Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma has been visibly declining since mid-2017. The point that is open for debate is whether or not he can reverse the slide by playing the several cards he is adept at playing. Paradoxically, the onset of the fade-out of Mr. Modi’s charisma coincided with the beginning of the makeover of Rahul Gandhi. The scion is no longer a presumptive leader; he has emerged as Mr. Modi’s prime challenger.Regardless of how the political narrative concludes this year, Mr. Modi will surely rue his role in the emergence of the Congress president as a credible politician. Mr. Gandhi need not be formally named as the prime ministerial face of the Opposition because in its hurry to convert the electoral battle into a Modi versus Gandhi contest, the BJP willy-nilly elevated Mr. Gandhi’s political stock by unceasingly ridiculing him. Mr. Modi repeated the Congress leadership’s error of ceaselessly targeting him when he was Gujarat Chief Minister and elevating him from a regional leader to a national one.Leaders like Mr. Modi run the danger of becoming their own nemesis. To assess his current standing, we need to weigh him against his own past. In 2013-14, there was certainty about the BJP’s victory; only the final tally was the subject of speculation. Back then, Mr. Modi was the alternative. In contrast, only a dramatic alteration in the current political narrative can ensure that the BJP gets anywhere close to its 2014 tally of 282 seats in the Lok Sabha. The party’s hopes of preventing a major decline in its tally is now significantly dependent on the TINA (There Is No Alternative) factor.