narendra modi

How Narendra Modi has cornered the Congress

I have been concerned for some time that the Congress Party’s sharply declining poll numbers would lead them to adopt desperate measures to hang on to power. I doubt they can win in 2014 in a fair fight. Therefore, there are three obvious things I reckon they might do (and I am not alone: the bookies are laying odds that the BJP will win, with the caveat that all bets are off “if any leader is dead” [sic]

  • Plan A, physically eliminate Narendra Modi;
  • Plan B, subvert and steal the election using Electronic Voting Machine fraud;
  • Plan C, declare martial law and suspend freedoms (aka Emergency 2.0).

All this reminds me of the great 1969 film, Z, by Costa-Gavras. This is, in my humble opinion, the best political film of all time. It is based on real-life events in Greece in 1963 when a popular leftist leader was assassinated in a planned conspiracy by the ruling right-wing military junta. They were able to kill him, but the spark he lit remained alive; a crusading reporter helped the investigating magistrate (brilliantly played by Jean-Louis Trintignant) bring out the truth of the conspiracy; the military ended up staging a coup d’etat, suspending civil liberties and banning “long hair on men, short skirts, the Beatles, Sophocles, Tolstoy, Socrates, Mark Twain, Samuel Becket, the free press, new math, and the letter ‘z’, which means ‘he lives’ in Greek”.

The Z story haunts me, because I have no doubt that the current dispensation in India will not hesitate to do anything – and I mean anything at all – to hang on to power. It is becoming evident that given freedom of choice, the Congress will be decimated in 2014 thanks to popular disgust at its corrupt ways. But that is precisely why the Congress urgently needs to stay on in power: the prospect of skeletons tumbling out of the closet must be frightening.

I had been hoping that the physical elimination (viz assassination) of Modi would be considered the very last option. But in the aftermath of the Patna rally blasts, which could be taken as a warning, that possibility looms larger. It is also not a new threat. A dynasty supporter who doubles as a media type wrote a couple of years ago about a “sudden removal” of Modi from the scene: it is hard to imagine what else it might mean other than liquidation.

The serial blasts in Patna were low-intensity and intended, it is believed, to create panic and thus a stampede among the physically present. They could have led to hundreds of deaths among the million-strong audience. In addition, the threat of such violence would almost certainly keep away the mammoth crowds from future rallies, thus effectively nullifying Modi’s ‘Big Mo’, or momentum.

Some believe that the blasts were intended to kill Modi, but that seems unlikely: if it were true, there would have been much more powerful explosives, and they could just as easily have been smuggled into the venue, given the lax security. The fact that the perpetrators chose mayhem over murder (apparently) is intriguing. It must be that they have put Plan A on the back-burner for the moment: after all, the suspects see their interests as coinciding with those of the Congress. The Congress, at the very least, is the known devil.

Let us move on to Plan B. There is considerable evidence that the existing Electronic Voting Machines are sitting ducks for manipulation. A few years ago, computer scientists ( ) demonstrated how they could be messed with in many ways, including using an ordinary cellphone to trigger a Trojan Horse program to quietly vacuum up votes for the desired candidate. For their pains, one of the computer scientists was arrested.

It is widely known that America’s EVMs are tamperable – so much so that they have banned them in several states, and they still tolerate paper votes with their ‘hanging chads’ etc. In Germany, a constitutional court banned them because they could not guarantee the voter’s constitutional right to have his/her vote register the way they voted; that is, the EVMs were shown to be tamperable. Similarly, in many other developed nations, EVMs are forbidden.

It is entirely possible that the surprising 2009 general election result was rigged in a few judicious and key constituencies. The results of the election (a Congress majority) didn’t match the pre-poll surveys that indicated dissatisfaction with their UPA1, and a hung parliament or an Opposition win. The results in 2009 were nothing short of miraculous in certain parliament seats, where contestants leading by tens of thousands of votes mysteriously found themselves on the losing end.

Similarly, a well-known columnist reported finding strange data on the EC website. Some results were found on the EC site before counting started! This is also surely miraculous (unless there is some logical explanation). The EC kept stonewalling when this was pointed out. The fact that the Chief Election Commissioner at the time was an official with a rather dubious past was also striking.

We can expect Plan B to be tried out in 2014 also in a judicious, low-key way. This is because the VVPAT (Voter-verified Paper Audit Trail system) EVMs that the Supreme Court ordered are not likely to be available in time for the 2014 elections, at least in quantities that can cover more than a fraction of all polling stations. Thus the opportunities for digital vote tampering are still as tempting as ever.

Then there is the ever-popular plan C. It could be said, as Ram Jethmalani did in a recent essay (“Who’s afraid of Narendra Modi?”) in the Sunday Guardian, that the entire game-plan of the Congress for ten years has been to prevent Modi from contesting the Prime Ministership. There are many other options. One would be to convict Modi of something (for example, the Ishrat Jehan case or the Sohrabuddin case) and thus legally render him ineligible to contest.

