Mandate 2024, Ep 6: Decoding the U-turn in Modi’s campaign rhetoric, from Vishwaguru to ‘Vote Jihad’

From claiming an easy win to warning his audience of the dire consequences of the opposition coming to power, Modi’s campaign rhetoric has shifted dramatically.

WrittenBy:NL Team

In the lead-up to the final stages of the Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s electoral rhetoric has taken a dramatic turn – from claiming “400 paar”, an easy win for the BJP, to now warning of dire consequences of the opposition coming to power. His recent speeches are defined by a barrage of Islamophobic half-truths and falsehoods. 

The scaremongering has also reset the party’s campaign from divisive ads on social media to hate speeches at rallies, with the party’s star campaigners, including Yogi Adityanath, Himanta Biswa Sarma and Amit Shah, chiming in. But is the virulence because of fear that the BJP is losing ground? Or is it simply to  galvanise the party’s base?

In this episode of Mandate 2024: Claim vs Reality, Sreenivasan Jain heads to a Narendra Modi rally in north Bihar’s Champaran to understand the impact of the unprecedented  shift in the prime minister’s rhetoric. 

Barely five minutes into his speech the prime minister launches vitriolic attacks on the opposition, referring to them as “tukde tukde gang” and making false claims about the Congress’s poll promises. While communal dog whistling, ‘vote jihad’ and mention of the Ram Temple ignited the charged audience, the loudest cheers erupted when he talked up his record as defender of the poor.  

The crowd is vast and enthusiastic at the rally. But what did they make of the PM’s speech? Why is Modi repeatedly mentioning the opposition’s return to power? What do his supporters think about development issues? Is Modi’s speech resonating with the masses?


Five media outlets are coming together to bring you sharp insights on results day. Here’s how you can contribute.


We take comments from subscribers only!  Subscribe now to post comments! 
Already a subscriber?  Login

You may also like