BJP seeks to project “softer, positive” Modi

Less than a month after the big-bang release of its poll anthem, BJP has quietly dropped the campaign song as its over-the-top projection of Narendra Modi was found to be an aggressive overkill.

The anthem’s lines spoken by Modi — “main desh nahin jhukne dunga … main desh nahin mitne dunga (I will not let the nation bow down/be rubbed out)” — are seen as needlessly dire and apocalyptic. “The suggestion that the nation faces a threat to its existence is unwarranted. Getting Modi to speak the lines was also not a good decision as he comes through in ‘hard’ tones,” said a BJP leader.

Party sources said Modi’s team had not been fully comfortable with the anthem’s pitch and formulation but had gone along with the assessment of the central campaign managers. By mid-April — the anthem was released on March 25 — there was a fairly wide consensus in the BJP brass that the theme needed to be further tweaked by projecting Modi in softer hues.

The Gujarat CM has taken the call himself, deciding to avoid a polarizing approach in his campaign in north Bihar, despite some BJP leaders feeling a political point could be made on JD (U) candidate Akhtarul Iman retiring from the fray in Kishanganj to facilitate “Muslim unity” against BJP.

The saffron campaign is now expected to further elaborate on the “Modi aa gaya” theme with specifics like his pitch for “minimum government, maximum governance”.

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