Should PM Modi be spending so much time campaigning in state elections?

The net result is that the valuable time of PM Modi, which should be spent on the governance of the country, has been sacrificed for winning an election in one state.

N S Venkataraman May 04, 2023
PM Modi in Karnataka election compaign (Photo: Youtube)

It is known that there are pledged admirers and sworn critics of Narendra Modi, not only in India but abroad also. Leaving alone the admirers and critics, there are many discerning observers who believe that Modi has brought around significant changes for the better, not only in the industrial and economic profile of India during the last nine years but also in several other aspects in the personal and social life of the country.
 Apart from large infrastructure projects, industrial ventures, significant improvement in government transparency, digitalization etc. Modi's stress on a Clean India campaign, developing a yoga culture etc. have far-reaching implications for the country.

Modi is known to work for very long hours every day, chalking out plans for growth and reviewing the progress, even as he communicates with the people in different ways like Mann Ki Baat (Speaking my Mind) radio programme once a month, which recently celebrated its 100th episode. 

 It is a fact that Modi’s time is very valuable and many people expect that his time and energy should be focused on taking India to greater heights. Some discerning observers have also expressed concern that. Modi should spend so much of his time in campaigning for his party in the state election in  Karnataka and whether it is justified for a Prime Minister to do so. This appears to be a genuine concern without any political motive.

Question marks about state government

The problem today is that the leadership of the ruling party BJP  is entirely focused on PM Modi and his stature appears to be far higher than anyone else in the party.  When people vote for the BJP in the election, most of them have said that they have really voted for Modi.

Of course, most of the political parties in India have one or two leaders at the top ( almost all political parties in India apart from BJP are family controlled), and the political stature of no other party leader matches anywhere near Modi’s level.

The question uppermost in the mind of everyone is why Modi is spending so much time in the Karnataka election campaign.  Is it because the performance of the incumbent BJP government in the state is not up to the mark and  Modi wants to reassure the people of his party’s commitment?

In a democratic country, whatever may be the capability and commitment of the leader of the government, political power is vitally important. Any leader derives strength and command leadership from the people’s power bestowed on him.  Perhaps, PM Modi, being clearly aware of the need for retaining the support of the people by winning elections, does not want to face a situation where his party would lose the election in Karnataka.  Unfortunately, there is nobody else in the BJP who can match the charisma of Modi and enjoy the confidence of the people to the extent that PM Modi does.

PM sacrificing valuable time

The only explanation and justification for Modi spending so much time and energy in campaigning for the Karnataka election is that Modi thinks that it would be a calculated risk if he does not launch himself fully in the campaign.

The net result is that the valuable time of PM Modi, which should be spent on the governance of the country, has been sacrificed for winning an election in one state.

(The writer is a Trustee, NGO Nandini Voice for the Deprived, Chennai. Views are personal. He can be reached at

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