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2019 LS poll: This country cannot be taken for granted

BJP workers celebrate the party’s Lok Sabha election performance in Varanasi on May 23. Image Courtesy: PTI

Finally, the results of Lok Sabha elections 2019 are out. As the exit polls predicted, the BJP is very comfortably placed and won more than the required number of seats. On its own BJP is clinched 303 seats and along with its reliable allies, the party touched 353 seats to form the government at the centre once again.

The largest democracy heaves a sigh of relief. The humongous democratic exercise — Indian election of 2019 — was by and large conducted peacefully and successfully, after going through 7 grueling phases. Sadly, this was perhaps the most acrimonious and violent election so far. Many lives have been lost, particularly in West Bengal which witnessed almost total lawlessness. Some party workers were seen coercing the voters to vote for their parties. Some workers were so ‘helpful’ that they themselves pressed the button of their choice on the EVMs instead of the voters’.

Another low point of this election was the behaviour of some party leaders. Instead of fighting the election on the basis of parties, this was fought on a more personal basis. There was much mud-slinging and leaders stooped to the level of name-calling not only involving the candidates but also their family members who had nothing whatsoever to do with politics. We could see a complete breakdown of law and order and decency and decorum in states like West Bengal. We also saw a spate of violations of the MCC and defamation cases being filed against many candidates. This time the political parties did not rather fight elections based on their ideologies and democratic principles, but freely indulged in personal attacks which invited the EC to take stock of the volatile situations and caution the wrongdoers.

As opined by a known poet Smitha Vishwanath, “Hopefully, with the results, all the mud-slinging that’s been happening over the last few weeks, by the politicians (and by that I mean all of them irrespective of any party) behaving like unruly ‘kids’ requiring the Election Commission to butt in time and again as the disciplinary parent, will come to an end. Again, it is a universal phenomenon, so we need not hang our heads in shame. It’s only a matter of more or less. The losers/opposition parties must come to their senses and accept the verdict of the people in right earnest and not hold the country to ransom by their violent, obstructive and wicked actions.”

Now, over to the results and the outcome of elections: The results once again endorse the fact that the people of this country cannot be taken for granted and fooled all the time. The ‘Mahagathbandhan’ was initiated by Mamata Banerjee and over 22 opposition parties joined hands solely with the aim to ensure Narendra Modi did not return as PM. The opposition did not, in fact, have any major issue to be taken to the people-except the ‘Rafale issue, GST, demonetisation on which Rahul was harping on as many times. There was yet another “Gathbandhan” of SP and BSP in UP joining hands strangely this time and this too did not affect the BJP win! And, after the exit poll results, we saw how almost all the opposition parties/leaders came together to protest against the EVM operation and literally ‘threatened’ the CEC to take up the VVPAT polls to match with the EVM results. This is despite the SC ruling that this may be done only at random. In the last leg and on the eve of the results days, we saw how CB Naidu was desperate to get the support of all the opposition leaders. It was atrocious that when the opposition won in Delhi, Bengal, Karnataka, MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, they did not have any complaint against the EVMs. All were fine. However, now, they have become agitated and have cast aspersions on the functioning of the same EVMs!

As far as BJP was concerned, it was a “one man struggle, effort, attack, and vociferous campaigns”. Yes, it was one and only Narendra Modi V/s all the opposition leaders. Of course, Amit Shah too had his share of campaigns. Only Modi was able to sway the masses with powerful speeches and impressive outreach through media (this time, he gave as many interviews to almost all the channels), as were essential in any election campaign.

It is better to say less about Rahul’s childish, monotonous and immature style of campaigning which only earned him a place in many cartoons. Priyanka was present only to do drama by visiting as many temples, offering pujas and also for the sake of attacking Modi and defending his brother Rahul and her husband too. Except for the ‘Gandhi’ surname, she did not have any political background, people-connect or knowledge of governance. People understood the gimmicks of Priyanka and her brother. All in all, Congress could fare only slightly better-from 44 to around 50 seats.

Similarly less said about the opportunists like Kejriwal of AAP, Chandrababu Naidu, Mamata, Akhilesh, Mayawati et al the better. Their nautankis and antics were never tolerated by the people and these leaders were promptly kicked and shown the door. Sad that AAP scored a huge ZERO! Those who ditched BJP like Sidhu, Shatru, etc. have been silenced. The AP people have rejected Naidu outright. CPM and CPI have lost their identities that these parties have to be de-rocognised as national parties.

What may have worked for NDA is that it succeeded to a large extent in turning this election into a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Opposition parties seemed to have helped in this process as their campaigns were primarily on ousting Modi.

It’s back to governance. Narendra Modi as the Hon’ble PM again and his new team should maintain the government’s credibility at the centre and the country’s image in the eyes of the world. The PM and the President of BJP must keep the flock of allies happy and should not give room for any unpleasantness in the future. Let’s hope in his second term, PM Narendra Modi and his team will live up to the expectations of the people of this vast nation and will certainly take up several crucial tasks which still remain unattended and unaccomplished. The continuity of NDA under Modi is no doubt good for the nation’s security and economy too. The new government must ensure corruption-free administration and days free of caste politics and hatred, terrorism, communalism, inflation, etc. Let the economy thrive and flourish. Let the lives of security forces, jawans, farmers and the middle-class people too be made easy. Focus on environment and animal protection, pollution control, clean rivers and so on. And let the nation prosper. Let the world once again look upon India as an emerging superpower.

Jai Hind! Bharat Mata Ki Jai!

By S.Krishna Kumar & Smitha Vishwanath

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of AFTERNOON VOICE and AFTERNOON VOICE does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)

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