PM’s letters to BJP candidates, Amit Shah carry nationalistic appeal, target Congress’ ‘divisive’ politics

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s letter to BJP and NDA candidates ahead of the third phase of Lok Sabha elections reflects the leadership’s strategic focus on countering the Congress party’s narrative.

PM Modi wrote a separate letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, lauding his leadership and contributions to the successful execution of key policy measures.

By praising Amit Shah’s involvement in the abrogation of Article 370 and the passage of the CAA, PM Modi apparently sought to underscore the BJP’s commitment to its nationalist agenda.

PM Modi’s communication to the BJP candidates and Amit Shah on Tuesday has provided key talking points for the party workers on the BJP-led government’s achievements, particularly the significant policy decisions such as the abrogation of Article 370 and the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

These achievements are portrayed as emblematic of the BJP’s commitment to national security, unity, and inclusive governance.

The reference to Article 370 could also be interpreted as symbolic, suggesting that the BJP aims to secure ‘370’ parliamentary seats in the Lok Sabha elections. It may serve as a strategic messaging tactic to capture public attention and generate buzz around the BJP’s poll campaign.

The contentious issue of Article 370 may be linked to the BJP’s goal of winning as many Lok Sabha seats.

The letter also instructs the party workers to create awareness among the voters about the ‘intentions’ of the opposition, particularly the Congress.

PM Modi accuses the Congress of seeking to “take away hard-earned wealth” and “snatch reservation” from the marginalised communities for its vote bank. This narrative aims to paint the opposition as a divisive force that is focused on appeasement, rather than national interests.

By urging the candidates and party workers to highlight what he perceives as the Congress’ “politics of division and appeasement”, PM Modi is likely aiming to consolidate support for the BJP by framing the opposition party as divisive and focused on appeasing certain groups rather, than prioritising national interests.

The letter also focuses on portraying the Congress as a threat to the economic well-being and social rights of the people. The language used in the letter, alleging that the Congress is “bent upon taking away hard-earned wealth” and “snatching reservation” from marginalised communities, is designed to set a strong narrative that affects the grassroots strata of the society.

By framing the Congress as a force that “prioritises its own electoral interests over the welfare of the people”, PM Modi seeks to consolidate support for the BJP by presenting it as the defender of economic prosperity and social justice.

The mention of reservation policies further amplifies this narrative, tapping into the existing anxieties and insecurities among certain sections of society.

The matters such as abrogation of Article 370, implementation of CAA, etc., which PM Modi referred to in the letter to Amit Shah, are portrayed as decisive steps towards safeguarding national security and protecting the persecuted minorities.

PM Modi’s letter to the Home Minister reinforces the BJP’s narrative on issues related to national security, territorial integrity, and protection of persecuted minorities. It also seeks to project the BJP as a decisive and proactive government committed to upholding the interests of the nation.

Additionally, by directly involving himself in the communication with the candidates, PM Modi is, understandably, leveraging his personal popularity and influence within the party to underscore the importance of this messaging strategy.

It is also believed that this approach not only reinforces the party line, but also emphasises PM Modi’s central role within the BJP’s election strategy.

Moreover, the timing of the letters, ahead of the third phase of elections scheduled on May 7, suggests that the BJP sees this as a critical juncture in the campaign where it needs to solidify its messaging and energise its base to secure electoral gains.

With a strong narrative on developmental and nationalist issues as mentioned in the letters, PM Modi seems to have aimed to maintain momentum and sway the undecided voters in BJP’s favor.

PM Modi’s letters also underscore the party’s focus on narrative control, ideological positioning, and leveraging his personal appeal to shape the electoral discourse in BJP’s favour. Analysts believe that “this strategy aims to tap into nationalist sentiments and rally support by portraying the BJP as the guardian of India’s unity and national interest”.

In other words, PM Modi has sought to portray the Congress as a party that caters to specific groups at the expense of national unity, thus positioning the BJP as the party of the entire nation.

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