Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday took a fierce dig at the Opposition Congress, holding it responsible for all the ills India has faced in the past. From dynasty to Emergency to corruption, the prime minister did not spare any aspect of the Congress’s rule in the past. He even used the occasion to recall Sant Basaveshwara, a 12th-century Hindu reformer from Karnataka, with a clear intention of winning hearts of people of that poll-bound state.

Indian politicians lack a mirror

The problem with India’s politicians is that they lack a mirror. With the next general election just a year away, Modi has in a way set the agenda rolling by intensifying the attack against the Congress.

He did the same in the historic 2014 election to storm to power in Delhi after reducing the Congress to his worst-ever state in Parliament. The prime minister has chosen to adopt the same strategy while defending his chair in the next general election.

Here, Modi has a remarkable semblance with the politics of his rival Mamata Banerjee – the chief minister of the state of West Bengal and the supremo of the Trinamool Congress (TMC). The latter did the same ahead of the 2016 Assembly election in her state by bashing the CPI(M) and Left who she had dislodged from power after a 34-year-rule, in 2011. Both these leaders have their set enemies – the Congress for Modi and Left for Mamata – who they choose to attack to win electoral battles.

Modi attacks Congress to hide his shortfalls?

But this electoral strategy of the PM speaks poorly about his leadership.

After being in power for nearly four years now, it is time for Modi to present his achievements before the people who had brought him to the office. But he is clearly avoiding it and taking the known route of attacking arch-rival Congress with a hope that the grand old party’s permanent anti-incumbency will help neutralize his own anti-incumbency challenges.

The reality is Modi has struggled to meet the dreams he sold to the people of India four years ago. While promises like the creation of job have not been fulfilled, the economic adventurism has hurt the finances in more than one way. Besides, communal polarization in the country has reached a point of serious concern, so much so that India’s rank as democracy has deteriorated in the eyes of the world.

The Modi government has not been found to be taking serious action to stop the trend. Moreover, India’s policies in foreign affairs haven’t really delivered as it was expected even though Modi had started on a positive note in 2014.

It is unfortunate that even after all the hype, Modi today needs to tread the predictable path of lashing out at the Congress to generate sympathy in his favor. It was okay in 2014 as the Congress was in power than and Modi made most of the opportunity as an Opposition leader.

Parliament witnesses petty party politics

But in 2019, he himself is the defender and no more the challenger, and the fight becomes more difficult. It was sad to see the PM turning the Parliament into a ring of political wrestling, doing enough harm to his image and post. But having said that, this is how Indian politicians act when chips are down.

Modi made his mark as a magician in 2014, thanks to an atmosphere of negativity then but in 2018, he has to face the facts. The prime minister and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party are fortunate that the Opposition is still not in a solid shape to take them on. But as a man who promised to take on the country’s problems head-on, it would suit his image if Modi conceded his failures and tried to win people’s heart in a straight and transparent way.