Home work for the next electionstext_fields
Results that have emerged from the assembly elections of five states, are clearly a reflection of the popular ire all over the country against BJP's anti-people policies and its politics of hatred. Winning these elections, touted as semi-finals before the general election due next year, was treated as a question of prestige not only by BJP led by prime minister Narendra Modi and president Amit Shah, but also by the Congress under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.
All through the poll campaign, the Modi-Amit Shah combine and Rahul were seen locking horns based on this crucial feature. Both Modi and Shah had in their high-pitched campaign across the states, made a boastful forecast that Congress will not make it in Madhya Pradesh and in Chattisgarh , states where BJP had monopolized power for 15 years, and that there would be a roll over of government in Rajasthan. That such a crescendo of campaign culminated in a disappointment for BJP, only adds to the dignity and credibility of popular will. BJP also had a calculation that if and when the elections turn out to be favourable, it can garner the energy necessary for the upcoming general election, and more than that can devote the last leg of its term in power to an intensification of its Hindutva build-up. In fact the only hurdle before making Hindutva its agenda through legislation was its lack of majority in the Rajya Sabha. Therefore, the party was sitting cosy with the hope that through the victories in the assemblies of the cow belt it could bolster its presence in Rajya Sabha to surmount that hurdle. Given this background, the results should be totally demoralizing for the BJP.
When failures in governance one after the other was stifling people's lives, BJP was unable to project the five-year rule in the Centre or in the states as its achievements. Until Karnataka assembly elections, it used to highlight demonetisation and introduction of GST as its major reforms. Such a party, after building up its propaganda on the foundation of lies, then found itself drained of that morale to talk loud about these reforms. In parallel to this, factors like Rafale scam at the Centre, and excesses like Vyapam scam in the states, damaged the little image that was left with it. Perhaps with a realistic perception of this absence of anything to show as achievements, BJP was lately seen changing its strategy to character assassination of Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his family. Thus to any cariticism raised by the Congress, BJP had no answer except trying to beat Congress with a counter-criticism. Finally bringing the accused in Augusta Westland case from UAE with the help of Britain was the last example of that pitiable series in its bid to liberate itself from the haunting ghost of Rafale scam. Modi's and Amit Shah's smear campaign on Rahul and Nehru families, was greeted by a troll deluge in social media. The overall picture in social meda was that the BJP could not make any headway with its campaign of lies in post-truth era. From then on, it was a picture of every attempt made by Modi-Amit Shah duo to evict Nehru from people's minds hitting back like a boomerang.
Ever since BJP realized that there was no governance achievements to be converted to votes, it was seen metamorphesing to the old communal tiger that it used to be. They started running amok in all states taking out Hindutva's extreme hatred. It only had an agenda of plain communalism to show both as its asset in the existing rule and as promise for the next. To beat Rahul who criticised them citing BJP's anti-people rule and corruption, the stick BJP used was the latter's Hindu faith, devotion to temple and the bogus story of Muslim appeasement. In a way even the Congress was seen quaking at BJP's frenzied communalism. Not only that, items that found a place in Congress's manifesto included a beverage made of cow urine, a factory to make cow dung cake and cemetery for dead cows. But even then, the Sangh Parivar just could not hide the anti-popular face of the government with the slogans of Hindutva terrorism. Towards the end of the poll campaign, it brought up the issue of Ram temple construction. But the voters were here to say - once again - that these are not what matter to them. This should give food for thought to not only BJP, but also to Congress who won a consolation victory from BJP's failure to perform. If the Congress had not ignored the minorities in its thrust to follow the agenda set by BJP, and made bold to move in a different trajectory, its victory would have shone brighter, as has been proven by Chandrashekhar Rao in Telengana. The next serious question is whether the victor and vanquished will have the good sense to take this verdict as home work for the upcoming general election, and taking it as a cue against those who made farmers and small-scale traders bite dust on the one hand and pampered giant looters on the other,
As for the Sangh parivar, which has proven itself as a big failure in governance, it has no option before it other than to sharpen its agenda of hatred. And that will plunge the country to worse insecurity; and the current result proves that it will not come to even its own rescue. On the other hand, whether Congress which made a victory out of anti-incumbency sentiments, will recognize the cause of popular ire or toe a line of staunch nationalism and Hindutva communalism, will become clear from their election analyses in the coming days. If it makes its build-up for the next election by grasping the essence of the popular sentiments that showed BJP its place, then the Congress, and with it the country too can finds it shore.