Kaun jeetega Gujarat: Modi uses phone-a-friend lifeline to remember old connections

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Hello, the Prime Minister is on the line.

Narendra Modi is striking a chord with his home state’s grassroots BJP workers with his phone, a weapon that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi may miss in his arsenal in the battle for Gujarat.

The BJP’s biggest crowd-puller is calling up party workers personally to add to his high-decibel campaigns and innovative techniques such as 3D holographic projections at rallies and “chai pe charcha” meetings, which he used ahead of his successful 2014 parliamentary polls.

“These personal calls by the Prime Minister are making a huge impact both on the party and the people of Gujarat. His approach is infusing new energy into our strong organizational network. This goes to prove how he remains a people’s leader unlike Rahul Gandhi,” BJP media cell in-charge Harshad Patel said.

The phone-a-friend strategy is seen as an attempt to underline his ability to remember old connections and rekindle emotional bonds ahead of the high-stakes December 9 and 14 elections in Gujarat, which he ruled as chief minister from 2001 to 2014.

The calls are meant to dent Gandhi’s growing social media presence and the Congress-backed online campaign — Vikas gando thai gayo che, or development has gone crazy — gaining popularity.

This is also a counteroffensive against Gandhi’s outreach during his recent tour of the state, where he had tea sitting on a cot with the family of party worker in Jamnagar and performed Navratri puja at a garba event in Rajkot.

Audio clips of Modi’s calls to two party workers in Gujarat are widely shared on social media networks.

In the first clip, he is heard talking to Gopal Gohil, BJP general secretary of Ward Number 13 in Vadodara who is a shopkeeper.

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