Indian opposition parties seem to drastically underestimate the popularity of Modi and demonetization. (Mis)Guided by a skewed media they are bowling head-on into the strongest areas of BJP. Their strategies were way off and getting onto silly stuff.
If you have to win BJP you have to ask tough, pertinent, uncomfortable questions that even BJP supporters cannot reject outright. Rather than some stupid stereotyping — “fascist party”, “organized loot”, “anti-Muslim”, “Hindu terrorism”, the opposition leaders should learn to use the grey matter between the ears. The communal card is no longer working and rather than speaking in Yadav-Muslim or Dalit-Muslim terms, speak in terms of real issues relevant to the people.
Some of the pertinent questions they didn’t ask enough was — “Who is the BJP’s CM candidate?”, “What has BJP done to UP since winning in 2014?”, “What is the success of key policies like Make in India?” etc. If you ask these in neutral tone without accusation it will be like Glen McGrath bowling on off stump. That is what is tripping BJP in Goa. If you start having colourful adjectives and unrelated European ideologies [fascism?] you will get a deaf ear and get out hit-wicket.
Now, coming back to BJP’s win:
- Modi is extremely good in leadership and administration. There is no other major leader anywhere in sight — within and outside BJP. The more you deny the reality, the more you get surprised with results like these.
- The opposition parties are extremely stupid and insipid in how they fight BJP. They are bringing sticks to fight a nuclear war.
- The only logical opposition leaders who can anywhere near stand up to Modi’s capabilities are Nitish Kumar and Omar Abdullah. Nitish was thus the only one who could upset Modi in the past few years. SP-Cong could have roped him for some campaigning, but they overestimated the capability of the “two smiling beauties”.
- While the opposition parties accused BJP of being communal, they all went after communal polarization. Mayawati wooed the Muslim votes and so did SP, Congress and AIMIM. The state is just one-sixth Muslim and how many parties rely on one community alone? To make the injury worse, BJP won even in some Muslim majority seats. BJP has been slowly eating into the Shia votes and even some of the Sufi votes among the Sunnis.
- Under SP, the state police force of UP is even more communalized — with non-Yadav communities often fearing to even go to the police stations. This fear erupted out in the past 2 elections.
- BJP government at the center has been able to avoid major scandals, riots or other big controversies so far. We are in such a lack of major news that national media has to look for petty campus politics to report in front pages.
By Balaji Viswanathan at quora