The results are out and it is not a pretty picture for PM Modi, or the BJP going forward into the General Elections 2019. The numbers could have been worse had Urjit Patel resigned a week ago. The numbers could have been better had they got Mallya in India a week or two ago. The numbers could have been better had CBI fiasco not taken place. Alas! Could have, should have, would have…
Surprisingly, for Congress, the strategy of continuous beating of a blunt issue resulted in getting something sharp that helped them stabbing BJP in the face of anti-incumbency did come good. Rafale is a good example. These numbers have also proved that Modi alone can’t make a huge dent, all the time, at all the places. Not to ignore the fact that local leadership in both Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan weren’t too happy with their commanders.
When BJP celebrates its yearly anniversaries of 2014 Lok Sabha win, it comes up with achievements that are astounding and cover all the areas of development. The document talks about issues that are considered trivial but impact the lives of lower stratum. It talks about farmers and how the government is tackling the issues of MSP and mandis.
It talks about financial inclusion, getting the data of tax defaulters, increase in tax-abiding citizen base, streamlining of GST process, getting the subsidy directly in to beneficiaries, stupendous pace of infrastructural growth and what not! Still, we don’t hear those in election campaigns!
This is absurd. This is absurd because a party and its leader, who rely on the slogan that literally includes ‘development for all’, and are working tirelessly without a shred of corruption or irregularity, has to get down in the mud to wrestle a pig and eventually lose!
In previous elections, we have seen that it was Modi who would set the tone and campaign speech narrative where the opposition would keep trying to catch its own tail by teeth. Modi was focused on talking about what was happening and what’s his vision. Opposition was stuck on tracking his caste, BJP’s supposed ‘communal’ agenda etc. That line was a beaten track for voters and they wondered if the opposition is even capable of talking about its own vision, or locate a crack in BJP’s otherwise spotless white developmental agenda without any corruption allegation.
This time BJP and Modi were going on same ‘Nehru-Namdaar-Kaamdar–Raazdar-70 years’ mode of campaigning, while opposition got together in drumming up Rafale narrative, which was, and is, completely a false allegation with Dassault and government clarifying at every level. This trick might have been prematurely ended with SC asking the details in envelope, but people did start to think why is government mum.
While general people might not know the clauses of agreement, but they certainly believe the generic saying that ‘politicians of all the kind are corrupt to the core’. While Modi supporters held their ground, repetitive press conferences and debates in media did help Congress weave the hunting net that something was fishy in Rafale deal.
Anti-incumbency as well as Raje’s failure to contain statewide doctor’s strike, riots in Jaipur, mounting cases of rapes in Rajasthan, was the slit where Congress put its foot firmly, and kept wriggling. Ashok Gahlot is one leader who has pan-Rajasthan acceptance, and he utilised it properly. While BJP’s core support base of Rajputs was unhappy because of gangster Anandpal’s death, ‘Padmavati‘ issue and sitting MLAs’ incompetence.
A rising opposition is a good sign of a healthy democracy, but bad if it’s Congress that’s gathering strength. Cleansing the corruption from the systems and departments from Congress era is a work in progress and can’t be allowed to be stopped for a decade, at least. Still, having a single party ruling all the states might give a sense of invincibility to BJP.
In a way, it is a wake up knock for BJP. It has to rethink its campaign speech strategy where people are getting bored of the same old jokes at the expense of Rahul. This strategy is stupid now because Rahul Gandhi is very much capable of throwing himself in uncomfortable and funny situations, making a joke of himself, every now and then. BJP shouldn’t be wasting its energy.
Modi can’t be blaming everything on Nehru-Gandhi family even as the next elections are a few months away. He had asked for 60 months as against 60 years for Congress. People gave him that, people didn’t question till four years, now they want to know the results and results are there. However, for some reason BJP’s agenda is still blaming others rather than vocally yelling its own achievements.
Modi used the mother jibe, father jibe, chaiwala as well as caste politics issues in election speeches which can be said to be unnecessary. We all know Modi or BJP doesn’t talk on issues that it doesn’t deem fit, but in campaign speeches they hung on to every word that even smaller leaders used for him.
Unless, BJP starts at war scale, unleashing its developmental goals, how and where it achieved them, opposition might create some uncomfortable situation. Periodic chanting of ‘Jai Sri Ram’ doesn’t help either when people know that you had a chance, but you slept over it for four years. Late reaction in Sabarimala issue didn’t help either. To drive home the point Modi used ‘Hindutva’ 22 times and ‘vikas’ 13 times in an election speech in Jodhpur.
The upper caste voters are unhappy over Modi ignoring Supreme Court’s verdict regarding the SC/ST Act and reinstating unconstitutional provisions that go against the basic principles of justice. There were upper caste rallies opposing this issue. On the top of existing provisions of reservation that the upper caste voters dislike, and see it as a burden on nation building, these provisions of arrest without investigation fulled the anger.
Modi wants to be the statesman and world leader, he can be the unscathed leader that the nation requires, but while doing so, he can’t ignore the fact that serving the last person in line doesn’t mean trampling the other strata of population.
BJP needs a rethinking because it’s 60 months have ended. Now it needs to tell the people what it did. People are more interested in knowing that rather than listening to jokes on Rahul Gandhi which is not funny anymore.