‘Chowkidar’s Chamatkaar’: How newspapers reported on the BJP’s victory

Newspapers across the board greeted Modi with colourful front pages, while The Telegraph had a simple text poster: 'he is back'.

ByNL Team
‘Chowkidar’s Chamatkaar’: How newspapers reported on the BJP’s victory
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The Election Commission of India has declared the results for 534 of the 542 constituencies. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party has secured 300 seats so far, it is leading in another three, bringing its tally to 303 seats. In his victory speech, Modi said, “We have come back with full majority. This shows people’s belief in us.” Thanking party workers and leaders, he said, “The BJP is a special party. Nothing stops us, nothing holds us back. We work tirelessly and stay focused.” Modi delivered his speech at the party headquarters last evening amid cheer and applause, after Congress chief Rahul Gandhi conceded defeat.

Today, newspapers greeted Modi with colourful frontpages. Announcing the NaMoMent, Hindustan Times noted that the BJP’s win was a “vindication of its strategy of converting the elections into a presidential-style contest”.

The Indian Express noted Modi’s return, Modi 2.024, on page 3. Its first two pages were dedicated to advertisements about One Plus 7.

The paper noted that a vote surge from 17 cr to 22 cr scripted the BJP’s victory.

The Hindu announced the results of the 2019 General Elections with “India gives Modi a high five”.

Noting the “Chowkidar’s Chamatkaar”, The Times of India‘s front page, like the Hindustan Times, hinted at a presidential-style contest. It stated: “This election was about Narendra Modi, and he has won by a landslide, across castes and geographies.”

Curiously, the PM’s Twitter handle no longer carries the “chowkidar” tag.

The paper also drew comparisons between Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Modi. “He (Modi) has rewritten history, becoming the 1st non-Cong PM to return to office after a 5-year term; the 1st PM since Indira Gandhi (in 1971) to retain power without needing the support of allies; but 1st PM since Nehru (in 1967 & 1962) to win back-to-back majorities on his own.

The Telegraph’s front page was a simple text poster: “He is back.” A reference to a return of the Dark Lord, perhaps?

A more descriptive second-page states “Modi leads saffron sweep”, as “Rahul and many regional parties bite the dust”. But it is tough to tell whether the page is an advertisement by the International Institute of Hotel Management or the ad is placed at the bottom.

A clearer page three has a banner headline “Thunder of majority” and another pop culture reference. This time the reference was to the last episode of the “just-concluded pop-epic Game of Thrones“. Citing Tyrion Lannister’s rhetorical question on what unites people, the paper pointed out how the Opposition lacked a story, unlike the PM. Modi’s story “was the story of stability, of ultra-nationalism, of unabashed majoritarian assertion, most of all, the story of Modi himself”, the paper stated.

Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar also reported Modi’s victory on its front page. In its Bhopal edition, the paper said: “Mitron, Modi hai to mumkin hai (Friends, if its Modi, it is possible).” Quoting from Modi’s victory speech, the paper said, “Ab desh mai do hi jaati bachengi, ek garibi, dusri garibi dur krne wale. (Now India will have only two castes: one poverty, and the other will be people who’ll remove poverty.)”

Dainik Jagran‘s frontpage stated: “Phir ek baar Modi sarkar (Once again, it is Modi’s government)”, while Hindustan‘s banner headline reported: “Mahavijeta Modi“.

While most papers had images of Modi spotting a victory sign or a fist, Navbharat Times had a picture of Modi wearing a crown.

Meanwhile, Tamil daily Dinamalar reported: “Modi won” and “Stalin succeeded”. 

Malayalam newspaper, Mathrubhumi, reported, “Undefeated Modi.” Its blurb says: “NDA in power once again. BJP gets a majority on its own. Swearing in on Sunday. First non-Congress government to retain power in an election.”

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