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Narendra Modi Dismisses The Opposition Grand Alliance as a ‘Failed Experiment’

Calling upon every party worker to ensure that his booth was strong, he said that nothing could stop the party from coming back to power in the coming elections

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Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi.(Wikimedia Commons)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday dismissed the Opposition grand alliance as a “failed experiment” and said that parties are coming together to defeat “one man” to form a “majboor” (helpless) government for solely indulging in corruption while the country wants a “majboot” (strong) government.

Asserting that there has not been a single scam in his government, he said this was proof that a government can be run without corruption.

In his valedictory remarks winding up the two-day BJP National Convention at the Ramlila Maidan here, he came down heavily on the opposition parties, saying there were aligning for their “self interest” while the BJP-led NDA government was fighting for the nation’s interest.

“These days a campaign has been going on to promote mahagathbandhan which is a failed experiment of Indian political history. The parties, which were born protesting against the Congress, its working culture and its corrupt practices, are now uniting,” Modi said in a direct attack on most of the regional parties which are forging a grand alliance with the Congress at the national level.

He told over 12,000 delegates including from top brass to district-level office bearers that these political parties were surrendering to the Congress at a time when the grand old party was at its lowest ebb and its leaders were out on bail in corruption cases.

“These parties (the regional parties), which had emerged as options against Congress, have betrayed the people’s mandate and trust,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that when such alliances take shape, the governments in those states work under political compulsions and cited the examples of recent developments in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

“The Chief Minister of Karnataka (H.D. Kumaraswamy) is saying that he was working like a clerk and not as a Chief Minister. In Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the governments are being threatened (by allies) to take back cases or face the consequences,” he said calling these incidents as “trailers” of the grand alliance.

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Mahagathbandhan a failed experiment, country wants a majboot not majboor sarkar: Modi. VOA

Modi said that politics is done on the basis of ideologies and alliances are made on visions but for the first time it is happening that “when all are uniting against one man”.

“You need to understand and make the people understand what is behind their intentions. They have joined hands to form a ‘majboor’ government because they do not want to see a strong government which has ended all the corrupt practices,” he said.

“They want to do good to their families and relatives, while the country wants a strong government so that everyone can develop. They want a government which can broker in defence deals while the country wants a strong government to fulfil every need of the armed forces.

“They want a helpless government so that they can do scams in the name of farmers’ loan waiver while we want a strong government to empower the farmer. They want a government so that the urea scam can happen, while we want a government so that the farmers get fertilizers on time and fair price of their crops,” he said.

Referring to various alleged corruption cases like 2G, 3G and CWG of the UPA regime, the Prime Minister attacked the Congress and their allies and said his government was giving modern facilities to the children so that they can move forward in the field of sports with honesty and transparency.

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“We want a strong government so that everyone in the country can take advantage of Digital India Mission, so that the country could feel proud on the success of Gaganyaan, so that the country gets benefits with the mines,” he said.

Referring to his government’s ambitious Ayushmann Bharat Scheme, he said that his government was focussing to provide free treatment to 100 million families while the opposition wanted a government which could do scams in the healthcare sector.

Calling upon every party worker to ensure that his booth was strong, he said that nothing could stop the party from coming back to power in the coming elections.

“Last four years have taught us that nothing is impossible. We have made it possible. When we took over, we inherited a weak foundation. Today our foundation is getting stronger. Imagine what will happen if we get another five-year term,” he said. (IANS)

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Despite All The Efforts, Political Campaign Spends on Social Media Remain A Mystery

But even as the Election Commission has made social media companies follow certain norms, such as pre-certification of political ads to prevent misuse of the platforms, such measures are unlikely to bring adequate transparency to the whole process

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The Election Commission is in talks with the representatives of Internet companies, including social media platforms, on the use of social media for campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls while the Model Code of Conduct is in force. Pixabay

Despite all the efforts put in place by social media companies to show who is paying for the political advertisements on their platforms, the users may not know the actual amount spent to run political campaigns on these websites.

Facebook has a searchable database for political ads which anyone can access. This Ad Library report from the social media giant shows that Indians have spent over Rs 6.5 crore in over 30,000 ads related to politics since February 2019 — in the run up to the general elections.

Similarly, Twitter also has an Ad Transparency Centre which allows one to search which account has spent how much in the past seven days.

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“In terms of political ads, social media companies should allow only certified agencies to post ads. This would make the monitoring process much easier for everyone. Allowing any individual to post political ads complicates the monitoring process. This is a big loophole,” he said. Pixabay

While these efforts are being regarded as important steps towards bringing transparency in the political process, they may not reflect the complete picture of how the social media space operates, according to experts.

“Influencers play a very important role in political campaigns and 90 per cent of the transactions related to these campaigns are done through cash,” social media expert Anoop Mishra told IANS.

Knowing which party is spending how much on social media is important because much of what trends on Twitter or what becomes popular on Facebook – with potential to impact voter behaviour – may actually be due to the money and manpower of political parties while creating an illusion of organic support from hundreds and thousands of users in these platforms.

“Every political party including the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), Congress, Samajwadi Party and BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party) are trying to push their agenda on social media. But those parties with greater money, manpower and tech expertise are likely to win the social media war,” Mishra said.

He added that political parties were employing a large number of people to make their propaganda material viral on social media.

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Similarly, Twitter also has an Ad Transparency Centre which allows one to search which account has spent how much in the past seven days.
Pixabay

“In terms of political ads, social media companies should allow only certified agencies to post ads. This would make the monitoring process much easier for everyone. Allowing any individual to post political ads complicates the monitoring process. This is a big loophole,” he said.

“Encrypted platforms like WhatsApp could be used extensively to spread advertisements and propaganda, which could be difficult to be tracked,” added Prasanth Sugathan, Legal Director, Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC.in), a Delhi-based not-for-profit legal services body.

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The Election Commission is in talks with the representatives of Internet companies, including social media platforms, on the use of social media for campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls while the Model Code of Conduct is in force.

But even as the Election Commission has made social media companies follow certain norms, such as pre-certification of political ads to prevent misuse of the platforms, such measures are unlikely to bring adequate transparency to the whole process. (IANS)