BJP WINS HEARTLAND! Some comfort for Congress…

The results will also deny the Congress an upper hand while bargaining for seats with allies in the opposition INDIA bloc that aims to oust the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in the 2024 general elections.

By Rajan Narayan

BJP HAS swept the semi-final polls in the Hindi heartland. The BJP marched to victory in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. In all these states it won by a clear majority where the Congress was decimated. The Congress party though got some comfort in winning the Telangana assembly polls.
The victory of the BJP in an elections considered the semi-finals before the Lok Sabha elections coming up in 2024 is an indication that it will be smoother sailing for the larger parliamentary elections. The primary reason for the BJP victory in the north is the leadership of Narendra Modi. It would appear that as the BJP claims, it’s a victory for BJP Hindutva politics. Certainly, is a vote of confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Narendra Modi himself is on record that the victory in the three Hindi states would make it easier for the party to win the parliamentary elections in 2024.
Ironically, four pandits had predicted the victory of Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan. Perhaps, it was the infighting in Congress between Sachin Pilet and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Whatever may be the reason it came as a surprise that the BJP swept the polls in Rajasthan. This is a supreme irony applicable only to Indian voters.
In Madhya Pradesh it’s been a clear victory. Chhattisgarh came as a surprise for it was widely expected that Congress would win. A major factor in these elections has been the mahila vote, for the mahila or woman voter does not necessarily follow the way the male voter votes. Men get induced for the party which promises the most benefits to them.

THIS explains the victories of the BJP in the northern states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. It also explains why the Congress won the Telangana polls despite the hold that YSR Rao had over the state. There were two conservative elections the YS Ramachandra Rao won the election in Telangana, but it could not achieve the hat trick of three consecutive victories.
The moral of the story is that Modi magic works in the Hindi belt. There is also a claim that the Hindutva forces have consolidated themselves in these states. The Congress anti-leaders campaign might have boomeranged. However, it is significant that the Congress has consolidated itself in south India in the victory of Telangana now after the victory in Karnataka. It may be recalled that the Congress managed to defeat the BJP in Karnataka.
But what the latest victories of the BJP out spells out the decline of the regional parties. In Telangana regional parties have been wiped out. Undivided Andhra Pradesh was the bastion of regional party starting with General Naidu. Congress has finally managed to come back to power in Telangana which has been carved out of the old state of Andhra Pradesh. The semi-finals to parliamentary elections in 2024 has also indicated that the voters do not go by caste alone. Both the OBCs and upper castes have backed the BJP in the Hindi belt.

THE BJP has become hyperactive with its scoring of a hat trick. Modi was empowered for two terms and is now hoping that he will win a third term as prime minister. Unlike in the United States there is no limit to the number of times a prime minister can rule the country. Everything depends on whether his party get elected or not.
The north-south divide seems to be growing in the country. In south India the Modi magic does not work. This was dramatized in Karnataka when the Congress defeated the BJP government of BS Yediyurappa. Now the Congress has consolidated its presence in the south by winning Telangana. Kerala is also ruled by a Congress-led coalition. The only state where regional politics triumphs is Tamil Nadu. The main fight in Tamil Nadu is between the DMK and the BJP.
In the north east the seven states seem to reject saffron politics. It is only in the Hindu heartland that the Modi wave sweeps everyone away. The clean sweep of the Hindi heartland is a bad sign for the the Congress. The Congress may not hope to come to power when it loses the Hindi belt. This is because states like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have the largest number of Members of Parliament in the Lok Sabha.
The allies of the jumbo I.N.D.I.A. (India National Inclusive Alliance) may not accept the accept Congress leadership after its massive defeat in the Hindi heartland. It is clear that Sonia Gandhi does not have the charisma of a Narendra Modi. This may be due to her foreign origins. Sonia Gandhi cannot make thundering speeches like Narendra Modi can. Narendra Modi has apparently sensed the mood of the country. For many years when Congress was in power the Hindutva forces were rejected. When Modi come to power the BJP adopted more and more blatant Hindutva right wing politics.
It looks like the forces of hate will triumph in the face of love. Up to a point Rahul Gandhi’s campaigning in Telangana worked for the Congress. Rahul Gandhi and mother Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi campaigned very vigorously Telangana to win the election. The recently concluded elections also shows that money power does not work in the country any longer. Telangana Chief Minister Navnath Reddy is considered the richest chief minister in the country but all the money at his disposal did not help. It scored for hatred in Telangana.
The Hindi heartland comprising Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan is the key to victory in the parliamentary election. With the Congress confined to the South it cannot any longer claim to be a national party. The Aam Aadmi party seems to have made it and managed to capture two states in the north. Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP may make significant progress in the parliamentary elections. Kejriwal is tired of only presiding over Delhi where all the power is exercised by the Lt Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena. AAP has great appeal to middle-class and anti-Hindutva forces. The minority also like AAP. The Congress has lost wherever it had creditability.
As far as secular forces are concerned the future is dark with the Hindi heartland turning saffron following the latest victories. The only comfort lies in the fact that the south has refused to fall prey to the politics of hate and religious chauvinism. How long this will last we do not know. The lead parties in the south may be forced to align with the BJP to secure central funds.
BJP’s boast of double-engine government working seems to be working. Double-engine government works where the BJP is in power both at the Centre and at state level.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 + 1 =