‘Note Bandi and Airstrike Timed To Suit BJP’s Poll Strategy’

In the months leading to the Assembly elections in the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, the Prime Minister stunned the nation with his demonetisation move. With one fell swoop, the PM, aided by a pliant media, changed the whole discourse and captivated the attention of the nation. Corruption took centre stage in the UP polls, and the BJP strode home to a decisive majority.

The nation is witness to a similar pattern as Lok Sabha polls are around the corner. This time it’s the issue of the nation’s security post-Pulwama terror attack and government’s response that has dominated popular consciousness, ably supported by a frenzied media and people extolling the airstrike in Pakistan, news portal The Wire said in an opinion piece on Monday.

The Prime Minister has now undertaken an even more “reckless adventure” (given the nuclear shadow), timed on the cusp of the general elections. It seems geared yet again for a short-term political boost, with seemingly no regard for the attendant consequences.

“Unsurprisingly, it is unfolding exactly according to the demonetisation script – make a dramatic move, follow it up with wild claims of success, and then, most importantly, attack those who question the claims as being against the nation,” the opinion piece said.

Much like demonetisation, the wild claims and hyperbole attached to the strikes are free of hard evidence. The figure of 250-300 terrorists killed, floated by many including the BJP president, seems to have been conjured from thin air, quite like the lakhs of rupees that were supposed to be recovered by demonetisation.

“It is impossible to know today whether the strikes will turn out to be as fruitless in stemming terrorism as demonetisation was in checking corruption. But long before the answer is clear, Modi hopes he would already have cashed the electoral dividend,” it said.

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