Another ploy is a new meme being mouthed by Congress luminaries: that the 2014 elections are not a contest between political parties, but between “the Congress and the RSS”. The implication here is that the RSS has been banned before, and therefore it can be banned again under some pretext. Of course, Modi as an RSS member will be subject to the same ban. The proposed, amazingly fascist Communal Violence Bill, which essentially makes it a crime to be a Hindu, could also be used to exclude Modi from the contest.

A third approach would be to be nibble away at various freedoms. For instance, certain orders to TV channels basically saying “Don’t show Modi in a good light”. The proposed ban on opinion polls is another. India’s Press Freedom Index has plummeted to rank 140 in the world in 2013, down from 105 in 2009. There are frequent attempts to bully and terrorize free speech on the Internet, with bloggers being jailed and threatened. RTI activists and whistleblowers are regularly killed. All this creates an atmosphere where dissent is simply stifled.

The cumulative effect of all these is that there is a de facto Emergency in place. It would not be difficult for the Congress to put in place a full-fledged de jure Emergency either. Once that happens, no elections, no habeas corpus, no rights; say hello to midnight knocks on the door and sinister Emergency Administrators. This is by no means beyond the realm of possibilities.

So will the Congress pursue Plan A, B or C? I believe by instinct they would prefer A. But here has been a quantum change in the situation on the ground based on grass-roots enthusiasm for Modi. It is no longer a good idea for the Congress to assassinate Modi: a tipping point has been reached, and it would be counter-productive. Modi has become such a phenomenon that if he were to be assassinated, the resulting sympathy wave would propel the BJP to power. Thus, in a bizarre way, the Congress cannot afford to assassinate Modi anymore.

Modi is no longer an individual: he is a movement. There were other movements: those of Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare, for example, which the establishment successfully infiltrated and subverted with their minions. Of course, it is likely that some of their fifth columnists will infiltrate the Modi movement, too. But Modi is savvier than Ramdev and Hazare. And in any case, the movement is bigger than Modi the man.

This is exactly what the military junta found out in Greece, as depicted in Z. They assassinated their foe (Plan A), but then he became so much larger than life that they could not control popular sentiment. Of course, then they resorted to Plan C, martial law; which they could not sustain for long; in the end, the generals had to admit defeat and retreat to the barracks.

The nightmare possibility is a repeat of that scenario in India. If Plan A were to be put in action and Modi assassinated, the Congress would not be able to control the flood-tide of discontent against them. They would be forced to resort to Plan C, martial law, and be voted out if they ever go to the polls. But as in Z, Modi, and his idea of India, would live on. Thus it would be a Pyrrhic, temporary victory for them. As rational beings, the Congress will therefore not pursue Plan A now. At least I hope they will not.

Rajeev Srinivasan is a writer and well-known columnist from India.
  • Dharshan

    EVM manipulation is being done by Modi regime The guy who wrote this conspiracy article must be disillusioned now Ram Jeth Malani who put his weight behind Modi is the dead opponent of Modi now Modi is a clever manipulator Those who flogged behind him are disillusioned He used you people’s sentiments You all must be emotionally map adjusted now seeing him

  • I am reading this article today June 5, 2014 – after Modi had a sweeping victory and is now the Prime Minister of India. The hope that the people of India are feeling today is palpable. This article is intelligent, concise and identified some of the key weak points that Modi or the larger ‘Modi movement’ (i.e. the desperation in the PEOPLE of India) somehow managed to deal with. I don’t know how they did it. But it was done. And I am immensely happy.
    Plan A was likely averted through heightened security on Modi’s part and (I would like to think) infiltration into the Congress party intelligence – which couldn’t possibly be hard to do. How difficult can it be to infiltrate the most corrupt organization in India?
    Plan C never came to place.
    Which only makes me wonder how Plan B was ever averted. Even if RAW got involved, it would mean ‘the Modi movement’ thwarted CIA’s well-funded, ever-active, highly resourceful, relentless international destabilizing efforts. (Even Putin can barely keep up…)
    Congrats to Modi. Kudos to Indians. Jai Hind.

  • I’m not sure if the author noticed, assassination attempt was already made, it’s just sheer luck on part of Modi that he escaped that. How do you explain human bomb going off in rlwy station toilet and the bomb that didn’t go off under the stage because of faulty timer and was recovered after Modi left the stage? More over the key men who planned this escaped from various congress ruled states under dubious circumstances as pointed in above comments. Even more suspicious is the fact that most of them are caught within days of Patna blasts! sounds more like caught because they failed to do the job. Emergency is not an option as it will backfire very seriously, it will be impossible to control the resulting chaos for this incapable leadership of Congress. So the only obvious option let is to tamper with EVMs and i’m sure Congress will try it, but they will use it to the advantage of AAP to avoid suspicion, after all AAP is just a loyal dog of Congress. So, BJP must be very alert and try to counter this EVM tampering in every way possible as that’s the only practical option left for Congress.

