What Gujarat Election 2017 Delivered For BJP & Congress
Winners can’t celebrate and losers won’t despair!
Much anticipated Gujarat election is over. BJP won it but can’t call it a decisive victory on moral ground. Congress understood the meaning of many a slip between the cup and the lip after nearly getting close to winning but won’t despair as much for a simple reason that the party saw a genuine acceptance among the most hostile electorate that had shunned them for over 25 years.
Though PM Modi & Amit Shah managed to clinch a victory from the jaws of defeat, they have challenges galore in the same victory. Gujarat as a state saw not one but many ‘Lok Andolans’ like farmers’ unrest (across many states including poll bound ones in 2018), Patidar reservation stir, anti alcoholism drive among OBCs, Dalit atrocities, demonetisation & GST woes. Election victory doesn’t stifle these issues and will stare hard at the incoming new government in Gujarat.
Not going in to stats as my other analysis covers that. But just a glance across results opens ups reality of how fragile is BJP’s victory as number of marginals increased that could have gone either way. One easy finger on the pulse can be put to lack of Congress party’s organisational strength that has become much weaker over the years for remaining out of power for so long. Grassroot workers need support from own organisation first and a bit of good administration that Modi government is a master in denying opposition its fair share of good governance. BJP government both at state level and centre has played a vicious vendetta politics where the rules of game doesn’t suit them. This is the real ugly side of democracy that doesn’t raise an eyebrow of media watchdogs of society.
Whatever spin BJP can weave, the fact is that performance dipping below 100 is not a match winning one, rather a victory using Duckworth Lewis method.
Another stark and chilling reality emerged in this election. That is of social divide between two most important class of people. Urban vs rural. Even more than the divide, the lack of compassion among urban class towards their troubled & struggling rural brethren should be a major point of concern among intellectuals at least. Political parties have long moved away from social responsibility and embraced election specific strategies, hedging bets on victories only. To hell with governance, accountability and morality. It has become a gladiatorial game play that is just not played in a ‘Roman Colosseum’ arena any more but poured out onto the streets. Bloodsport doesn’t repulse anyone. Everyone enjoys it now. The ‘Gulf War’ of the ‘90s that CNN brought to drawing rooms has now brought lynchings, atrocities on under privileged on our mobile phones. But rather than disturbing us, it has bolstered an invisible wall of ‘security’ in out urban citadel that we want to keep the so called communal forces out by voting for ‘safe keeper’ BJP, the very source of that communal hatred. What an irony!
On Congress’ part the concern should be their alliance with the young trio of political activists. Somehow it doesn’t seem to have produced a result favourable enough. I don’t think too much of dissection is needed for Congress as compared to BJP purely because Congress was going in to this election with not much to lose as there isn’t much to lose further for them. Whatever they could do was supposed to be a gain for them. Yet they fought a fair issue based election rather than dirty, divisive campaign like BJP under PM’s leadership. Rahul Gandhi showed a certain maturity in the beginning of his innings as an opening batsman shoulders responsibility in building his team’s tournament strategy rather than a personal blitzkrieg performance just to prove his own credentials for sake of a single election. His gumption and sincerity will pay dividends to the man in forthcoming battles and the war in 2019.
The final take away of this election is an unnerving one. PM Modi displayed his weakness of economic prowess and failure of which pushed him to his favourite comfort zone of communal hatred. All those peddling his development mantra have been silenced by his ugly attacks of communal rant in the last leg of campaign when he started smelling a humiliating defeat. So be prepared for horrid manifestations of this formula in 2018 assembly elections and 2019 parliamentary election. A no holds barred attack led at the front by the captain of BJP ship is about to unveil. The Rajasthan murder, subsequent attack on the High Court by the right wing mob and an absolute silence over these by PM Modi is a clear indication of his complicity and consent. It doesn’t get any more clearer. The office of Prime Minister of India is undermined totally!