The results of the Gurdaspur and Vengara Lok Sabha by-polls will help the Congress in reclaiming the party’s confidence in the national politics and also enlightens the party to courageously face the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Sunil Jakhar, who is also the Congress state president, has delivered an incredible victory for the party in the Gurdaspur Parliamentary constituency in Punjab. In the by-elections necessitated by the death of actor-turned Member of Parliament Vinod Khanna who won the Lok Sabha seat with a majority of 1.36 lakh votes for the BJP in 2014, the Congress has bagged the election by a massive majority of 1.93 lakh votes that shook the foundation as well as the confidence of the BJP.
Alongside the victory of political as well as economic strategies deployed by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh in Punjab, the heavy jolt to the BJP in Gurdaspur which is a prominent stronghold of the party also reflects the strong public dissent towards the policies and approaches of the Centre. The Congress had succeeded in conveying to the people the impact of the note-ban move and the GST on the agricultural and industrial sectors of India. The by-poll results that hit BJP hard at the national level are also a victory of the skilled political leadership that succeeded in turning the nationwide protests against the Centre’s policies in its favour.
The Gurdaspur outcome could surely believe to educate Rahul Gandhi for the impending polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh if the triumph becomes a source of inspiration for the party to take a leap from the present state of being politically and strategically senile to juvenescence. If Rahul Gandhi succeeds in acquiring the skills as well to comprehend the politics of the setbacks received by the Fascist student outfits representing the BJP in different University elections in north India and transform it into the party agenda, this election result proves that the 2019 Lok Sabha elections wouldn’t be a smooth sail for the BJP as is the notion now, like Amarinder Singh pointed out citing the local election results in Maharashtra and the victory of student politics.
There is nothing unexpected in the Vengara assembly election results except that the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) won by a lesser margin in the assembly constituency which is considered the fortress of the party. The results of the Vengara polls that do not usually influence the government or the Kerala politics but shine some light that is bright enough to weaken the trends of polarisation that is feared to be creeping into the social fabric of Kerala. What makes the BJP's loss so gross is the fact the debacle happened despite the national level leaders coming in group to campaign and trying to instigate communal disharmony with an amazing skill of spreading lies as facts. The voters in Vengara offers hope that BJP president Amit Shah’s notion that the party could gain a foothold in Kerala and capture power by spreading communal poison, will only remain a bad dream.
Islamophobia including the Hadiya case, Faisal murder case and hounding of extremists, that is gaining strength in Kerala was certainly an active subject of discussion in the Vengara constituency that has a Muslim-majority population. The protest towards the sloppiness and the lack of stance displayed by the League in addressing the issues of the Muslims has greatly helped in increasing the vote share for the Left Front and SDPI. Alongside, the soft Hindutwa stance displayed during the controversial incidents related to the communities and religious societies has aided in bringing the votes secured by the BJP riding high on the Modi wave, back to the LDF camp. Therefore, it’s idiotic to believe that the setback for the BJP in the Vengara elections, is permanent and is an end to the Fascist politics. Whether the Left and Right parties would be willing to imbibe the interests of humanity and the sense of justice displayed by the voters in Vengara is yet to be seen. It’s when the verdict against politics of polarisation proves meaningful.