And the winner is ……
Narendra Modi leads NDA to a record win
It’s official! Narendra Modi has once again led NDA to a dramatic win! The BJP has decimated all opposition in almost all states and turned most of the country the colour saffron. The final results will take some time to be officially confirmed as postal ballots, and the VVPAT samples need to be counted. However, the outcome stands; it’s a Modi-wave encore sweeping the country.
Besides the PM himself who led from the front, credit must go to his trusted lieutenant and BJP president Amit Shah, for strategically charting the path to victory in every territory the party contested. The results prove he was on point and remains the best electoral strategist in the country.
Mahagathbandhan journey in U.P hits a wall
The alliance between SP-BSP-RLD was expected to be a game changer, so much so, BSP Supremo Mayawati said she was a candidate for Prime Minister despite remaining in the political sidelines since her party’s 2014 wipeout.
The dream has fallen flat since it did not stand on the foundation of grassroots workers like what the BJP had, and the results reflected the dark reality. The SP, BSP, and RLD were expected to consolidate the Dalit, OBC, SC, and all other minority categories, under one large consolidated vote bank. It didn’t happen.
For the BJP, already in power in the state, its consolidation of the party’s agenda and the beginning of a new era in India’s largest state.
Smriti Irani blows away Rahul Gandhi in Amethi
The biggest headline after the saffron sweep is the commoner Smriti Irani defeating dynast Rahul Gandhi in his family kingdom. The defeat is as shocking and demoralizing for Rahul Gandhi as it is for his party, for he is the president and has lost his seat. The Wayanad win notwithstanding.
The Congress party will have to go back to the drawing board to introspect the way forward. In 2014, the Congress bubble burst and provided an opportunity to start afresh with new and young leadership, but the party decided to continue living in a bubble, and once again finds itself in the wilderness, lost and without direction.
Jagan Mohan Reddy scripts an upset in Andhra Pradesh
YSRCP leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy fought two battles in Andhra Pradesh; assembly elections and the Lok Sabha. He came out the winner in both, comprehensively defeating TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu. Naidu who took his victory in the state for granted began traveling to Delhi and state capitals playing kingmaker in anticipation of an NDA defeat.
He completely overestimated his strength while underestimating the silent work done by Jaganmohan Reddy in the previous two years. Andhra Pradesh is a young state, and now it has a young CM-in-waiting, all energized and ready to take the state forward as mandated by the people.
Congress-JD(S) coalition on the brink of collapse in Karnataka
The on-on-now-off tumultuous coalition between the Congress and the JD(S) has impacted the people, and they responded in the only way they could – show the exit door to the coalition. BJP which had been quietly making inroads to recover lost ground kept focused on reaching out to the people while the coalition leader squirmed and squabbled from one day into the next. A weeping CM constantly painting a helpless, battered picture provides no relief to a stressed patient. People simply changed the doctor. Expect the tottering government to collapse shortly.
TMC’s sun begins to set in the east
This time the sun is setting in the east, for the TMC. Mamata Banerjee’s firebrand and often intimidator politics helped create a chasm between the party and the people, at all levels.
The decimation of the Left Front with no signs of standing up to the forceful politics of TMC created the perfect opportunity for the BJP to offer a better alternative, and the people of Bengal have grabbed it.
The resentment against TMC was building up, for a while but Mamata Banerjee continued to believe her strong arm politics would keep the BJP at bay. The fact BJP has come so close to matching TMC gives the former confidence of a change in government in 2022 when the next assembly elections are held. That is, if the government doesn’t collapse before, a possibility which can no longer be ruled out.
The end of an experiment called AAP
The Anna Hazare-led Lok Pal movement brought the civil society together, and bureaucrat-turned activist Arvind Kejriwal came into the limelight. He provided hope and aspiration of a new India in the backdrop of despair and despondency of corruption under UPA II.
So, when he decided to launch AAP as a political party, it attracted many people who were never in politics, and the people of Delhi shared their dream of corruption-free governance.
With all 7 seats lost to BJP in Delhi, AAP stands exposed as a failed experiment.
BJP bounces back in Madhya Pradesh
The debacle in the recent assembly elections hit the BJP badly which lost power by a whisker despite having a slight edge on vote share. The fight in these elections was not going to be easy for the BJP. The sheer decimation of the Congress in the state shows the people have not accepted Congress politics or what it represents. Congress veteran Digvijay Singh’s massive defeat in Bhopal at the hands of Pragya Singh Thakur (BJP) emphasizes the point.
Bihar gives up on Lalu Prasad Yadav
Convicted and jailed RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav continued to believe his influence remains intact even while out of active politics. The problem for RJD was, his family and party cadres also believed that to be true. The people of Bihar thought otherwise and have stated their preference quite clearly. The Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) and BJP alliance continue to remain strong; his party’s near matching numbers with BJP will consolidate his stature within the NDA.