024."

'No incremental benefit of Ram Mandir'

Prashant Kishor said the BJP is not getting even one extra vote in the name of Ram mandir. "Ram Mandir is a big issue for BJP supporters. I didn't find anyone who was not giving the BJP vote in the name of Ram madir earlier and will vote based on it today...there's no incremental benefit," he said in the interview.

Prashant Kishor's statement came ahead of the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 set to take place on May 20.

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