New Delhi, Nov 11:Political pundits, and poll analysts scurried for cover as Modi wave swept across Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, UP, Karnataka and Manipur in the assembly election and bi-elections whose results trickled in until late yesterday.
BJP’s emergence as a bigger partner of the NDA in Bihar shows that the saffron party has now come to stay in the state and no caste and community arithmetic of the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan may work in future elections as it has been the case so far. The Modi factor has dented its calculations with large number of OBCs, EBCs and women, apart from the high castes, falling for the BJP-JDU combine. There is little doubt that Chirag Paswan’s LJP harmed the JDU immensely and if the BJP had any hidden hand in propping him up, it got a lesson of its lifetime.
As for the Opposition grouping, in particular the Congress, it miserably failed to come up to people’s expectations and must do serious introspection. Forty-one of the 59 bypoll seats went to the BJP in the five states. It defied all logic in Madhya Pradesh where ‘dalbadloos’ won in the by-election. The Congress lost all the eight seats it held in Gujarat while the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP in UP won six of the seven seats it contested.
A big question looms large in Bihar on whether the RJD will, in fututure, give so many seats (70) to the Congress whose performance has been dismal. Tejaswi Yadav could well have become CM if it contested more seats on its own, giving fewer to Congress. Another imponderable is Muslim voters’ attraction to RJD with Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM winning five seats in the Seemanchal region bordering Bangladesh at the cost of the RJD and the Congress.
Bihar never saw poloarisation of the kind that happened this time. Tejaswi’s Muslim-Yadav vote bank largely remained intact barring in the Seemanchal region, but it resulted in other sections gravitating to the BJP to a considerable extent. Even the youth and the first time voters appeared to have been divided between RJD and the BJP.
The most worried person in the aftermath of this round of elections must be Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister and Trinamool leader in West Bengal where the BJP has made gigantic strides and aims at snatching power in the upcoming assembly elections six months from now. Home Minister and BJP strategist Amit Shah declared in his West Bengal tour last week that his party will dethrone Mamata in the next election. BJP is expected to make major push in other poll going states like Assam which will see elections next year and where it is already well entrenched.
As a major national party, the Congress must re-invent itself, settling the leadership issue soonest. It must hear the voices of reason and come out of the cocoon. Those damaging the party most are the members of the coterie who mislead Sonia Gandhi for their own vested interests. Only then can it give effective leadership of the UPA in an effort to take on the Modi juggernaut in the parliamentary elections in 2024.
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