The recently concluded Uttar Pradesh elections has engraved a place in the history of modern India. After a long time, a national party had registered a handsome victory in the Assembly election of the electorally largest region of India. The Sagar Manthan of UP elections reveals certain facts:
THE MODI TSUNAMO: The scale of the BJP victory of 2014 General Elections had already announced that a Modi wave has arrived in the nation of a billion. However, winning 325 seats of UP Assembly reaffirmed the existence of this Tsunami of PM Modi (famously known as Tsunamo). The victory of UP Assembly has almost assured a second term for Narendra Modi in 2019.
DEATH OF VOTE BANK POLITICS: Every political Pandit was of a belief that UP politics revolves around caste and religion and not so much around the economic development of the state. This sentiment for years has lead to a creation of vote banks across the state. Yesterday’s results has broken this bastion of caste politics; BJP, a party of Brahmins & Baniyas have successfully managed to garner votes of other communities plus retaining its upper caste Hindu vote base.
Contrary to the popular belief, Unification and not Polarisation was the theme of UP -2017. The polling strategy of BJP was not dividing votes on the basis of caste or religion but unifying votes on the basis of class (income class). The middle and lower class of the society, wholeheartedly supported BJP’s bid to form a Govt.
DEMONITIZATION ‘DISASTER’: This poll victory has finally put a full stop to the demonetization debate in the political arena if not in the economic one. The long queues in front of ATMs and loud protests in front of the Parliament had created an atmosphere of concern in the country, over the Prime Minister’s decision of banning notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000. UP Election was thus seen as a referendum on Modi’s decision to ban notes. With a handsome victory under his belt, PM Modi has proved why demonitization was not an unpopular political decision.
PRE POLL COALITION WITH CONGRESS: The biggest discussion point for the political fraternity just before the U.P. Election was the coalition of S.P. and Congress – ‘UP ko ye sath pasand hai’. Nonetheless, the outcome of this coalition was not shocking and on the expected lines. The Congress, which fought on 100+ seats managed to win less than 1o seats. Additionally, they pulled their senior partner (S.P.) down, who could win mere 50+ seats (out of the total 300+ seats that they contested). By the way, S.P. is the not the first casualty of a Congress coalition. Earlier, Congress had pulled D.M.K.(in Tamil Nadu) and the Communists (in W.Bengal) in this fashion.
IRRELEVANCE TO EXTINCTION: The massive defeat in 2014 General Elections had already started the grand old party’s fall from grace but the uninspiring leadership of Rahul Gandhi combined with the reluctance of his sister Priyanka Gandhi to join active politics further pushed the Congress into the corner of irrelevance . Now, the magnitude of UP’s loss raises a question: Is the Family led Congress nearing its end by ‘happily’ entering in to a state of a near extinction at national level?
CHANGES IN REGIONAL POLITICS: For a considerable duration of time, it was believed that U.P. Election is a Maya- Mulayam khusti; due to which the two major national players – the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Indian National Congress were reduced to mere spectators. However, the clean sweep of Mayawati’ s B.S.P. from her strong holds and the hammering of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s party by B.J.P. in 2017 Assembly Poll has casted a question mark on the importance of B.S.P and S.P. It will be too early to write off S.P.-B.S.P.from the political theatre. Nevertheless, you may find these rivals closing ranks in the 2019 elections. After all, their cousins in Bihar – RJD and JDU. have proved that Modi-Shah pair can be defeated by burying the hatchery and joining hands.
‘ THE FACE’ DEBATE: Last time when BJP lost in Bihar to mahagathbandan of JDU-RJD-Congress, it was said that they lost because they didn’t have a C.M.face; whereas the gathbandan camp had a C.M. face in Nitish Kumar. However, this myth was shattered by the UP election of 2017 when BJP won the elections with a 2/3rd majority without a C.M. candidate.
Whether BJP will now be super confident to approach the upcoming state elections without a C.M. face needs to be seen.
VIKAS OR (OF) RAM MANDIR: The ascendancy of BJP as a national party could not have been possible without the Ayodha agitation. This agitation provided them the much needed channel to showcase their Hindutva ideology at a national level in a big way. However, it is also true that BJP lost various elections at various level in the past because of their association with the Ayodha agitation. Finally, it was in 2014 Loksha election that the agenda of Ram Mandir was completely and truly overshadowed by the Vikas politics of Mr.Narendra Modi at the national level. However, now with majority in centre and assembly, it must be interesting to see the future of the Ayodha agitation.