gfiles governance awards 2019
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March 2019

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Social Media : How to win an election

DECADES ago, when I was sitting with Harmohan Dhawan, the then minister of Civil Aviation in the Chandra Shekhar Government, I was told that the latter had asked the relevant ministers to give 5,000 telephone connections and 5,000 LPG connections to win the Lok Sabha election from Chandigarh constituency. I suggested to him, “You cannot win a Parliament election with only largesse. What you really need is a political narrative that can appeal to and woo the masses.” He ignored me; he also lost the election. A leader needs a compelling electoral narrative to enhance his support, especially with the growing population of fence-sitters and first-time voters. Similarly, decades ago, Narasimha Rao, the former Prime Minister of India, was asked by his party colleagues on what could be done to stop the rising popularity of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after it embraced the Ram Mandir strategy to win the elections.

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gfiles is the country’s first independent magazine written, designed and produced for India’s civil services—the vast and formidable network of bureaucracies and public sector organisations that provide continuity and stability to this nation’s governance.

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