Landslide victory for ‘development’ in the world’s largest democracy by Bipin Sharma
The verdict of 2014 LokSabha Election results has been truly historic, and will be remembered for a long time. Indubitably, a watershed moment in the history of world’s largest democracy. Thisfor the simple fact that the electorate for the first time hasafter a long time shown a uniformity in their disenchantment towards not just the grand old party of the country that has ruled them for many years, but also towards all those parties that have persistently indulged in only mudslinging their opponents on communal lines.Barring exceptions like few states, the Congress has been decimated in these elections thanks to their lackluster running of the government with dual power centres throughout the two terms of the UPA regime. To make matters worse, there was literally no accountability,or concrete talking on plans for tackling the scourge of massive corruption during the ten year rule of UPA by either the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, CongressVice President, or PM Manmohan Singh.
The regional satraps like the SP, BSP, NCP, DMK, JD (U), RLD, National Conference, Left parties have been dealt a blow of a lifetime by their respective electorate in 2014. Ironically and interestingly, the one common factor binding the Congress,and the big losing regional satraps these elections have been their unrelenting efforts in tarring ‘BJP’ as a communal force. Apparently, there’s nothing wrong in democracy to level accusations against your opponents, but firing salvos unremittingly on issues such as ‘secularism and communalism’ continually sans giving clear cut solutions to issues like price rise and rampant corruptiondidn’t go down well with the electorate of the country. This explains why a big drubbing was inflicted to the coterie of Modi bashers.
“Times are a changing”, goes the saying, and those investing their time and energy on archaic issues henceforth will fail in passing the litmus test of the voters. On the other hand, it won’t be preposterous to view these elections as a resounding ‘referendum’ to Modi’s development style of politics. Former US President Bill Clinton’s had famously remarked after gazing the majestic TajMahal, “The world is divided into two sets of people, one that have seen the Taj, and the other who haven’t”. Much akin to Clinton’s observation, 2014 elections have been to a great extent, a show of strength between ‘Modi adorers’ and ‘Modi haters’. Needless to comment on who won or who lost, thelarger point to be driven home is that the citizens of the country have frantically exhibited their zeal for novel developmental schemes and reforms, thus unmistakably connoting that every other nonsensical issue takes a backseat. The 21st century voter be it the urban, rural or the semi urban, can no longer be taken for ride on the pretext of divisive politics, or by rosy pre-election manifestos.
ArvindKejriwal’s‘castle of newly found vote bank’ too has been badly castled this election. After a dream debut performance in the Delhi Assembly elections in 2013, AamAadmi Party could not manage to win even a single parliamentary seat in 2014 from Delhi which supposedly happens to be their stronghold from where they shot into prominence. Being no exception, Kejriwalneeds to a do a great deal of soul searching to see why the Delhi electorate that gave his party an unexpectedly high number of seats in 2013, rejected his style of governance in 2014 LokSabha Polls just few months later. Being in a denial mode, and remaining oblivious of the verity that there exists a humungous difference between running a government and leading a crusade for a social cause, would only spellcatastrophe for AAP.As if the shock defeat wasn’t enough for Kejriwal to make amendments, he is back to his street protest days by preferring to go to jail than deposit the bail surety amount directed by court in the Gadkari defamation case. While the blame buck for Rahul Gandhi’s disastrous performance in the recently concluded elections is being passed on to his close aides and advisors, Kejriwal’s flop show has been due to his authoritarian style of running the AAP. He has often been accused by his colleagues of taking some of the most key decisions on his own without bothering to take on board the view of other senior members of the party.
There are no two thoughts that there has been a paradigm shift in the way voters have voted these LokSabha elections especially if one sees it from the lens of the massive drubbing given to Congress who could not manage to open their account in as many as 10 states. In states, where Congress did manage to win a few seats, the ‘Modi wave’ ensured that their tally remained well below the double digits.
Such calamitous has been the performance of Congress this time that they have not been able to garner the minimum 10 % vote share required to qualify as the ‘principal opposition party’ in the lower house of the Parliament.
Most of the political pundits believe that it was the smugness of the Congress and their allies more than anythingthat actually did them in. The fact that they intentionally chose to be ignorant about the writing on the wall is what is being ascribed to their biggest poll debacle.Most of the losers that have been routed out from their long held bastions, will find it tough to come to terms that they will henceforth be not an integral part of Parliamentary process anymore, something that they had been accustomed for years together.
Coming to BJP, the election results came as a blessing in disguise, as all the negative campaigns against them and their allies not only worked to their advantage, but gave them the most stunning victory that they themselves didn’t imagine in the weirdest of their dreams.
