Hysteric Performers Of The Left-Liberal Camp Should Breathe Easy. The BJP Isn’t Going Anywhere

Hysteric Performers Of The Left-Liberal Camp Should Breathe Easy. The BJP Isn’t Going AnywherePrime Minister Narendra Modi with Home Minister Amit Shah.
Snapshot
  • This is a typical attempt of the left-liberal cabal to clutch at straws, hoping that something or anything will defeat Modi’s government at the Centre.

    What it seems to miss is that the BJP continues to move from strength to strength.

The mainstream media’s eminent voices have been in a seemingly jubilant mood as they label the performance of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal as a setback.

There may be reasons for introspection indeed. However, it is a very shallow understanding of the national scenario today as well as what has happened in the state of West Bengal.

Moreover, the jubilant tone fails to conceal a very important development regarding the fate of India’s oldest party, though it may not come as a surprise to many readers.

Assam And Tamil Nadu

Let us first glance at what has happened across India barring West Bengal.

Assam has seen the BJP government win despite perceptions of anti-incumbency stoked by anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protests. It is but a lazy assessment to label it as an outcome of BJP’s fear mongering about Badruddin Ajmal.

This slapstick assessment discounts the act east policy of the party and its governments, and is blind to the mass scale infrastructure development in the state.

It also fails to acknowledge meaningful social development through schemes like Orunodoi and titles for tea garden workers.

Commitment to implementing Sixth Schedule in Assam and the National Register of Citizenship (NRC) along with the lasting peace due to the Bodo Peace Accord are all steps that have been appreciated by the voters.

For all the talk of BJP being a non-entity in the state of Tamil Nadu and the Union territory of Puducherry, the party has gained a significant opening.

Winning four seats, the BJP along with its alliance has managed to give a fright to the winners and has become the party to watch out for.

In Puducherry, its alliance with the All-India NR Congress has the numbers it needs to form a comfortable coalition government that Puducherry deserves.

There are people in the opposition ranks who are already attacking the BJP, for they have already sensed the churning on the ground in Tamil Nadu and the long-term dividend that the BJP will reap in the years to come.

By-Polls

One also has to look at what is going on in the other states where by-polls have occurred.

In Gujarat, the BJP added the tribal dominated Morva Hadaf seat to its tally in the by-election with a staggering vote share above 70 per cent.

Karnataka saw the BJP retain the Belagavi Lok Sabha seat despite all kinds of dirty tricks of Congress, including the prop of a third front to divide voters. This is in addition to the Basavakalyan Vidhan Sabha seat which it has wrested from the Congress.

Uttarakhand has also been a rather reassuring result given the impending elections in a year — the party retained the Salt assembly seat with over 50 per cent vote share and a 10 per cent gap over the Congress.

One of the most important by-polls has gone unnoticed. The first by-election after the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) took office was held in Pandharpur. This seat has been wrested by the BJP from the Nationalist Congress Party in a major embarrassment for Ajit Pawar, who had left no stone unturned to win the seat.

He even did the unthinkable by visiting a Shiv Sena Shakha. However, the people clearly are losing confidence in the Aghadi, judging by the loss of face for MVA. Maharashtra is clearly unhappy with the MVA’s COVID handling and opportunist politics.

Bengal 2020 — Not A Waterloo, But A Marengo

For a party that had no presence in the state till 2016, the rise of the BJP from three MLAs to 77 in 2020 should be seen for what it is — a grand success. A party moving from 10 per cent vote in 2016 to over 37 per cent in 2020.

There are factors that need to be addressed, without a doubt.

However, trebling of vote share and replacing the Left and Congress entirely from the opposition space is no mean feat.

A similar play of game had occurred for the BJP in Bihar in 2015. Despite the loss, it had gained much ground. Consolidating on it, the BJP today is the second largest party in the Bihar Vidhan Sabha, differing from the Rashtriya Janata Dal by merely one seat.

Thus, instead of calling it a Waterloo moment, one should see the ongoings of Bengal as the Battle of Marengo, where an impending defeat gets turned around into a victory in the long run.

By giving Mamata Banerjee the fight of her life, the BJP has shown that there is finally an opposition to speak of. These results have given the BJP a chance to set the narrative from the floor of the Bengal Assembly and make the government accountable to the people of the state, winning confidence and future votes.

Rahul Gandhi Sinks The Congress

For all the shenanigans and bravado, the Congress party has nothing much to crow home about in this round of elections. Barring its piggyback performance in Tamil Nadu, the Congress party was wiped out in West Bengal despite its alliance with the Left and the ironically named Islamist group the Indian Secular Front (ISF).

It failed to impress voters in Assam and also in Puducherry, failing to secure majorities in these two states.

Assam’s election strategy was reminiscent of the Congress’ cynical politics of the past.

What the party forgot was that the alliance with Badruddin Ajmal reminded people of those very frightful memories that had resulted in decades long insurgency and insecurity, and drove the voters towards those who were drawing up meaningful change on the ground.

People also found the manifesto theatrics on dais rather distasteful and offensive, strengthening their resolve further to snub the party.

Rahul Gandhi should personally be held answerable for the Kerala fiasco.

In a state that has for decades alternated between the CPI(M) led Left Development Front (LDF) and the Congress led United Development Front (UDF), people felt that it would be but natural that the UDF would come back to power.

Rahul Gandhi had in fact immersed himself deep into the campaigning in the state, and had also engaged in ‘outreach’ verging on theatrics to impress the voter. That a potential prime ministerial candidate could not even pull his own party led front through in Kerala is a blot that does not wash away easily.

It further cements this widespread belief that Rahul Gandhi is no vote catcher for his party or its allies, and leads to its dismal failure. It happened in 2017 Vidhan Sabha elections of Uttar Pradesh; it happened in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections; and the Kerala results reaffirm this notion.

West Bengal’s results will lead to much hoopla about the emergence of Banerjee as the face of the opposition.

This is a typical attempt of the left-liberal cabal to clutch at straws, hoping that something or anything will defeat Narendra Modi’s government at the Centre.

What it seems to miss is that the BJP continues to move from strength to strength.

Rather, the left-liberals should realise that the party has gotten a toehold in the states of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, and once in, the party becomes a tour de force in no time.

Rohit Pathania works in the space of renewable energy and environment. Other interests include politics and the economy.
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