With Modi's surprise announcement in 'Mann Ki Baat', which he has been addressing every month since he rode to power in 2014, he appears to be confident of returning to power for a second term in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
In his 53rd and last monthly radio address ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha elections 2019, a confident-sounding Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he would begin the series of conversations under the ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme from the last Sunday of May with the “power of your blessings”. He added that he would continue to speak to people through ‘Mann ki Baat’ for years.
“Elections are the biggest celebration of democracy. In the next two months, we will be busy in the hurly-burly of the general elections. I myself will also be a candidate. Respecting healthy democratic traditions, the next episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ will be broadcast on the last Sunday (May 26) of May,” Modi said as he announced the suspension of ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
In his address, the first one since the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives, PM Modi exhorted the countrymen to rise above caste barriers ahead of Lok Sabha elections 2019. “We shall have to take up this challenge facing our country, forgetting all barriers of casteism, communalism, regionalism and other difference, so that, our steps against terror are firmer, stronger and more decisive,” he said.
Interestingly, five years ago on May 26, 2014, Modi took the oath of office after BJP-led NDA came to power with thumping majority. He contested the general elections 2014 from two Lok Sabha seats – Varanasi and Vadodara. However, he later vacated Vadodara seat.
With Modi’s surprise announcement along with the carefully chosen date for his next ‘Mann Ki Baat’, which he has been addressing every month since he rode to power in 2014, he appears to be confident of returning to power for a second term in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The results of 2014 general elections were declared on May 16 and he assumed the office of prime minister on May 26. This year too, it is expected that the results of the Lok Sabha elections will be declared by May 26.
Still, the future of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio broadcast will depend on the results of the Lok Sabha elections 2019 as the programme will continue only if Modi is re-elected and becomes prime minister.
The Opposition parties have raised the demand of stopping the broadcast of ‘Mann ki Baat’ in the past, saying it violated the model code of conduct as the interaction amounted to the misuse of the PM’s programme for political purposes. PM Modi, on the other hand, has refuted any such claims and said that he has kept politics out of his radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ and instead it reflects the minds, expressions and expectations of people rather than his own opinions.