Chances of BJP Ma­jor­ity De­pend on Modi Magic

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics 27% Of Contestants Crorepatis In Rou -

On the face of it, the state­ment can­not be faulted for it re­plays Modi’s ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ for­mu­la­tion. He claimed that ev­ery com­mu­nity in UP feels dis­crim­i­nated against and men­tioned that Dal­its com­plained against OBCs for grab­bing the good­ies, the lat­ter against Ya­davs and so on. Modi’s de­ci­sion not to in­clude Mus­lims among “har koi” with griev­ances is con­sis­tent with the BJP ar­gu­ment that Mus­lims are an ‘ap­peased’ lot. Its use at this stage is aimed to po­larise the elec­torate in BJP’s favour.

The moot point is af­ter hav­ing de­clared that the BJP would con­test th­ese polls on the ‘pos­i­tive’ plank of ‘achieve­ments’, why has em­pha­sis been given to an is­sue that di­vides peo­ple on com­mu­nal lines? Does the re­turn of iden­tity-based elec­tions il­lus­trate that af­ter an ‘ab­nor­mal’ poll in 2014, In­dia is re­turn­ing to ‘nor­mal’ elec­tions? Is this in­dica­tive that af­ter a false sense of hope, peo­ple are back to low ex­pec­ta­tions from par­ties?

S i nc e the l a s t p a r l i a men­tary elec­tions, elec­tions were held in ten states and the UT of Puducherr y. Of t hese, Ma­ha­rash­tra, Haryana, J hark­hand and J& K went to polls when the coun­try was still un­der the ef­fects of a ‘Modi wave’. Elec­tions in 2015 and 2016 were not inf lu­enced by this and the BJP failed to match the per­for­mance of 2014 in Bi­har and West Ben­gal in­di­cat­ing that terming the par­lia­men­tary poll as a turn­ing point was pre­ma­ture. Given the sense that Modi’s per­sonal pop­u­lar­ity re­mains heads and shoul­ders over ri­vals, UP presents a big op­por­tu­nity for him to re-es­tab­lish his vote-catch­ing abil­ity in states. Bar­ring a rout in UP and de­feat else­where, Modi’s dom­i­nance is likely to con­tinue. In con­trast, de­feat will dent fu­ture prospects, es­pe­cially in 2019, of Mayawati, Akhilesh Ya­dav and even Rahul Gandhi.

Re­gard­less of the ‘level’ t he BJP even­tu­ally set­tles in UP, its per­for­mance will be sig­nif­i­cantly lower than 2014. A vote share of 42% is un­re­al­is­tic in ‘nor­mal’ sit­u­a­tions. Chances of the BJP se­cur­ing ma­jor­ity de­pend purely on Modi’s magic and di­vi­sion of anti-BJP votes be­tween the SP-Cong and BSP, and not just of the Mus­lim vote. Un­like Ma­ha­rash­tra, Haryana, As­sam and Jhark­hand, the BJP in UP does not face dis­cred­ited ad­ver­saries. Even in 2014, SP and BSP polled fair share of votes. Re­gional pride is of­ten vi­tal in as­sem­bly polls and ex­tent to which ab­sence of lo­cal charis­matic lead­ers may dam­age BJP’s prospects is un­known. The BJP’s van­vas in UP may or may not end, but chances of a poor per­for­mance is highly un­likely. Even in de­feat, Modi is likely to have the plea­sure of see­ing the party’s emer­gence as the po­lit­i­cal ful­crum in the state.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.