Minutes after releasing a new slogan “Time For Change, Time For BJP” for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, indicating a shift in focus from Narendra Modi, BJP chief Rajnath Singh on Monday took a U-turn by replacing it with a new one “Bahut Hui Mehngai Ki Maar, Abki Baar Modi Sarkar”.
Singh had earlier tweeted a new campaign slogan “Time For Change, Time For BJP” amid growing concerns that Modi has become bigger than the party and is being revered as a deity, and replaced it with the old one “Time for change, Time For Modi”.
Singh also sought to address the concerns raised by several top leaders that Modi’s growing popularity and towering persona has converted the upcoming Lok Sabha polls into a battle for one-upmanship.
Though Modi will still remain the main face of the party in the crucial Lok Sabha polls, the BJP workers will now seek votes for him using the new campaign “Abki Baar, Bhajapa Sarkar”.
The development was significant as it came amid criticism over the growing use of ‘Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi’ slogan by party workers to seek votes in UP, Bihar and other states.
A prominent Hindu seer, Shankaracharya of Dwarka Peeth, Swaroopanand Saraswati had also raised objections over the traditional chant ‘Har Har Mahadev’ which is raised to hail Lord Shiv being ‘modified’ into ‘Har Har Modi’, to spruce up Modi’s campaign.
Political parties like Samajwadi Party and Congress have also protested against BJP’s slogan ‘Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi’, saying it disrespected Lord Shiva and highlighted an individual over the almighty.
The Bihar BJP leaders had brushed aside the top seer’s objection to the ‘Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi’ slogan being raised by party workers to seek votes, saying it was within its democratic right to coin a slogan to woo voters.
Former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi said that there were any number of Shankaracharyas in the country and “we cannot take all of them seriously.”
However, the BJP top brass later sought to distance itself from the controversy over Modi saying, its official slogan was “Ab ki baar, Modi sarkar” (This time, Modi government).
Taking note of the seer’s objections, the Gujarat Chief Minister, in a tweet, urged party workers to refrain from raising the slogan during campaign.
“Some enthusiastic supporters have been using the slogan ‘Har Har Modi’. I respect their enthusiasm, but request them not to use this slogan in the future,” Modi had tweeted.