2019 Lok Sabha election is a Modi hurricane

Dr VK Bahuguna

(The writer is a former civil servant)
The most bitterly fought election to 17th Lok Sabha are over and this election will be long remembered for a few things and changing the trajectory of Indian polity for future.  First, it for the first time since independence that a non-congress government was voted  back to the power with increased seats.The long term effects of this will depend upon how the new regime under the Prime Minister Modi shapes its policy. Second, the election was fought on Presidential style as it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was the star of the show and sole principal focal point of both the ruling NDA and the opposition during a campaign which was pitchforks only on removing Modi from power without analyzing the performance of his government. The election results show that the entire country except Kerala, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Punjaband to some extent West Bengal were in the grip of Modi hurricane. The victory of Prime Minister Modi will be remembered not only for getting an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha for the second term to power but will also be remembered for changing the contours of the hitherto political play field. Third, the mandate is against the cobbling up an alliance which the people felt will not be able to govern India if voted to power so Mahagathbandhan was routed in UP and Bihar. The BJP had improved its own tally and comfortably leading and set to pass 300 mark and with its allies NDA set to cross the 350 marks in the 543 Lok Sabha. 

The opposition congress has been almost decimated from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarhwithin few months of its winning the Assembly elections in these states and formed the government. In Rajasthan Congress has not even got a seat and all 25 went to BJP like in Gujarat where the BJP made a clean sweep by winning all 26 seats. The remarkable recovery by the BJP in these states is reflection of the people's mandate to repulse the negative politics of the opposition congress with a a firm hand. The BJP had made significant inroads in the West Bengal by leading in around 19 seats and forcefully breaching the citadel of Mamta Bannerji "s Trinamul Congress. It had retained its influence on North Eastern States Assam, Tripura, Arunanchal Pradesh (both in Assembly and Lok Sabha), and to a some extent in Manipur. Now let us examine the reasons for this resounding mandate forthe Modi government.

The Indian political mass must realize that Indian voter cannot be swayed by rhetoric's and negative politics. BJP successfully focused on the nationalism and some of its other achievements like surgical strike and Balakot bombing as a strong government which takes revenge which the people wanted to see since long from the government as the public opinion was building up against the non action  on the killings of soldiers in on terror attack . It blamed the opposition that it was playing into the hands of Pakistan and Rahul Gandhi was entrapped in it. The slogan "Modi hai to mumkin hai"  was shown as the greatest positives of a strong government. The congress President Rahul Gandhi's high decibel accusation of the Prime Minister Modi as "Chor" and harping on the Rafale deal which dealt a severe blow to the opposition credibility and helped the people to turn against the Congress as its own past scandals  haunted it and skillfully  exploited by the BJP very well. Another reason is the fact  the young people have rejected the dynastic regional political parties in the north India specially in UP and Bihar which they feel are for personal self family promotion. In Bihar NDA got 39 seats against one by the Lalu Yadav led front. In UP the BJP is inching towards 60 seats and in Bihar the opposition has been decimated. 

One of the lesson from this election to learn is that the era of dynastic caste based politics is going to be over. Similarly, the concept that Muslim will never vote for BJP had also been dented specially in UP, Bihar and other northern states. Apart from this the jingoism of congress to garner Muslim votes in North India backfired and came to a cropper and also led to consolidation of Hindu votes. Apart  from this many Muslim  women must have voted for the BJP on account of the party  making a serious bid to prevent this practice of Triple Talaq by successfully countering the muslin clergy by saying that Triple Talaq is banned even in Pakistan. The party was able to encash some of its welfare steps. In rural and semi urban areas women have to suffer in their kitchens  for fuel and the Ujjawala scheme was very successful in reducing their drudgery of more than 15 crore women on procuring the fuel. Another good scheme which made impact on the minds of the people is the "Ayushman Bharat scheme which provided a much needed medical facilities in good empanelled private hospital to the poorer section of the people and already more than 18 lakh people have enrolled in it and getting benefits. This scheme had a good induction effect on the  people.  Another good scheme which made an impact was the pension scheme for the poor and unorganized sector workers who constitute a very sizeable vote bank of 25 crore people. The increasing road and housing projects for poor were also benefiting the people. These sections of people from all strata of society realized the good work done by the Modi government and silently voted for the BJP and rejected the pitch for a coalition government of family self seekers. The opposition thought by portraying Modi as a villain will help them but not only this failed but in reverse swing helped in consolidation ofvotes. The manifesto of congress was tuned in such a way to garner Muslim vote bank and announcing that law will be changed for the anti national activities back fired. It was a foolish attempt and played a role in uniting the people on the platform of nationalism. The repeated log jams in parliament also played a role in decimating the opposition. The 10% reservation for the weaker sections of upper class also played a role in this victory and the anger of the upper caste was the reason BJP lost in MP, and Rajasthan. The farmers anger was dealt with by announcing the Rs 6000 scheme for farm uplift.

It is now for the new government to lead the nation to greater heights. The Prime Minister Modi should reviewthe efficacy and deficiency in the machinery responsible for the implementation of his policies. Lot of reforms in governance structure and decentralization is needed and special focused action programme is the need of the hour. For the opposition congress the die is cast for its dynastic stronghold and it must act as a responsible opposition. For the regional parties like YSR Congress it s a defining moment and for Trinmool Congress an occasion for soul searching. The biggest lesson for the politicians of this country is; People should not be afraid of their leaders as much as leaders should be afraid of the people.

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