A quick THREAD on Modi the politician. One particular aspect of his politics is to convert what his opponents deem to be his weakness into his strengths. This is becoming a consistent theme in his politics. 1/n
The recent breathless coverage of Rafale's delivery to India could have been just a drama by overzealous media houses. However, the defence minister Rajnath Singh also joined the game. He too started tweeting on the arrival of the five Rafale planes. 2/n
The message was not to China. To some extent, the message was to domestic audience: "Look we finally got Rafale, something which the Congress couldn't." But the real message was to Rahul Gandhi: "Look, you alleged corruption in Rafale deal, we are owning the purchase..." 3/n
"... Rafale will be remember as a prized purchase, not as a deal tainted by corruption." For all the reported good performance of Bofors guns in Kargil, the Rajiv Gandhi-deal evokes corruption, not victory in a war. Modi was determined not to let that happen with Rafale. 4/n
This was visible during the 2019 election campaign itself. When Rahul Gandhi said, "Chowkidar chor har", Modi replied not by running away, but by owning the chowkidar tag that he had originally given to him. He mobilized people to say, "Main bhi chowkidar!" 5/n
Now, the bhoomipujan of Ram temple is scheduled for August 5-- the first anniversary of the decision to abrogate Kashmir's special status. In absence of the bhoomipujan, it could have been a day of Modi's criticism, as to how revocation of special status achieved nothing. 6/n
Now, not only there will be less bandwidth for that criticism, but more importantly, August 5 will be turned into a day of success. You schedule bhoomipujan on an auspicious day. You don't schedule it on the anniversary of a day when you took a major flawed decision. 7/n
So, August 5 becomes an auspicious day and a day when a major decision was taken. That decision was so "successful" that the BJP wants to schedule the bhoomipujan right on its anniversary. Again owning the day and owning the revocation of Article 370 completely! 8/n
This seems to be emerging as a consistent theme now in Modi's approach: To take away from the opponent any opportunity of criticism. I say 'emerging' because Modi didn't do it with demonetization. But now he wants to leave no quarter for his opponents. 9/9
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