Modi-Shah duo proving recipe for disaster for BJP in states

Since December 2018 the duo has ensured the defeat of the BJP in half a dozen states. It has managed to retain power only in Haryana

PM Narendra Modi and , Home Minister Amit Shah (PTI file photo)
PM Narendra Modi and , Home Minister Amit Shah (PTI file photo)

Soroor Ahmed

Against the popular perception, the truth is that no one has repeatedly squandered the electoral advantage as badly as Narendra Modi-Amit Shah and Company. The team has destroyed the BJP organization in almost all the states––barring Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka––and has turned friends into foes for no big political gain.

Since December 2018 the duo has ensured the defeat of the Bharatiya Janata Party in half a dozen states. It has managed to retain power only in Haryana albeit with much reduced margin and in alliance with a Jat outfit against which it contested election last October.

It is not that the BJP was going to win the Delhi assembly election. There was no match to the leadership at the level of Delhi in the BJP nor was there any chief ministerial face projected by the saffron party.

Notwithstanding these facts several post-poll surveys and independent observers were of the view that the ruling party in the Centre would win something between 12 and 18 or even higher number of seats. This was the state in which the saffron party had always got one-third votes since independence. It was the earlier version, the Bharatiya Jan Sangh, which used to perform very well even in 1960s and 1970s. Barring 1984 Lok Sabha election the saffron party had always done better.

Translating around 33-35 per cent hard core traditional votes into a winning combination was no big deal. Yet the BJP got much less number of seats than in 2013, 2008, 2003 and 1998 Assembly polls.

This is the situation notwithstanding the fact that the BJP had two ‘towering’ leaders at the top and are the two most powerful men in the country.

It was in Delhi that the BJP won all the seven Lok Sabha seats on May 23 last and the saffron party holds Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

For its own satisfaction the BJP leaders are claiming that the percentage of votes it got jumped from around 32 in 2015 to over 40 per cent this time. What the party is not stating is that how much percentage of votes it has lost since last May Lok Sabha poll.

Besides, what its apologists are not saying is that in bi-polar elections getting 40 per cent votes is no big achievement. Mark it the Left Front was thrown out of power in Bengal in 2011 when it got 41 per cent votes. Its rival Trinamool Congress got about eight per cent more votes and came to power.

The BJP under the stewardship of Modi and Shah are losing Assembly polls in spite of the fact that there exists a strong organization of RSS at every level and enjoys such overwhelming support of media, middle-class and even bureaucracy and legal luminaries. How is it that a party with such a huge advantage is continuously losing elections.

There is a general fashion to give credit to Modi-Shah duo after any election victory, even in a panchayat poll in a small remote state. The truth is that they have been proving a bane for the party. Barring the Lok Sabha poll last year the party’s performance in the last five years is nothing short of disastrous. It won the UP Assembly election in 2017, but the credit also goes to open family feud between chief minister Akhilesh Singh and his father and Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav just before the Assembly poll. Not only that, the SP and BSP did not form an alliance then.

Later the BJP managed to become the ruler of Karnataka by sheer horse-trading and machination.

The fact is that in Karnataka the Congress got three per cent more votes than the BJP yet its tally remained 80 against 104 by the saffron party.

Even in UP and Karnataka the BJP has got reduced to one man show––of Yogi and Yeddyurappa.

Even in the duo’s home state of Gujarat the BJP could end up winning 99 seats in the House of 182 in the Assembly poll held in Dec 2017.

Nothing exemplifies the dismal performance of the BJP as in Delhi now. By unnecessary throwing the whole army of about 200 MPs, including 70-odd central ministers and half a dozen chief ministers the party has only exposed its weakness. It launched absurd allegations against all the opponents and went on to call the chief minister Arvind Kejriwal a terrorist who is in league with Pakistan.

Antagonizing a man like Kejriwal was perhaps the monumental blunder of the Modi-Shah duo. Here is the man who may be ideologically not poles apart to the BJP. He is a city-bred middle class person with no tag of foreign origin. One can not accuse him of being a dynast. In future, business can be done with such a politician.

Yet the BJP big wigs pushed him so far away that in years to come he may never become a friend It is here that a top RSS functionary Bhaiyyaji Joshi on Feb 9 intervened to suggest that opposing BJP does not mean being against Hindus.

If the BJP failed to groom a chief ministerial face in Delhi in full five years, in Bihar, which is going to polls later this year it has virtually destroyed the prospect of Sushil Modi, who is seniority and standing wise not inferior to Narendra Modi.

SuMo is an RSS man who shot into limelight during 1974 students’ movement in Bihar.

Though he had the experience of eight years as the deputy chief minister yet he was not projected as the chief minister candidate in the Assembly poll in 2015. The then Grand Alliance then had Nitish Kumar as chief minister candidate. The result was clear––the BJP won only 53 seats against GA 178. This was the result after 31 public meetings by Prime Minister Modi.

Since the top leadership of the saffron party do not like SuMo it has to rely on none else but the same Nitish, who is otherwise now disliked by a large number of the state BJP leaders and workers.

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