Looking at the massive mandate BJP got in UP, there are certain rumors floating around in Indian political circuit. Adversaries will again become allies, politicians jumping camps, call for new alliance formations, etc.
This isn’t unprecedented but positions have changed. Decades ago, it used to be INC vs all. Now, after 2014, it’s BJP vs all. Such political tectonic shift may only be comparable to rise of Janta Party under the leadership of Jayaprakash Narayan, who stood up against the dictatorial intent of Indira Gandhi. But there is difference between 80s period and present.
The jolt to Indian political establishment occurred in 2014 when BJP, with it’s Prime Ministerial Candidate Narendra Modi secured unexpected mandate of 282 seats while NDA crossed 300. This phenomena was given the name ‘Modi wave’. Modi emerged as ‘rockstar’ against all hurdle put against him by his opponents in rival parties or even within BJP, and then 2017 happened. The ‘Modi wave’ turned into ‘Modi Tsunami’, biggest electoral win in UP history.
A mandate of 312 is just unfathomable, unrealistic for political pundits and analysts. Media opinion & exit polls all were completely junked. There are 5 states in which elections were conducted. BJP won 2 with full majority UP & Uttarakhand, INC won one Punjab, and rest Goa and Manipur had fractured mandate, still INC won more seats in both. And the rest of other parties destroyed and decimated. Yet out of these 5, BJP has established govt in 4 states, which exactly gives us the glimpse as how BJP manages to win one state after the other.
Amit Shah, the president of BJP, believed to be very close to PM Narendra Modi since Gujarat days, has been tirelessly working on ground level to establish BJP and allied govt in as many states as he can. Now BJP with NDA is ruling half of the total India’s population, i.e. 16 Indian states. And that’s giving jitters to the opponents, both on national and regional level as they are aware ‘2019 general election’ is fast approaching.
Even before 2019 several states are going for assembly elections as well. Two of the most important among them are Karnataka and Gujarat. Opposition parties, even now, seem to be on a rudderless ship having no strategy to go forward & counter BJP progress. Among these states, most likely the direct fight will be between BJP and INC.
At the end of the day, it is for the people to decide whom to vote. So, it’s not all win for BJP, having lost Delhi & Bihar in 2015. There has been some reasons behind why BJP didn’t give it all in Delhi or lost Bihar. Probably because of overconfidence among BJP cadre or may be they didn’t sense public mood in either two places.
UP mandate has triggered some new equations among parties. Old allies wish to join back, the talk of bringing all ‘secular forces’ together, a united opposition alliance against BJP. The most talked about, at least among BJP supporters, is Nitish Kumar Ghar Wapasi. Still, in my view, Amit Shah shouldn’t bring Nitish Kumar back to NDA just yet. Let ‘Mahagathbandhan’ fall on it’s own weight of distrust & weak foundation.
Two reasons BJP can make way back into Delhi and Bihar:
1. AAP in Delhi: One of the reasons why AAP won 67 seats in Delhi because they were untested and relatively new at running the government. Delhi people who were fed up with corrupt congress regime of Sheila Dixit of that time and incompetent BJP Delhi unit. They wanted clean & fresh governance which AAP projecting itself to be. A promise of ‘Imandar Sarkar’. But after 2 years of AAP Govt in Delhi, people have started to realize how pathetic and incompetent Arvind Kejriwal govt is, going back on it’s promises one after another. Not just in Delhi but also in Goa and Punjab where AAP fought elections only on negative campaigning.
In both states AAP was humiliated and decimated. The whole image of Arvind Kejriwal ‘clean image’ went down the drain as his drama politics was exposed. Delhi MCD elections coming up and there may be repeat of AAP recent election fiasco, also chances in Gujarat seems abysmal to say the least. So, now it seems no state will repeat the mistake of electing AAP.
2. Regarding Bihar: Nitish Kumar JDU, used to be BJP ally under NDA, but left since he himself harbored PMship dreams. Probably, out of jealousy towards Modi, he even agreed to form alliance with corrupt & convicted Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD, against whom he fought elections before. He later broke alliance with NDA after Modi emerged as front runner for 2014 general election.
Now, as some news suggests he is sensing his future lies with NDA & not with ‘Mahagathbandhan’. Since Lalu has ulterior motive to get his kith & kin into power in Bihar while undermining Nitish leadership. Many in RJD have expressed the same since they got more seats so the CM should be from RJD which Lalu family seems to want to be either their son or daughter. Nitish does know this as well and that’s why he is subtly sending signals of Gharwapasi, one way or another, for anyone to see.
UP people voted BJP raising above caste lines, unlike in Bihar. Even the Big Dalit leader Mayawati’s Party won only a mere double digit number of 19. Now it is for Bihar people to choose if they want to go back to the era of Lalu raj of black days or do they want to choose development on merit & above caste lines. People were completely fed up understandably so.
Hence it would be premature taking Nitish back in the fold. Amit Shah, being a master strategist, also keenly observing the whole development. Learning from mistakes & defeat in Bihar, he must be taking in account the mood of public in Bihar. Unlike in Delhi, Nitish Kumar still performing relatively good. And so, I feel Shah should let Nitish govt term to complete so that people can get over this JDU,RJD alliance. This will be happening soon as RJD is back to it’s old gimmicks and bad governance where Lalu is calling the shots behind the curtain. Crime rates going up, declining indices on economy parameter, the draconian prohibition law and many scandals in education department of Bihar Govt.
Now, UP mandate can also give clues of polarization. The discrimination on religious line as Akhilesh Yadav state govt policies have shown. Hindus were marginalized. Total collapse of Law & Order that even to file a FIR, the Supreme Court had to intervene. Hardly any economic growth,power crisis, immigration.
Recent elections have, unquestionably, made Narendra Modi the tallest leader and most powerful political figure. The juggernaut of BJP giving nightmares to regional parties and their leaders too. As seen in many local polls. Mamta Benarjee must be wary of these recent victories. What her govt is doing with hindus in Bengal is not a secret.
The polarization is inevitable. Should she still support Jihadi forces in her govt and let BJP sweep in Bengal or is she willing to accept change. That is matter of coming years.
The beauty of Amit Shah strategy is that he is ruthless towards his opponents. He has being applying famous ‘Chanakya Niti’. He,along with his North East master planner Himant Biswas Sharma, have broke Congress factions to establish BJP supported govt in Arunachal Pradesh. Same way, the blistering pace at which govts were established in Goa and Manipur, even with lesser seats than INC, left Congress MLAs fuming and doubts are raised against it’s central leadership & it’s lack luster laid back approach.
Unless, INC or any other BJP rivals bring some solid game plan, 2019 general election is a goner. Not even ‘Mega Grand Alliance’ is going to help them if they don’t sense the very different mood of New India in the age of social media.