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BJP projecting Modi as new messiah
Party propaganda misses the reality of election results
By Arun Srivastava
Massive victory of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh has created unprecedented ecstasy in the saffron brigade and it is being described as Modi' March signaling emergence of a new politics. The claim of Modi's march is yet to be scrutinized in proper prospective, but one thing is certain it is the precursor of new politics of coercion and thrusting the philosophy of Hindu Rashtra on the nation. No doubt some people claim that this has armed Modi with the authority and power to translate his reforms programmes into reality and hasten up the process for fiscal reforms.

Nevertheless even before the euphoria dies down, one question still awaits a rationale reply from the BJP and continues to stare at Modi's face; why the Modi's March failed to demolish the Congress in Goa, Punjab and especially in Manipur? Why the Modi wave or tsunamo (tsunami) remained confined upto Uttar Pradesh only. Was his mission and message exclusively for the people of UP? This question awaits a positive and correct reply. The desire of Modi to make "Congress Mukta Bharat" still continues to be unfulfilled.

It is unfortunate that in the prevailing political backdrop the people are not ready to go beyond the defined loop and dictated political line. The experts and especially the media pundits are using their skill to project this as more powerful wave than either the 2014 verdict or the election held after Masjid demolition. Incidentally Modi did not put this amount of energy , resources and time in 2014 in UP. But in that election the BJP won in 337 assembly segments, more than this time's 308, and even managed to get 43 per cent of votes, one per cent more that the party got this time.

This most important feature was the dynamics and focus of his campaign was not confined to UP. It had pan Indian impact and swept the country. But this time he took out four road shows in UP. No doubt the famous adage goes "Jo jita wahi Sikandar" and obviously he is the modern Sikandar. But this Sikandar knows more than his party colleagues and leaders that he owes his charisma in Uttar Pradesh to the makeover exercise by the RSS.

It is a known secret that RSS has deployed a huge band of its cadres. Otherwise too the RSS has a strong base and cadre base in the state. Just ahead of the fifth phase of the election it had cautioned Modi and asked him to campaign seriously at the ground level. It was the instruction of the RSS that Modi took out four road shows in Varanasi and concentrated in eastern UP. The results of the region make it clear that working on the lines of RSS paid the party handsomely. The move to polarise the Hindus paid off.

Outside UP let us take the case of Goa, which went to the polls under the leadership of Modi's Friday man Mohan Parrikar. Being a chum, Modi has entrusted him to supervise the election. During his public meetings Modi projected Parrikar as the most honest person. But this failed to cut ice. Goans who were abusing Congress finally opted for the Congress after five years of the BJP rule. They were not willing to give one more chance to the honest and competent BJP. While in UP, the leaders claimed, the tag line of honest and transparency paid, in Goa the Goans discarded this. Their hatred against the BJP was so acute that they threw it out of the power at the first available opportunity. Most of the ministers in the BJP government including the chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar were defeated.

The BJP lost 8 seats out of the 21 it had in the earlier house. Congress shot to 17 from 9. The rural people nursed more anger than the urban Goa. What was most significant was South Goa, the financial and business hub of Goa, completely rejected the saffron outfit. Parrikar's promise of providing honest and transparent rule had no takers. No doubt the Congress did not get the clear majority. It was short of 2 seats. But the RSS stalwart Ram Madhav and BJP Chanakya, the party president Amit Shah are hell to form BJP's government and for that they have indulged in horse trading. Under their plan Parrikar will quit Union cabinet and become the chief minister. According to them this is public verdict, in favour of the BJP. But even as the BJP gloats over its success in U.P., Goa will be a disappointment as the party's failure there shows that Modi's claim of BJP being everyone's party - sabka saath, sabka vikas - is not widely believed.

While top national and state leaders of BJP described this overwhelming success in UP and nearby Uttarakhand as Tsunamo (Tsunami) they shied away from explaining why this tornado or tsunami failed to have any impact on Punjab. Borrowing the phrase of the BJP leaders it could well be said that Punjab in fact witnessed the Congress's Amrinder Tornedo. The Congress routed the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combination. To be fair enough to Amit Shah, why he did not use his full might to ensure the victory of his party?

From the comments of Shah analyzing the defeat in Punjab it transpired that he wanted to ensure the defeat of his trusted ally SAD. Nevertheless a wave or tsunami could not stopped by a mortal being. Its impact would be wide spread. There ought to have been some tangible reason for Modi Tsunamo not touching Punjab? Now after the results are out some leaders and spokesperson say that this result was expected. This is most ridiculous and intriguing. Instead of evolving the mechanism to salvage the situation and trying to stop Congress, the BJP was behaving like a insidious operator.. Do the BJP leaders believe that any rationale thinking person would subscribe to what they say? Whom are they trying to fool? Does not their stand look like stabbing in the back of their trusted ally?

Manipur has in fact been at the target of the BJP for more than four years. The BJP after grabbing power in Arunachal through Congress dissident MLA Kalikho Pul, after toppling the Congress government, has been focussing on Manipur. It has managed to a great extent.

With chief minister Pema Khandu joining the BJP along with 32 MLAs after defecting from the Peoples' Party of Arunachal (PPA) - the party he and 43 Congress MLAs joined to topple the Congress government set in place by a Supreme Court order - the new dispensation became the second full-fledged government, after Assam, that is being run by the party in the Northeast. This development also had Khandu make a record of sorts by being the chief minister of three parties within a span of three months.

The economic blockade called by the powerful civil society body, the United Naga Council (UNC), against the Manipur government's decision to carve out new districts from what they call the ancestral land of their community, has helped the BJP. But in final countdown the Manipuri people rejected the maneouverings of the BJP and voted for Congress. It is the largest party but Amit Shah has already initiated the mechanism to bring more legislators; horse trading has begun. What the Punjab result has shown is that the party can succeed if only it has a strong regional leader. This is true of Manipur where Ibobi Singh has been able to build up a base of his own.

It is claimed that BJP's spectacular showing in Uttar Pradesh is bigger than its victory at the height of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in 1991. What does it mean for the BJP? It underlines that it is now firmly in the grip of Modi. The leaders emphasise, and most assertive has been the leader from Bihar Ravi Shankar Prasad, that the election has given rise to a new party. Indeed he along wither is right. The old system of collegial functioning will now give way to corporate functioning in which companionship has no taker. Only the word of the boss will matter.

-- (IPA Service)

News Updated at : Sunday, March 19, 2017
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