New Delhi: Earlier this week, when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its slogan “Namumkin Ab Mumkin Hai (The impossible is possible now)”, along with a 360-degree campaign, it added to an already-long list of jingles it has coined since it came to power in 2014.
The party now has at least two main campaign slogans it plans to use extensively in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, besides the ones it produced in the last five years — each, according to party sources, “designed to suit a specific purpose, convey a defined message and cater to a given audience”.
From talking about new beginnings, to the country changing, progress being ushered in, clean intentions, living up to the people’s expectations, making the impossible happen, and, of course, the Modi factor — the BJP and its government have touched upon what they believe to be, and want to sell as, their strengths.
In the Narendra Modi era, the BJP has always believed in the power of slogans, and its 2014 poll campaign was replete with them — whether it was the almost viral “Abki Baar, Modi Sarkar (This time, it will be a Modi government)”, the full-of-promise “Acche Din Aayenge (Good times will follow)”, or the trying-to-be-inclusive “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas (Development for all)”.
When the Modi government completed its first year, the slogan “Saal Ek, Shuruaat Anek (One year but many beginnings)” was floated.
In the second year, it was “Mera Desh Badal Raha Hai, Aage Badh Raha Hai (My country is changing and moving ahead)”, which still remains one of the most popular slogans among the BJP’s cadre and leaders.
The completion of the government’s third year was celebrated with the more generic “Saath Hai, Vishwas Hai, Ho Raha Vikas Hai (We are together and have faith, development is taking place)”, while at the end of the fourth year, the Modi government released a video that ended with the tagline, “Saaf Niyat, Sahi Vikas (Clean intentions, right development)”.
In the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls now, two slogans dominate the BJP’s campaign — “Phir Ek Baar, Modi Sarkar (A Modi government yet again)” and “Namumkin Ab Mumkin Hai”. The former takes off from the BJP’s popular 2014 slogan, which the party believes held it in good stead and resonated with voters.
“While both these are our dominant slogans and will be used extensively till the polls, ‘Phir Ek Baar, Modi Sarkar‘ will be the main tagline, given that the PM remains our biggest trump card,” said a highly-placed source in the party who did not wish to be identified.
In early February, the BJP launched another tagline — “Kaam Kare Jo, Umeed Usi Se Ho (People pin their hopes only on those who work)” — as part of its manifesto preparation exercise, in which it plans to seek suggestions from 10 crore people across the country.
A peek into policy
Sources in the party explain that the slogans, “drafted in-house”, are devised after “much thought” and aimed at giving a peek into the direction of the government and the party.
“Our taglines are designed after much thought to suit a specific purpose, convey a defined message and cater to a given audience,” said another BJP source who also wished to remain anonymous. “The whole idea is to give an idea about the focus of the party and direction of the government,” the source said.
“In the first year, we wanted to convey that it had just been one year but many small initiatives had already been taken,” said the first source.
“The second year’s slogan came before anything big-bang like the surgical strikes or demonetisation, and, therefore, ‘Mera Desh Badal Raha Hai, Aage Badh Raha Hai‘ was meant to convey incremental changes in the country through the government’s policies,” the source added.
In its fourth year, the party source added, the BJP realised that harping on what it believed to be its achievements may not work and, hence, decided to focus on its “clean intent, corruption-free image and development that reaches the deserving person”.
“Basically, these taglines are based on the messaging that is needed and what the party wants to communicate at that particular time and to which set of voters,” the second source said.
“Whether yet another slogan will be designed will depend on the need of the hour and if we feel something new needs to be communicated,” the source added.
This election season, by saying the impossible is now possible, the BJP wants to address the aspirations of the youth and underscore that it can do and has done what the Congress could not do across decades.
But with the party’s overwhelming reliance on PM Modi as its winning card, there is a clear winner in the BJP’s own war of slogans, and voters can expect to hear a lot more of “Phir Ek Baar, Modi Sarkar”.