The results are out, the dust has settled and it is now time for the autopsy of the semifinal of 2019 general elections. The MP, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telengana & Mizoram legislative assembly elections are considered as an indicator of the national conscious as these states are spread across the nation and have a sizeable population. And by the look of things, the grand old party of India is making a comeback while the 56’’ chest is rapidly deflating. The more pressing sign is the show of strength by the regional parties in Mizoram and Telengana which reminds me of the abominable coalition governments of Gujral, Gowda and co.
Full disclosure, I was rooting for the BJP primarily because I have faith in PM Modi, while the family politics and sycophant of Congress does not look appealing and a coalition government will undo all the economic and infrastructure progress made in the last fifteen years. But with the BJP spectacularly losing all the states I need to understand how they manage to do that. These are the five things that I believe resulted in this debacle and the possible solution that I could think of.
By rural, I mean the farming community which includes the people, who owns farms, work in them, engage in allied activities, small time investors and even small businesses, which cater the farming needs and the family of all these people. That collectively becomes 58 to 60% of Indian population. The long marches which we saw in Delhi worked on two fronts. One, it gave the farmers a chance to vent out their anger and more importantly it showed the other 40% of the population that all isn’t so peachy. I must applaud the timing these protests and feel flabbergast how the modern day Chanakya Amith Shah and friends didn’t see this coming. Considering the fact that CPI (M), an obsolete party managed to win two seats in Rajasthan, the BJP think-tank seriously need to evaluate their thinking capabilities.
Are they blinded by success or just too arrogant to admit the facts?
The last UPA régime gave the oil companies the authority to decide the price of fuel based on the global crude oil price and other factors. In a capitalist economy, the decision was a wise one but in a mixed economy like India, it ended up hurting the masses. The NDA government had more than enough time to get it right, but then the economic policies outlined by the late Prime Minister PV Narasimharao is what are being followed till date. It has made the oil industry prosperous and the government rich with taxes but literally robbed the common man. Fuel price rose sharply for the last few months, topped a record and then dropped sharply when the election was round the corner. Well people forget and forgive, but not that quickly.
Fuel is the key to economy, if it is not made affordable and stable, NDA will burn.
In 2004, the NDA government was sitting in Delhi and was pretty happy with what they had done. They had stable five years, won a war with Pakistan, blasted a couple of nuclear bombs, and the GDP was looking good. Someone cooked up the slogan ‘Indian Shining’ for the next general election and they lost it decisively. Right now, we have another NDA government about to repeat the same mistake. Yes India is in a far better position in all aspects now than in 2014 but we are not exactly shining. The farmers are in dire straits, the rural economy is yet to recover from the GST/demonetization drive and the urban population boom is negating the economic growth.
Showcase what you have achieved so far without gloating and what you are doing to give the suffering population a better life.
We build the tallest and the most magnificent statue in the world. And that statue honors Sardar Vallabhai Patel, the true father of the nation. I am proud of the statue and what it represent but unfortunately when people ask for bread, you can’t tell them to visit statues. Yes, using the 3,000 or so crore will not abolish poverty but you could have avoided the PR nightmare. The fact is that the media including social, anti-social, visual, print and paid is filled with liberals and closet communists. They are good with language and will pounce on each and every misstep or slip made by the régime and it is words that bring down empires more than swords. Ram Mandir was an issue in the last two decades but the better-read contemporary youth is not that into temples. You can still get a sizable crowd of devotees to fight for religious issues like Ram Mandir or Sabarimala but that does not necessarily translate to electoral victory. Not anymore.
Either control yourself or find a way to control the media.
BJP draws its strength from the RSS and there are always two leaders – a master and an apprentice.
Syama Prasad Mukherjee and AB Vajpayee; AB Vajpayee and LK Advani; LK Advani and Narendra Modi; Narendra Modi and Yogi Adithyanath.
I know it looks too much Star War-sy but please indulge me for a minute. In this list of leader and successor, we find two peculiar findings. One is that the master is always a statesman, a person who commands respect and is admired for his work while the successor evokes fear, dread and confusion in the mind of a layperson. But once the apprentice becomes the leader, he gets the qualities his master while he passes negative qualities to his new apprentice. Is it a true observation or does the media simply project them as such?
Presently PM Modi is the master while the Yogi is the apprentice which brings me to the second point. All the leaders in the list are veterans in politics except Yogi. They all knew the nuances of governance, the need of corporation and compromise for peace but not Yogi. Although he was a five time parliamentarian, he is known primarily as the head of a Gorakhpur based sect and a firebrand communal orator. In today’s India, what we need is a leader with the vision of Naramsiharao, the policies of Manhohan Singh and the determination of Narendra Modi. Grooming Yogi and for the prime position, allowing him to spit fire and banking on polarizing the community for gains will not help you win 2019.
Reign in Yogi, let PM Modi be the torch bearer of NDA for the general elections 2019.
Apart from these prime reasons, the anti-incumbency factor, alienation of multiple castes, unusual competency shown by Rahul Gandhi, etc. snowballed into this election result. The only positive note is that the vote share percentage between NDA and UPA is just a fraction and with good governance, reduced fuel price, less anti Nehur-van rhetoric, judicious use of Hinduvata and a more down to people approach, the NDA can still salvage the general election of 2019.