he Loss in three states brought our Prime Minister back to his senses; he had a word of advice for the lawmakers that they should work in the interest of the people than the party as he walked to the Parliament on the opening day of the Winter Session. While giving this advice, he maintained pin drop silence over BJP’s defeat in three major states.
The Winter Session of the Parliament is likely to see a united Opposition piling up pressure on the government on a range of issues, such as the exit of RBI Governor Urjit Patel, rumblings in the CBI, and the Rafale deal controversy, while parties like Shiv Sena are set to make a renewed pitch for Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The outcome of the assembly elections in five states is a clear message to the Bharatiya Janata Party and there is a need for the ruling coalition to introspect. Gujarat, somehow with great difficulty, the party managed to retain; as we all know, in Goa and Tripura in spite of Congress winning in majority, BJP formed its government with the help of other political parties. Somewhat Congress replied them in a similar tone in Karnataka, by hooting BJP out of power. Within four and half years of rule, BJP lost its sheen. PM Modi kept on chest beating against Congress and Gandhi family but this time, the voters did not fall in his trap. There were rallies for the Ram Mandir, there were killings in the name of Cow, and there was propaganda against Congress and its leaders in the name of Hindutva; however, BJP could not sell their agenda. People of India are smart and you can’t fool them every time. Moreover, power is not permanent for anyone. Since 2014, the amount of arrogance that BJP and its leaders have shown was just unreasonable; the distance they kept from the people was very unfortunate! The drift has reflected that the BJP’s victory chariot has been paused.
Losing in Rajasthan was not at all shocking. Vasundhara Raje’s personal traits are believed to be one of the main reasons behind the BJP’s defeat in Rajasthan Assembly election. Her image of behaving like a Maharani and being inaccessible did not go along well with the voters. Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi’s promise of farm loan waiver within 10 days of Congress government coming to power has been one of the most important factors for the BJP’s defeat. The farmers, suffering from distress, seem to have lapped up Rahul Gandhi’s promise. The Vasundhara Raje government seems to have failed to dispel the notion that the farmers were under severe stress in her state. The Rajputs went against the BJP particularly after the killing of a gangster Anandpal Singh by the police in an encounter. Anandpal Singh, a Rajput, was popular among a large section of his caste people. This turned the Rajputs against Vasundhara Raje and the BJP. Vasundhara Raje ordered broadening of the roads and beautification of the cities by removing the encroachments. In the process, several temples, many of them makeshift ones, were either demolished or removed. This angered the Hindus who thought that the BJP was working against the interests of the majority community.
Vasundhara Raje was not seen as being on the same page as the BJP’s national leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah. For instance, the appointment of Rajasthan BJP state president remained in limbo for a long time because of disagreement on names. This perception went against her. Rajasthan is known for returning alternate governments every assembly election for the past 20 years. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah sought to dispel this notion but seem to have failed to convince the voters there.
On the other hand, the people of Chhattisgarh took the fight in their own hands. Moreover, Raman Singh’s son also played a major role in BJP’s defeat. Chhattisgarh has been the undisputed stronghold of the BJP ever since the state came into existence. Although Congress’ Ajit Jogi served as the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh for the initial three years but ever since Raman Singh stormed to power, he has been ever-present at the CM’s chair. However, BJP’s bastion just collapsed. Modi’s loud speeches failed to create magic. BJP had to take a defeat in the Chhattisgarh Assembly elections too and Congress has taken a significant lead.
In Telangana, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) won with a majority and that will form the government for the second time. In Mizoram, the Mizo National Front (MNF) has left the ruling Congress party far behind in its tally of seats.
Mizoram chief minister and Congress candidate Lal Thanhawla lost from both his home turf Serchhip and Champhai South seat. But here also BJP settled on one seat.
If we look at Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh was confident of winning the elections. Even before the counting gets started, he started celebrating his victory. BJP and Congress were caught in a close fight but finally Congress got mandate of the people. MP elections were not lost on development alone. Caste and religion have played the key role in past elections, and this time was no different. BJP and Congress both have publicly advertised their Hindu credentials in the run-up to the polls. People were not happy with the mafiaism of Chauhan in Sand and dumper business. The farmers were not happy; Vyapam was another scam that made a lot of uproar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi both campaigned in the state, exchanging acrimonious attacks. For the Congress, this victory in the state would set the stage for a new leadership.
BJP’s campaigner Narendra Modi was loud and vocal about Congress Mukt Bharat, but voters have clearly rejected BJP. The BJP, which was in power in all three Hindi heartland States, just shooed out by the voters. Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh — BJP has faced a concerted challenge from the Indian National Congress, the country’s main Opposition party whom Modi was supposed to finish. The voters in these states have been frustrated by unemployment and pressures on the agricultural sector.
The BJP has done nothing for the farmers burdened by loans. They just made promises but failed to deliver; all these three states somewhat faced same problems with their respective governments. The farmers want loan waivers and higher prices for the crops but the government has made only empty promises. After a number of poor results, however, the INC bounced back since 2017 by winning the northern state of Punjab, where the BJP had been sharing power with an ally. Modi’s party just about managed to retain its majority in his home state of Gujarat the same year. Now in 2018, Congress gave strong message to PM Modi, that eliminating Congress from Indian politics is not his cup of tea.
(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on [email protected])