The by poll results in Bihar, Punjab and Karnataka where the BJP was stumped by voters barely three months after Narendra Modi got a massive mandate at the Centre must have come as a rude shock. Only in Madhya Pradesh was the party able to retain its hold.
Even though the party will try to hide its embarrassment by saying that local issues predominate in local elections these trends will have a national impact. Add to this the recent by-elections and Panchayat elections in Uttarakhand where the Congress swept the polls and the picture becomes clearer.
The most significant factor that emerges from this is the story from Bihar where arch rivals Lalu and Nitish Kumar decided to bury the hatchet and along with the Congress managed to win six of the 10 seats form the state.
Lalu has already appealed to Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati to join hands for effectively countering the BJP onslaught in Uttar Pradesh. After these stunning results both these leaders and several others who are sitting on the fence will be forced to have second thoughts about their strategies and ambitions. If they and the Left form some sort of broad alliance to combat the BJP’s declared intention to conquer the rest of India the coming months could be very interesting even without a Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
The BJP, as usual is riding on two horses. One is the path of development and positive politics that Modi never tires of advocating after becoming the Prime Minister. This has been a carefully cultivated image which many of the youths born after the Babri Masjid era have started taking seriously.
The other is the traditional and radical line advocated by the RSS, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Subramaniam Swamy brigade. The daily utterances of the RSS Pramukh Mohan Bhagwat are in stark contrast to the image of the Pramukh Sewak of the country Narendra Modi. But the fact that Modi and his other evolved colleagues in his cabinet are not reacting to these blatantly communal utterances shows who is the puppeteer and who is the puppet.
The results of Bihar could be particularly galling for the BJP because much had been made of the parting of ways between Nitish and the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections. These results are an indication that for NItish and Lalu the achche din are beckoning if they are not already there.
Those who have been watching the political scenario closely there are some genuine reasons for the people getting disillusioned. There is no control on prices, the process to bring back the black money form Swiss banks is going in circles, there is no let-up in cases of rapes and atrocities against women in the country and the unkindest cut- our neighbours Pakistan and China continue to as belligerent as ever.
In fact border violations and firings have gone up after the NDA came to power which is a severe blow to the image of Narendra Modi as some sort of superman who would crush the enemy once the BJP came to power.
The people gave a massive mandate to Narendra Modi three months back and his personal charisma may still be intact. But we don’t have a presidential form of government and the performance of the entire cabinet will be scrutinised under a microscope because it had raised the hopes very high like Arvind Kejriwal had done in Delhi eight months back.
By: Amitabh Srivastava
Image Source: BJP
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