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Battle is over, but not the war

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Shishu Ranjan
Shishu Ranjan
Economist and Banker

If war used to be a medium to capture the governance in monarchy, elections plays similar role in democratic set up of governance. Therefore, the modern elections are nothing but sort of war in these days. We have witnessed these wars in two largest democracies of this world where Donald Trump “trumped” his opponents to capture power in USA and Narendra Modi “Modified” India in an unprecedented manner riding on the popular wave in their support. Though they won the war of General elections in their own countries, the opponents have kept fighting battles since then. Initially, it was perception front where opponents kept their battles ongoing with the help of friendly media. Off late, the battle front is being expanded to other areas such as polity, bureaucracy, judiciary, and many more.

Indian democracy presents opportunity to have many more battles due to its design. Other than the general elections to capture governance at central level, there are 29 states and 2 union territories which should go to elections every five years. Therefore, political parties and that too national political parties, have to face elections every second month on an average. If the election of “Panchayats” and Muncipal Corporations are also added, political parties are in election mode each day. Opposition, which lost the big war of 2014, has been successful in opening the new battle front even in Universities student union election, of which Delhi University, JNU, and others are prime examples. Each loss has been attributed to rejection of central government and win has been seen as endorsement of the same. With the election results of five state assembly election, all big battles leading to the great war of 2019 has been over. No doubt, the last round is won by opposition led by Congress rejuvenating their cadres and supporters. However, they need to realize that they are on the verge of losing the upcoming great war of 2019, if data has to be believed.

If we closely analyze the data of recently concluded assembly elections, it becomes clear that congress was not able to win the mandate of people handsomely except in Chhattisgarh. Despite anti-incumbency of three successive terms in Madhya Pradesh, BJP garnered greater vote share. In Rajasthan where it was supposed to be one side affair in favor of congress, results were surprisingly close and congress could not even secure a simple majority. Even the difference in vote share is merely 0.4%. Chhattisgarh is only exception where BJP clearly lost with a convincing vote percentage difference of close to 10%. However, it is very important to note that congress lost big time in Telangana and Mizoram which used to be a strong hold not long ago. Defeat in Telangana should be a ring bell as the voters rejected congress and TDP both. If the same happens in the sister state of Andhra Pradesh, congress will be on the verge of losing the upcoming war.

For BJP, the general election is going to be a match being played on their home ground. Their best player is undoubtedly the current PM Mr. Modi who will be asking for mandate on the basis of his own records. His all-rounder ability to spin the ball when required and hit the opposition out of ground on provided occasions are tried and tested. Indian public loves his performance and is happily willing to cheer for him when occasion arrives. His persona can easily enhance the voting percentage in his favor by more than 5% and that will be sufficient enough to win this war. He knows the terrain of the Warfield and should be working to fortify before he leads the attack. Big states in terms of Lok Sabha Seats such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra can still be easily won due to his work as well as his image.
Nonetheless, the war is going to be interesting for so many reasons.

Oppositions will be trying to put a unified front as that gives them a chance to survive. Another loss in this war would lead to end for so many warriors. BJP will have to penetrate this unified front in order to dismantle the war formation. However, they also need to keep intact their ranks and unity if they have to win. Remember that Ravan was invincible if Vibhishan was on his side. They need to throw their Vibhishans at earliest and create Vibhishans in unified opposition ranks. A lot is at stake for everyone in the war filed and the war has just begun.

(Writer – Shishu Ranjan is an Economist and Banker, and frequently writes on Social, Economic, and Political Issues. Contact him at [email protected])

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Shishu Ranjan
Shishu Ranjan
Economist and Banker
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