This election to the 17th Parliament of India will be remembered in the History of modern India for many reasons. This has felled more heavy-weights, stalwarts, Maharajas than any previous election. This has flattened the opposition like never before. This has shattered many a myths on caste equations. This has unequivocally established that the common man is concerned about Roti Kapda Aur Makan and not about caste or religion anymore. This has proved that there can be a pro-incumbency wave for a government that performs. However the credit for making this landslide should be shared equally with the Opposition parties and the liberal elites of the country.
When 2019 dawned, BJP was slightly on the back foot, having lost Rajasthan, Madyapradesh and Chattisgarh to Congress. Earlier that year, it failed to capture power in Karnataka by a whisker. It appeared as if BJP and the popularity of Namo is waning. Opposition, mainly the Congress, was rejoicing and the eternal Prime Minister in the making, Rahul, could not wait any longer to ascend the throne. These losses could not have come at a better time for the BJP for it elevated the hopes and self-belief in Rahul Gandhi that he started believing his own imaginary world of lies, fake news and abuses.
Congress, on a high after a string of electoral victories, started to believe in its own invincibility and refused to look for alliance partners and started to insult the potential post-poll allies. During the Madyapradesh elections, Congress refused to ally with BSP & SP combine. This obviously angered Mayawati to no end but she did not react immediately. After the elections, when the Congress found itself short of a majority, Mayawati magnanimously came forward voluntarily to offer the support of lone BSP MLA to the Congress. This goodwill gesture gesture was not appreciated or reciprocated by the Congress which has started treading its haughty and arrogant ways of yesteryear. The insults meted out to BSP was more than amply repaid when the Mahagadbandhan steadfastly refused to take Congress, leaving the family burroughs of Amethi & Rae Bareli only to the Congress. Not understanding the meaning, Congress fueled the fire by offering a few seats for the MGB.
Another major setback for the Congress came from Shiela Dikshit who was adamant in not having any ties with the Aam Admi Party. Already internal bickering and the strains in the alliance due to the ambitions of Siddaramiah were taking a heavy toll on Karnataka prospects. With all these handicaps, Rahul Gandhi went into the battle. The weapons he chose to fight the war – Lies – backfired on him terribly. Psychology teaches us that if a person repeats a lie again and again, he starts believing his own lies that reality starts to elude him. This was the situation Rahul put himself in. To start with, his fantasy of Rafale deal and giving Rs. 30,000 crores to Anil Ambani failed to convince anyone except himself. Even die-hard congressmen would not believe Modi indulged in corruption but Rahul persisted with it. This was followed by the campaign Chowkidar Chor Hai. This was the nadir of his campaign of abuse and malign that brightened the prospects of Modi.
When Rahul Gandhi started repeating his lies after lies after lies, it destroyed his credibility beyond repair that his plan of dismantling Modi became his undoing. From a serious contender to the post of Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi sank so low that he was not taken as a serious politician at all by the masses. Starting with his hug and wink inside the Parliament and the Modilie episode, his credibility crumbled into pieces but Rahul was oblivious to these facts. NYAY scheme was supposed to be a game changer for the Congress but it failed on two accounts – one, it did not reach the whole of the targeted audience, the rural poor and two, even if it reached at least a part, people refused to believe it and started asking where the money would come from for the scheme. Hitherto, people never asked any politician where the money would come from for the various schemes they may promise but this was the first time when people expressed their disbelief in a scheme and asked questions. All this was thanks to the total loss of credibility.
Apart from the lies, the continued onslaught by the opposition, led by the Congress and Trinamul Congress, against Hinduism, beginning from Hindu-terror to banning Durga pooja celebrations, continued to change the perception of the people about the opposition and its intentions. At one stage, to call oneself Hindu itself is pounced upon as an attack on the minorities by the so called liberals. This created an undercurrent against the opposition parties. In their zeal to win over the Muslim vote, the so called secular opposition crossed all limits in appeasing the minorities thereby angering the silent majority. Even then the Hindu majority does not get angry with the Muslims per se but with the opposition parties and their policy of appeasement.
All said and done, Muslims are not all anti-BJP and a considerable or a majority of them vote for the BJP, though they may not reveal this to any pollster for the fear of radical elements in the community. This was not understood by the vote-bank politicians of the opposition parties. Muslims are like any other Indian, whose primary concerns are roti, kapda aur makan. There are fringe and radical elements in any community and this is universal but the opposition imagined this fringe elements to be the majority and continued pampering them, in search of votes en masse.
The results from UP shattered all myths of caste equations and the dream of the MGB to keep the voters captive, chained under caste considerations. This is a new dawn in Indian history wherein the voters sent an unambiguous message to the political parties that they want development and an end to corruption. Banking upon caste and communal calculations will no more get you any votes anymore. All the opposition parties are to go back to the drawing board to re-calibrate their strategies.
A Political Science graduate, Writer, Playwright, Actor, Director & Columnist