All speculations pertaining to whether a ‘Modi wave’ actually existed, or was merely a bubble, too were laid to rest once and for all. Following the poll outcome, it was comprehensively proved that the extraordinary BJP victory was attained by no ‘Modiwave’,but by a‘ModiTsunami’.
While the ‘Modi Tsunami’ handed BJP and their allies a memorable high moment of their lives, it simultaneously jeopardized the political careers of someof their adversary heavyweights, by literally writing their political obituary.
The poll verdict is all the more significant as the plank of ‘Development’has finally managed to hand a crushing defeat to every other issue be it communalism orcasteism, that politicians had strived so earnestly to raise. The paradox being that majority of the big parties that happened to be big losers in this election were only bothered about projecting ‘BJP’ as a threat to the nation, and failed to offer the panacea for inflation, price rise, and most important, the spate of corruption. In the aftermath of any poll debacle, analysis and deep introspection are inevitable phenomenon’s, and while most of the stalwart ‘losing’ candidates may not publicly acknowledge that their defeat has been due to their inexorable vindictive way of politics, surreptitiously they would surely be accepting it. By virtue of being ‘Gracious in defeat’, and ‘humble after tasting victory’ is what distinguishes a tall, astute leader from the others in the fray. While some leaders have sung their swansong in the 2014 elections, some losing candidates are still stuck to their brazen age old smugness,despite losing their election deposits.
The mandate of the people insinuates beyond any doubt that people of the country will no longer endure any sort of divisive politics, or attempts to cause chasms in the society. Going by the mood of the nation, one never knows that polarization system of politics might soon be a thing of the past.
The thumping majority with which the BJP and their allies is a good omen of things to come as for the first time after 1984, a ruling party would not have to cave in before the usual tantrums of their coalition partners.
A senior Congress leader had once remarked, “Modi must do some introspection as to why the world has an extreme critical view about him.” Well, the wheel has come the full circle for the same stalwart leader who now needs to walk the talk as he has been handed the worst defeat of his lifetime. ‘Manthan’as they say in the crude terms, is the need of the hour for the grand old party of India.
Abig ‘take away’s’ from these polls is that it won’t be secularism vs communalism fight anymore simply because people of the country have evidently expressed themselves through the ballot that they will only endorse leaders that can redeem them out of the day to day rudimentary problems, and not keep the focus of debates confined to the bogey of caste and communal lines.
The outspoken Mani Shankar Aiyar’s infamous chai wala barb against Modinot only provided a great deal of impetus to the election campaign of BJP’s PM designate, but has also been responsible for plunging Congress to its lowest ebb.
Post the election results, one would have expected the losing candidates to be dignified in commending their winning opponents, but leave congratulating, the usually vitriolic LaluYadav chose the moment to warn the nation against the saffron party, in the process being intentionally oblivious to the thumping mandate given to BJP. After having been barred from contesting from elections due to his indictment in the fodder scam, he remains one of those rarest of rare dogmatic politicians who doesn’t mind looking the other way by literally belittling the nation’s verdict. Joining hands with his once acerbic rival Nitish Kumar to merely keep BJP out of contention won’t be a long lasting affair as people of Bihar dread and staunchly oppose the very thought of a Lalu resurrection in Bihar politics and governance. Lalu’s reiteration that he will assiduously strive to get all secular forces under one roof will have negligible taker’s, and will be rather perceived as a‘farce’ than anything.
For BJP and NDA, 2014 LokSabha poll result can easily be described as a‘dream verdict’as it has been a season of routs for their most fiercestopponents, but also because it has given them a clear majority to run the government smoothly without any compulsions or inhibitions.
The man of the moment, NarenderModi certainly deserves his due… which can be realized by giving him a fair chance to unleash his exclusive plans of empowering and transforming India into a superpower, developed nation.
With Modi all set to assume the office of the country’s 15th Prime Minister, many of his secret admirers can now emerge out of their dens to publicly endorse him sans any fear of facing the wrath of the erstwhile ruling party.
As the countdown to May 26 Modi’s swearing in ceremony begins, it is time for those sitting in opposition to indulge in constructive opposition rather than keep the focus restrained to just opposing the BJP on the same old subject of communalism. The people of the country want the opposition to take a critical view of Modi and his government’s stance on policy issues, economic reforms, inflation, corruption etc. For the progress and development of any nation, the role of the opposition is extremely significant.
As for Modi, the next big leap will be to cobble up the numbers for RajyaSabha as BJP doesn’t have the required strength to see the passage of some key bills.