Narendar Modi’s and BJP’s “aswamedha” which began with the 2013 Assembly Elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Rajasthan has finally come to an end ironically at the same place. From a party aspiring to capture the power in the center, BJP has evolved into the ever powerful political core that extends through the length and breadth of the country. Although failure and victory are all part of life according to PM Modi, this loss somewhat strengthens the Modi-Shah duo and seems more profitable at many fronts; which raises the question, was it an election that congress won or an election that BJP decided to lose?
The argument might seem silly at this point and might not be backed with solid evidence (which applies to most of the allegations associated with Modi-Shah) there are some logical questions that need to be answered:
The EVM Crisis: The results ensure that there would no longer be an allegation pertaining to EVM tampering, which many a times has been cited as the reason for BJP victories in the past. The allegation still stands strong although there has been no concrete evidence to prove it, the opposition parties should stand unified in their demand for ballot elections or at least for a system which ensures VVPATs across the country. If the allegations are true then the move can well be a façade to pave the path for the grand game of 2019.
The possibility of a new face for NDA: Taking the recent developments into account, there is a possibility that BJP would no longer have a commanding majority in the Lok Sabha alone and in case their tally goes less than 230 seats, where they would need allies desperately, there might well be a possibility of a face change for the next NDA government. Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Raman Singh both would have been amongst the top contenders with Chouhan having an extra edge due to favorable relationship with the RSS. Although in the current situation there is very little possibility that a CM who couldn’t guard his own fort would be considered for the position. This perhaps also explains the fact that PM Modi and Amit Shah spent very little time campaigning in MP as compared to other states. The results also means ‘competitions taken out without inner party causalities’.
Setting the stage for 2019: The move might have also been aimed at prepping the cadre right before the elections through the statement that it’s all not a cakewalk. The victory does make Congress stronger, which can create dents within the opposition unity in case Congress decides to ride on the new tide and contain for nothing less than the PM face. As there are hopes for victory post the results, there would be an infighting for the leadership role within the opposition parties itself, which might dent their chances in the long run.
The loss also sets the platform for the Hindutva forces led by Yogi Adityanath to have their own way, with Ayodhya and Ram Mandir shaping up to be the major issue around which the political narrative would revolve for 2019, Muzaffarnagars could be spotted across the country as ultimately religion is the only vote bank left.