By Aravind Govekar
Will the North-Eastern states show the way to go for the Lok Sabha elections coming up in 2024?
ELECTIONS to the Mizoram Assembly are over. BJP seems to have withdrawn from the contest long before the election. The present Chief Minister Zoramthanga reportedly announced that he would not be seen with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during later visits to Mizoram for campaigning in the Assembly Election. The PM later cancelled his plans of campaigning in Mizoram.
The first phase of Assembly Election in Chhattisgarh is over. 20 constituencies, some of which are located in the so called Naxalite areas, went to polls in this phase. Most North-Eastern tribal states are expected to vote against the BJP in the Lok Sabha Elections in 2024 due to Narendra Modi’s defiant silence and BJP’s inept handling of communal hostilities in Manipur. The BJP will most probably draw a blank in the Assembly Elections that took place on November 7, 2023. The Congress is expected to win the Chhattisgarh Assembly Election with a comfortable majority.
Most surveys have forecast that BJP may win, if at all, only in Rajasthan. Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have already started campaigning for the Lok Sabha Elections of 2024. Shah has already attended big rallies in Bihar and Haryana instead of spending more time in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. Modi has already has begun day-dreaming publicly on what he will do in his third term as the prime minister. Though his rallies are a part of his campaign in poll-bound states, his speeches are more relevant to the Lok Sabha Elections rather than to the current Assembly Elections.
For those who are well aware of Modi’s style of governance and who can read between lines, BJP’s efforts to camouflage Modi’s failure behind irrelevant national and international events, look ridiculous. The RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat in his customary annual address on the Dussehra day devoted more space to Modi’s “achievements” than to the principles and practices of the almost hundred years old organisation. This was perhaps the first time that the RSS was acting as the spokesperson of the BJP instead of the BJP acting as RSS’s political arm.
Among the achievements tom-tommed by Modi, India’s hosting of G-20 occupies the first place. India under Indira Gandhi chaired the summit of Commonwealth Heads of Government/States in Goa in 1983. Fifty-six independent sovereign countries are members of the Commonwealth. Elizabeth II, head of the Commonwealth, also attended the meeting. Indira Gandhi never tried to make any hollow claims of being a world leader and never misused government resources to bolster her public image.
The BJP’s G-20 extravaganza which reportedly cost the government more than Rs4,000 crore drew adverse criticism from many parts of the world. The BJP tried to highlight it as a unique achievement of Narendra Modi. The fact that G-20 is at best a debating society of 20 countries without any powers to enforce its resolutions or to settle disputes among its members, was deliberately hidden by the Modi-media. The presidentship of G-20 like most others international groupings, is held by all member countries by turns. Indonesia was the president before India and Brazil is currently the president.
The Chandrayan landing on the moon is tom-tommed as another big achievement of Narendra Modi. The display of Modi’s photo along with Chandrayan on the moon was hilarious and ridiculous. No other country, whose space machine landed on the moon, displayed the picture of president/prime minister. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was set up in the 1960s by Jawaharlal Nehru and India’s scientists have worked hard for its success. The Head of ISRO in his speech after the landing of the Chandrayan made it amply clear that the success of ISRO is due to continuous efforts by its scientists over many decades.
The so called digital revolution which is again claimed to be Narendra Modi’s achievement is nothing but the progress achieved by India of the digital process launched by then prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, in the 80s and which inevitably picked up speed in the following decades. The world had seen tremendous progress in digital technology. Brazil today has more mobile phones than its population. Israel developed Pegasus, a spyware which can snoop on your activities through your mobile phones without your knowledge. One can go on and on about the development of digital technologies around the world. Fortunately, the BJP does not claim that Modi has had his hand in this development around the world.
One can only hope that the Indian electorates realizes the failures of the Modi government in time to take an informed decision in the Lok Sabha Elections in 2024. If Modi gets his third term as the prime minister of India nobody will be able to prevent India’s conversion from a Constitutional democracy to a Constitutional dictatorship.