Beginning of the End for Modi and Shah?

By Aravind Bhatikar

The Modi brand has collapsed, just like the collapse of Adani shares. Bajrang Bali did not like Modi’s desperate ploy to drag him into BJP politics; He chose to shower all his blessings on the secular Congress.
This is not the first time, however, that the Modi brand has failed. That has happened many times before, but the failures were pushed under the carpet by social media brigades and the main stream media.
The latest victory of the Congress in Karnataka increases the total number of States ruled by non-BJP parties to fifteen. Out of these, the Indian National Congress is ruling in the States of Karnataka, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and is a part of the ruling coalition in Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu. The States of Punjab, Delhi, Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Andhra, Telangana and Kerala are ruled by non-BJP and non-Congress parties. The BJP is ruling six States, namely, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and forms a part of the ruling coalition in nine other States, namely, Haryana, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh.
The fourteen opposition political parties which had approached the Supreme Court recently with a plea to issue guidelines for the proper functioning of CBI and ED, represented 45.19% of the votes cast in last State/UT Assembly Elections, and 42.5% of the votes cast in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.
Among the States ruled by the BJP/BJP Coalition, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra governments have been formed by engineering defections from the Congress and the Shiv Sena respectively.
A detailed review of the political situation in the country will reveal the life-supporting systems that the media is supplying to the Modi brand but the brand is bound to fade into oblivion during the next one year.
Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram Assembly Elections are scheduled to take place before the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. It is widely believed that whatever is left of the Modi brand will be wiped off in the State Assembly elections before 2024, since communal polarization is unlikely to work in the above States and Modi-Shah have little to show by way of concrete economic achievements in those States.
Satyapal Malik, the former Governor of J&K, Goa, Meghalaya etc had predicted that the BJP would be wiped off in 2024 Lok Sabha elections if opposition parties succeed in putting up a common prime-ministerial candidate against Modi. In 2024, the communal polarisation trump card of the BJP may be useless all over the country excepting perhaps in Uttar Pradesh. The massive victory of the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections was largely due to the nationalist sentiment awakened and misappropriated by the ModiShah team by using the Phulwama terrorist attack and the martyrdom of 40 CRPF jawans.
An agreement among opposition parties on putting up a common candidate looks increasingly probable. In case that happens, Satyapal Malik’s prediction will prove to be correct.
The Lok Sabha elections are about a year away from now. 12 months can be a long time in politics. Between now and May 2024, Modi-Shah may be relegated to back benches in the BJP and a more moderate leadership may replace them. The CBI and ED may realise that the wind is blowing in the opposite direction and may adjust their mode of working accordingly.
Democracy in India may, after all, see “Achhe Din” in the near future.

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