ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Rahul GandhiSubscribe to Rahul Gandhi

From Chaiwala to Chowkidar: Modi's Election Campaigns Online and Offline

In the 2019 Indian general election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi countered corruption charges made by the Indian National Congress's (INC) Rahul Gandhi through the Chowkidar campaign. The author analyses how Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were successfully able to employ the Chowkidar slogan on social media and integrate it with their offline campaign. The Chowkidar campaign and use of social media, the author argues, are a part of Modi’s populist playbook, noting the similarities the most recent campaign has with the BJP’s Chaiwala campaign in the 2014 general election.

An Outlier in the North

The most significant development of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Punjab was the victory of the Congress, making the state an outlier in almost all of India, except for Kerala. Neither the Bharatiya Janata Party’s narrative of national security nor its strong leader could find much traction in the state. The significant loss of the core social constituency’s (read the Sikhs) support of the Shiromani Akali Dal and the decline or almost decimation of the Aam Aadmi Party were important developments of this election.

Does the Congress Have a Future?

Political parties with a rich and storied history do not perish easily. A political revival of the Congress is diffi cult but not impossible. It needs to go back to the basics and identify a core strategy to reverse the current tide towards the right. It has to rework its strategies and win back its core voters. Basically, it needs support among a cross-section of the voters to counter the formidable Hindu social coalition engineered by the power-obsessed Modi–Amit Shah duo which has underpinned the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh–Bharatiya Janata Party’s quest for a “Congress-mukt Bharat.”

Two Tyrants in the Age of Television

The politics of Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi analysed through two recent speeches to the highest bodies of their respective parties.
Back to Top