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Posted at: May 24, 2019, 7:02 AM; last updated: May 24, 2019, 10:01 AM (IST)

What all saw BJP candidate through

Modi wave, judicious use of funds
What all saw BJP candidate through

Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23

BJP candidate Kirron Kher’s victory over former Union Minister and Congress nominee Pawan Kumar Bansal from the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat is being considered more of a victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ever since the campaign for the Lok Sabha poll started, a peculiar characteristic of the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat this time was that while the BJP was focusing more on Modi than its candidate Kher, the Congress, on the contrary, was focusing more on the persona of its candidate Bansal to woo the voters rather than talking much about the party or its central leader Rahul Gandhi.

Modi was a major factor in the Lok Sabha poll not only in Chandigarh, but also in the neighbouring Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, though in Punjab, the Congress government was able to counter this factor effectively. 

Wherever Modi addressed his rallies, he asked people to vote for Modi sarkar and not even mentioned the names of his candidates. In Chandigarh too, Modi did not mention Kher’s name when he addressed a rally in the city. 

Kher also does not deny the Modi factor, but maintains that people cast their vote not only for the Prime Minister but also for her as their MP.

“It was not just a Modi wave, but a tsunami which swept across the country. However, people also voted for me as their MP,” she said.

Besides the Modi factor, a galvanised campaign led by Chandigarh BJP president Sanjay Tandon and Kher’s own team of youths, led by Sehdev Salaria, also helped her secure this victory.

“Kher had the advantage of a two-tier campaign. One, by the party under Tandon and the other, by her own team of youths,” said political observers. Sources close to Kher claim that the BJP MP also got benefit of having ensured good use of her MPLAD funds for the benefit of people, increase in the upper age limit for entry to government jobs and some other works that impacted people.

On the other hand, Bansal was being considered the best bet for the Congress.

“Had Bansal not been in the fray, the contest would have been one-sided in favour of Kher. It was due to Bansal’s influence that the Congress could make it a contest. Bansal fared well in sectors, but people in villages voted in large numbers for Kher in the name of Modi, ” said the political observers.

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