Modi Sarkar has apparently lost its moral high ground on the issue of corruption following the report on the financial growth of Temple Enterprise Private Limited, a company owned by the BJP national president Amit Shah’s son Jai Shah. According to a report published by news website ‘The Wire’, quoting filings with the registrar of companies, the turnover of this company “increased 16,000 times” in a year, after both the Gujarat leaders became the prime minister and the party president.
The knee-jerk reaction of Modi Sarkar and the actions that followed indicates that there is; not just a needle of suspicion but a spear of suspicion pointing towards the Temple Enterprise. First, there is speculation that Amit Shah apparently was forced to cut short his Kerala trip and had to rush back to Delhi because of this issue. Secondly, Union minister Piyush Goyal publicly defended Jai Shah’s business dealings—a rare case of government defending a private businessman’s deals.
Thirdly, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta represents Jai Amit Shah in the Rs 100-crore criminal defamation case against the news portal as the BJP and the government has been maintaining that there is no harm in the ASG appearing in the court in a matter between two private parties after taking permission. Fourthly, ministers in the BJP-ruled states were also deployed to hold press conference and defend the party chief’s son. In Chhattisgarh, commercial taxes minister Amar Agrawal did that job.
Over the years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party leaders have been using a similar case against Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law to target the grand old party. Now a desperate BJP and its leaders are trying to raise issues of corruption and talking about the things that had happened during the last 70 years of the Congress rule. The BJP chief, Amit Shah, had even gone to the extent of asking “Why did the Congress not gather courage to file defamation cases?”
Voices are being raised from various quarters demanding a probe into Jai Shah’s business deals, including the unsecured loans availed by the firm, particularly when Gujarat assembly polls are round the corner. While the mainstream media, including majority of high-visibility television channels, have gone soft on covering the allegations against the BJP chief’s son, the social media, true to its character, gave its maximum to highlight the issue.
Much before the 2014 assembly polls, the BJP sympathisers had swarmed the social media and successfully unleashed propaganda on issues of corruption, leaving the Congress almost helpless. The Congress and other opposition parties were caught off guard and were completely lost out to the new war tactics.  Social media had played an important role in expanding the BJP’s support base among a major section of middle class youth.
But it seems to be boomeranging now, just within three years after the BJP came to power. Social media in Gujarat is abuzz with ‘Vikas gando thayo chhe’ (development has gone crazy) campaign which lampoons the BJP’s claims of development. Similar other local versions of this sort are circulating across the country forcing section of the BJP leaders to advice people that they should not take social media seriously!
Recession, job loss, demonetisation, GST, political Jumlas, and now allegations of questionable business deals by the BJP chief’s son, all are finally heading towards a situation that the BJP is losing out in the war of perception management as just 18 months are left for the next Lok Sabha elections.  Only time will tell whether Prime Minister Modi and his party will be able to cope up with the situation and lead the party to victory in the next elections.