2019: A mandate of “VISHWAS” by a transformed electorate
On 25th May, In the Central Hall of the Parliament, after getting elected as the leader of NDA for the second time, PM Narendra Modi added “SABKA VISHWAS” to his existing mantra “SABKA SAATH, SABKA VIKAS”. 2019 Loksabha result indeed has been a mandate of Faith “VISHWAS” in Narendra Modi led BJP and NDA.
For the first time in the last 50 years the ruling government has been voted back in power with an absolute majority and with more number of seats. This historic mandate of “VISHWAS” has been delivered by an Indian electorate which now seems to be completely transformed which most of the pollsters and journos failed to read. The key characteristics of this transformed electorate which were so apparent but yet ignored by many in the opposition are as follows:
- Indian Voter is first a “Nationalist”
Indians will never support anyone who is seen siding with forces that want to break this country. The Breaking India or the Tukde Tukde brigade supporters lost miserably in these elections. Even the parties seen as standing with them, supporting them or giving them tickets met the same fate.
The common man takes pride in being an Indian and wants the nation to be strong. National Security was an important issue and the voters of India evaluated the options available to them and chose the option that they felt can best guard the borders and interests of the nation.
So, this new Indian voter might have faced some hardships on his way but will still vote for a party which in his opinion will make the nation stronger rather than some party offering Rs. 6,000 per month in the name of justice. This is where Modi’s MAJBOOT SARKAR V/S MAJBOOR SARKAR slogan hit the right chord with voters.
The combined vote share of all regional parties went down from almost 50% to 43% in 2019 and national security played a major role in bringing this number down.
- Aspirations and Performance trump the Caste and Religion Arithmetic
The new Indian voter does not appreciate a negative campaign. Voters look for alternatives, solutions, imagination and delivery from the contestants. A negative campaign is sure to fail.
Most of the opposition had put their money on Mahagathbandhan drubbing the NDA in UP and they hoped that if NDA is reduced to 20-30 in UP it can be challenged by a combine of regional players. BSP eventually got 10 seats and SP managed only 5 which shows that their respective voters did not transfer votes to the other. At around 42%, the BJP vote share is more than its national average of 38% in constituencies where we have SC/ST and OBC presence is very high. BJP also won in around 65% of reserved SC/ST seats.
In 2014 the Muslim vote share in favour of BJP had increased to 9 % from 4 %. This number in 2019 should be in the range of 12-14% (final numbers awaited). In 2019, BJP won in 19 seats where Muslim voters are more than 30%. This number was only 10 seats in 2014.
These data points clearly indicate that India is finally voting disregarding caste, religion etc. and that the politics of performance is something everyone will be forced to adopt. Regional or caste based parties cannot take their voters for granted anymore.
- Voters Against Elitism and Nepotism
Only because you are an heir or relative of someone who were once represented the constituency, the Indian electorate is not going to vote you in anymore. They will vote for the best candidate. There are no so called strongholds anymore.
This is a very strong message that voters have rejected elitism and that the political capital cannot be inherited, it will need to be earned by sweat and work.
The below relatives and kins from political families lost in 2019 while contesting from their strongholds:
- Rahul Gandhi from Amethi
- Jyotiraditya Scindhia from Guna
- Manvendra Singh from Badmer
- Parth Pawar from Maval
- Milind Deora from Mumbai
- Nikhil Kumaraswamy from Mandya
- Vaibhav Gehlot from Jodhpur
- Women Voters are the key
The voting percentage of women voters in 2019 elections has been almost at par with the male voters. Women voting percentage saw an increase of almost 4-5 % as compared to 2014 which means that issues like women security, women empowerment, abolition of triple talaq, women reservation, toilets etc. will dominate the political discourse in the coming years as well.
- Beneficiaries of Schemes are not just Voters but Ambassadors
From the famous quote by an ex PM from Congress that that when we send Rs 1 only 10 Paise reaches the beneficiary of public schemes to this day where extreme focus on reaching the last person supposed to be benefitted has resulted in this historic mandate, it’s a complete paradigm shift.
Good Governance is the single largest reason why an electorate will elect a party to power. And Good Governance cannot be achieved until there is an infrastructure available to ensure that there is no leakage or waste. The opening of Jandhan accounts, DBT mechanisms and end point delivery ensured that money for construction of toilets, housing, Kisan Samman etc. reached the rightful beneficiary.
Many beneficiaries of government schemes like Ujjawala, PMJAY not only became the voters but also the ambassadors of the BJP. And when your beneficiaries are your ambassadors you don’t need a machinery to fight the elections.
In 2019, the Indian Electorate voted the NDA, BJP and Modi because they believe that NDA government under Modi will protect national interests, will address their aspirations, will quell the negativity and continue to deliver on Governance.
I hope that this mandate of “VISHWAS” is respected by the government and I also hope that this transformed electorate again rediscovers itself, becomes more merit driven and analytical in the coming years and goes on to make the Indian Democracy stronger and better.