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Assembly election results give a big boost to Modi's pursuit of winning a second term
Political pundits often opine that the road to Delhi passes through Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh. It is indeed true considering the sheer magnitude of the state and its demographic diversity.
It is against this backdrop the BJP's performance in the recently concluded assembly elections in the five states should be analyzed. Among the five states that went to polls, BJP scored a landslide victory in two of them, namely Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. In Punjab, Congress achieved a rare victory giving a respite to the party that seemingly got used to electoral reverses.

AAP, which is known for its tumultuous and protest-laden politics, could not make much noise in Punjab. Even in Goa and Manipur, where the voters did not throw up a clear mandate, BJP appears to have cobbled together the required numbers to form the governments.

In the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, most of the political pundits, after making some complex caste and community-based calculations, predicted that the results will throw up a fractured mandate. They even prophesied that the Muslim-Yadav consolidation behind SP-Congress combine will once again fetch rich electoral dividends for the secular forces and the 'demon' in the demonetisation will come back to haunt the BJP to damage its prospects.

Even the exit pollsters, except Today's Chanakya and India Today-Axis, did not foresee a clear majority for the BJP. However, the actual results gave a big jolt to the BJP's rivals. It almost repeated its 2014 electoral performance in which it won 71 out of the 80 parliament seats. It appears that the people of Uttar Pradesh have, to a great extent, risen above the caste and communal lines to vote for the BJP. With this victory the party has strengthened its position as a predominant force in the Indian political arena.

Prime Minister Modi, in his previous avatar as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, was known as the most investment friendly and tech-savvy politician with known proximity to many corporate bigwigs. His stature as an advocate of free market capitalism gave his detractors an opportunity to taunt his government as 'suit-boot ki sarkar'. 

However, ever since he transited from Ahmedabad to Delhi he has been making tireless attempts to build a pro-poor image for himself. And some of his welfare and empowerment programs such as Jan-Dhan Yojana, Ujjwala Yojana, Swachh Bharat and rural electrification managed to win the hearts of the poor and the downtrodden.

As far as the demonetisation is concerned media and the opinion makers appear to have miserably failed in sensing the pulse of the ordinary people. Media organisations ceaselessly flashed across the visuals of the serpentine queues outside banks and ATMs and the elite opinion makers kept on shouting from the rooftops that the demonetisation is a disaster which will subject the poor to unmitigated suffering.

The poor, however, steadfastly believed all through the process that the government's decision would ultimately prove to be beneficial to them, and therefore, refused to buy the arguments of the opinion makers.

Now that the BJP has come to the power, it has to live up to the expectations of the people and pay attention to governance. With its resounding victory in Uttar Pradesh, the Hindu hardliners, as usual, will sense an opportunity to rake up the controversial issue of Ram temple.

The SP-Congrees combine, in spite of claiming themselves secular, pursued appeasement politics to grab Muslim vote enmasse. Even the Prime Minster Modi's usage of the words that are laced with communal overtones such as 'kabristan-shamshaan' could have been avoided.

Communalism, whether it is minority or majority, must be condemned by all right thinking people to preserve peace in the society. Uttar Pradesh, though considered to be the spiritual heartland of Hinduism, has a sizable Muslim population, and as such, communally sensitive and volatile.

Therefore, all the political parties and organisations, who have religious leanings, must reign in their lunatic fringe to preempt any communal disturbances. The BJP, which will be at the helm of affairs, has a special responsibility of restraining the loudmouths such as Yogi Adityanath and Vinay Katiyar to ward off any distractions from its chosen path of progress and good governance.

We could not agree more when BJP president, Amit Shah, stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged as the most popular leader post-independence. The credit for BJP's onward march to acquire the status of the natural party of government largely goes to Prime Minister Modi and his trusted lieutenant, Amit Shah.

It appears that the successful duo have already set their sights on 2019 general elections and getting the organisation ready for a second term. With Congress and most of the regional satraps either facing leadership crisis or unable to rebrand themselves in the changed conditions, the BJP seems to have comfortably positioned in its pursuit of winning a second term.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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