  • The problem for Congress, once defeated, it will be for a long time before it can expect to be back in power. Given the common bond of ‘power’ no longer present among Congressmen, they will part ways and pursue their own paths to power.
    NaMo tsunami is beginning of the end of Congress. So Plan A will be back on. A temporary transfer of seat of power to known lackeys like the 3rd front before long they hope to do what they did for 60+ odd years. Bhagwan Ram has a better plan for us all, lets hope. NaMo Narayana !

  • ajit

    Life n death r in the hands of Almighty n not Congress. Do not worry please

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  • we need to share the article with EVERYONE in India…..quickly, urgently….read this and share with all

  • Ramana Murthy

    The assassination attempt is also interesting in another respect : some suspects escaped from custody first. Most were from CONG ruled states. Its no longer a conspiracy but calculated move. This is really sickening. Another brilliant article from Rajeevji.

  • Ashish dadwal

    Actually u r right.i have been writting about the plans of government to impose emergency for weeks now(on TOI)but none of my comments were ever published.Modi is larger than life at present and congress wont risk itself by eliminating smn like Modi.during the commonwealth meet at Srilanka,manmohan would have been the ideal candidate for assassination and thus going for emergency in the country citing an attack on the PM.but given MMS’s popularity,or rather anyone congress person’s popularity ,it is an unwise move.the ideal thing for the super corrupt congress politicians is to shake hands with the IM or Taliban(from the looks of it,its already happening.chidu in goa to meet a terrorist lover n yesterdays kashmir meet) and start a pan india hindu-muslim roit before elections,triggered by a series of big explosions at mostly hindu places of worship.president is a true congress man at heart and the most important pawn to levy everything and anything the congress party says(lets not forget why he was made the president in the first place.).its actually a wait and watch situation for us,the citizens of this country,who desire peace,progress n no corruption.hacking of EVMs is also a very big threat.if congress wins 2014elections then our country is anyways heading for a civil war along with the presidents rule.

  • ashok

    How about this scenario:
    Congress is obviously worried. Sonia worries about her son. She wants him to be the leader/PM. She is already ill. If she feels her goin-away ( demise) can help him, she can do crazy things. things which can make her no-more. she could discard her security cover and hope something bad happens. If she passes away when campaigning, congress could come to power easily.

    yes a conspiracy theory but weirder things have played out before.

  • V K

    Modi as PM will not be able to work as freely as Gujrat CM. He need to have support from coalition parties too. This is a disadvantage of our constitution and it breed corruption. Lawmakers in India works for their own interests and not for country. Presidential Government allows one full term without worrying on continuous support to stay in power.

  • Anoop

    The arrogance shown by the UPA -2 government implicitly show that they can come to power ,may be buying out people ,like Kejriwal or manipulating EVMs .In many speeches Manmohan SIngh had noted this that he think about UPA-3. But then if it happens there will not be an India anymore.

  • sanjay

    Plan E: Support Nitish as PM in the name of anti-communalism

  • Balaguru

    The Plan D put by Rana could be a possibility. Then Priyanka Gandhi will be pitched as the TRUE leader of the YOUNG India and everyone and everything returning to status qou. The Congressman and the other pilferers and the evangelists and all other SiCULAR forces can continue what the know and do best, while the (m)asses get into another binge party celebrating their (India’s) Young Leadership. Vadhra can have a field day similar to his famous neighbor Zardari…

  • mohan dev

    There is possibility of the option listed. Because Congress along with its c0horts have realized, 1. That it is difficult to prevent rise of Modi. 2. They are afraid that if Modi comes to power their all black deeds may get exposed. 3. They are familiar with the Modi might, the way Modi has washed out congress from Gujarat, they will meet with the same future from whole country.

  • V K

    It is not required for Modi to be physically present at election rallies. If he can address here in United States by live telecast and create same sensation as if he is physically present, he may do so again within India. It will have a two fold effect. His speech and at same time sending a message his life is in danger if he comes out in open.

  • Neethiraj

    There are high chances that EVM can be manipulated in favour of certain political party….so all political parties and all Indian voters to be very cautious on any EVM MANIPULATION. If suspected any foul play, re-election to be sought ALL OVER INDIA with paper votes…..

  • allimcbiel

    ” a “sudden removal” of Modi from the scene”?

    would also mean a “sudden removal” of christians, Muslims and the Sonia family from the scene

  • Ashish H

    I am sure the writer of this piece must be a poor man, filled with feelings of dream to see India a developed nation. Other kind of writers get loads of money from congress to write anything bad about Modi. Take care dear author, just few more days..

