From the moment that he was anointed the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate to now, Narendra Modi’s dream run to Delhi has been scripted by the man himself. In the past eight months, when he declared the election season open, Modi has addressed more than 450 rallies around the country travelling 3,00,000 kilometers in the process. Modi’s campaign strategy included technological travel as well. Beaming out to urban audiences via satellite at chats called his Chai pe charcha, a play on the Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s mocking him for his humble roots.
Where he couldn’t go, holograms spread the message.
Modi was perhaps amongst the first politicians to play to the power of the virtual voter. Tweets like selfie outside his voting booth caused controversy, but Modi continue to engage with supporters online.
Even his first reaction to the BJP’s stunning victory came online from his twitter account. “India has won,” tweeted modi, uploading pictures of him with his mother, and then directed supporters to his victory wall website.
But the real battle was not online, but on foot. And as Modi continued his whirlwind campaign, the message was clear. Narendra Modi ensured that whatever the BJP wins is to his credit alone. Starting from choosing candidates to the canvas material, everything had his stamp of approval.
Modi’s pitch was at every level. A business friendly politician for the cities, he played up his humble origins in rural areas. While the hardline Hindutva vote was always his, he also sought to stitch together an OBC coalition by playing up his caste.
The results of the campaign what he called Mission 272 was a resounding success, the BJP crossed the half-way mark, becoming the first party in 30 years to do so.