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Why losing the by-polls may actually have been planned by the BJP

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Mainstream media, ‘neutral’ journos and almost all political parties outside the NDA (and some within) are treating BJP’s loss in the by-elections in Uttar Pradesh as some kind of a watershed moment. Their exuberance over the loss in Gorakhpur and Phulpur arises from their newfound belief that combining their respective vote banks might be the only chink in the armour for the mighty Modi-Shah battle machine.

Although Yogi Adityanath has taken full responsibility for the loss and many BJP supporters have reacted with severe criticism of the party, there are many reasons to believe that this loss is in fact one of the best things which has happened and hence it may have been planned after all:

  1. These results have shaken up the ground cadre like nothing else over the last 4 years. There was an increasing sense of complacency among the BJP grassroot level worker especially in the BJP ruled states possibly due to overconfidence of victories or fatigue from gruelling election campaigns. However, this one loss has delivered the ultimate message to every karyakarta – If the hard work stops, success stops. Delivering the message in such a convincing and yet subtle style is very much the Amit Shah way and hence he may have actually wanted this to play out the way it did.
  2. The loss has given a massive wake up call to the average BJP voter. It is natural that the voter takes the party for granted after such back to back victories across assembly, municipal and panchayat elections. The ‘individual voter’ tends to underestimate the significance of his/her vote in such circumstances assuming that the mandate would anyway be positive and their participation is probably not going to influence it much. This loss has changed that drastically and has been successful in the inception of a well-placed fear among the voters that if they do not actually head out and vote on the particular day, it could lead to total disaster. And if there is one factor other than hope which really brings out the masses it is fear. And Shah knows this all too well.
  3. The final and perhaps the biggest reason for this being a shot in the arm for the BJP is that this loss has completely revealed the greedy ambitions and selfish motives of top leaders of every party (including a few in the NDA). TDP has pulled out of the alliance, Shiv sena is more vocal about its criticism than ever before and even so called neutral parties such as the AIADMK have come out in support of a no confidence motion. This is almost a game of thrones style fight for leadership which has begun to emerge in the opposition and such coming together of opportunistic leaders is likely to polarize the voters even further towards electing a stable, clarity filled government which only the BJP can offer. What better way to remind the voters that the opposition is filled with vultures who would swoop down to clinch any prey as long as it propels them ahead. BJP would know that this result would actually fast track the formation of ‘gatbandhans’ across the country and enable the voters to witness these power struggles long enough to be able to make a sane judgement till the 2019 elections and come out in greater numbers than they did in 2014.

Essentially a loss that was needed for course correction and to stop complacency from creeping in.

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