  • Pradip

    Raieev ji Srinivasan is an amazing getnleman who stays squarely focussed on the real critical issues of our time. the impending subversion of the indian elections by the dictatorial congress, exerting the options rajiv ji stages, are as real as they can be. there is no mistaking that the congressis are obsessed with eliminating namo, discreetly or grotesquely.

    however, the indian people absolutely must not leave these threats to chance, being at the mercy of the plotting congress. they must organize and prepare themselves to be able to react effectively to the threats in order to frustrate them in their tracts, and also be able to deal effectively with the consequence if these threats did materialize. they need great surveillance to monitor the congress.
    rajeev ji righty says namo is a movement. it is a movement that certainly is way bigger than the bjp party. hence, there is a need for the people to organize.

    eliminating namo would undoubtedly cause the loss of election to congress. however, it probably won’t bring the great change of the type the people are earnestly yearning from a future pm namo’s govt of india. it would be a loss that the desperate india simply can not afford, and must not allow.

  • There’s no way to counter Plan B is there?

  • narayanan

    I feel that all these options are “passe”. The Congress led by the brilliant Dr, (Oxford PhD, of course!) Rahul Gandi and Bawb Vodra, is way beyond all these. Please see the much-misunderstood speeches of Dr. Rahul Gandi if you are not convinced. So I feel that this time they will come out with a brilliantly simple Ordinance: A Ban On Thinking. As in “VOTE CONGRESS! IT IS SO MUCH EASIER THAN THINKING!”

    1) No fear of vote-rigging: Your vote will not be counted since Proper Candidate will already have 120 percent of the vote, like Musharraf in Gujranwala.
    2) No fear of “bum” at meetings: why would Indian (i.e., Paki) Mujaheddin “bum” themselves?
    3) No need to go to meeting at all: what are you going to learn? From whom? Rahul Gandi?
    4) No need to worry about how much guvrmand will steal: Answer is Everything.
    5) No need to worry about business etc: rupee will fall to 1000INR = 0.1USD.
    6) Everyone can adopt the Congress/ classic symbol: the ox. To pull cart, to replace tractors. To be eaten.

  • Rana

    Don’t underestimate Modi… he’s no push over. And he’s no saint. He knows politics way more than ninety percent of the congress and is two steps ahead!

  • Govindan

    The author has left one important point. In one of his rallies the dumb Rahul who expressed his fear. that he may be assassinated. Perhaps he might have got the hint from his own party being ruled by evangelists and controlled by Vatican. Otherwise why did he raise this issue? It is evangelists’ interest that the Congress party should remain in power .They will not hesitate to indulge in any kind of madness to keep the corrupt UPA in power. If nothing works out against Modi they may try to win the election through sympathy vote by harming a nitwit Rahul.

  • Rana

    There can also be a plan D..the sympathy wave created by a young death. For the Congress the only person who can create such a emotion by being assasinated is Rahul Gandhi. Put the blame on RSS, arrest all BJP leaders and win the elections. The immensely wealthy and powerful people who are behind the scenes will not want Modi to win at any cost. I think there is a grave danger to Rahul’s Life.

  • Ashoka Kalgude

    Writer is correct in many ways. There should PIL to get vvpt before 2014 election citing fear of rgging and CON behaviour in the history. Congress never respected neither democracy or people verdict always tried to topple govt by any means even it disrespect the court. The writer must have exposed some names instead of keeping it secret for Good of journalism.

  • Pragnik

    I have been thinking that they would try Plan A. If they succeed, then on sympathy BJP may win but the new leader would never be aggressive to punish them.

    Modi is the only BJP leader who threatens the existence of Congress & their muscle. Everyone else from all parties is just a political opponent.

    Another view is that .. Try plan B & if it won’t work then using $100B cash ( on minimum side) in Black Money, they can seek asylum in other countries to avoid any punishments.

    Plan C may not work with current technology. Wireless distributed mesh can make urban India connected irrespective of media freedom they offer. Hence people movement can’t be stopped. Guerilla wars using sophisticated technology can make the Cong life hell.

    I hope they leave the country with the money.

  • Modified

    Good article but I get concerned over Modi’s safety. God forbid!! if something happens to Modi, there will be a civil war in the country. Most of the middle class is getting by hoping for a better future. If they are left without hope, some will definitely retaliate. I believe, Congress will stick with getting Modi debarred by fabricating evidences in cases life Ishrat Jahan encounter.
    But I guess Modi, (the modern day Chanakya) must have contemplated all these options before getting anointed to BJP’s PM candidate. He must be having some ammunition with him to tackle CONgress

  • ganesan s

    The attempt was to assassinate Modi but the explosive went off when the human bomb was in the process of strapping himself with explosives leading to failure of the plan