BJP’s Thumping Victory in Rajasthan Adds to Congress’ Concerns Ahead of General Elections

“Didn’t I tell you so?” This must be the common question the political foretellers would be asking. Putting an end to a year-long speculation, Rajasthan crowned BJP as the winner in the 2013 assembly elections. It is a matter of debate whether the verdict is a manifestation of “mass anger” against the Congress or is it a prized trophy for BJP who counted on NaMo’s fiery speeches during the poll campaign.

Allow me to dig into the past and put across a digression here. Back in 2008, when BJP was on the losing side, Vasundhara Raje faced the party flak. She was tagged as the de-facto factor for party’s dismal performance. However, she was always in the good books of party’s senior leaders. They reposed faith in her capabilities and that has paid off. Raje makes a comeback and that too with a much bigger mandate.

The fact that Congress conceded defeat is not something to ponder over. Instead we need to understand why was the party ousted despite doling out welfare schemes? While Raje attributed BJP’s victory to ‘Modi’s magic’, the others put the blame squarely on the outgoing chief minister Ashok Gehlot. Rhetoric aside, the ground-zero analysis says that the choice was quite easy for the people of Rajasthan. The development schemes were not inclusive. It only served a particular section of voters while others got cold feet.

To add more worries on their plate they need to realize that most of the Congress ministers have lost the contest. In fact the Congress speaker Dipendra Shekhawat and the party president could not garner enough support to elbow out their opponents. As a clear indication of a devastating performance, BJP has won nine out of ten constituencies in Jodhpur, which is Gehlot’s home district.

To borrow Gehlot’s words, Congress has been “unsuccessful in highlighting development.” And what are these developments that he is referring to? According to him, health schemes and pension schemes benefitted a wide spectrum of voters in the state. So why did people vote against the Congress? If you ask me, I would say that Inflation and Corruption turned out to be strong imposters that pulled down Congress’ prospect of regaining power.

Gehlot had his answer ready when asked about the other possible reasons for this humiliating defeat, “The people of Rajasthan were misled by lies.” It is a half-truth, may be. There’s no denial that allegations levelled against Congress didn’t have a strong base, but that anti-congress campaigning by BJP could not have pulled this one through singlehandedly. By the way, has anyone asked Mr. Gehlot why Congress party doled out election tickets to the family members of tainted MLAs in Rajasthan? It is another thing that the trick has backfired, but that doesn’t belittle the travesty.

A careful observation is all you need to decipher that the biggest ever win for BJP is also looked upon as a collective verdict against UPA.  The performance (or under performance) of UPA government at the center has hurt Congress in the state.  The defeat is interpreted as a classic case where sins of parents are passed down from generation to generation.

Now that the party’s ship has hit the rock bottom and a bitter conclusion is arrived at, Congress leadership is feeble in its suggestion that the time has come to introspect where it went wrong.

Amid all these, Sonia Gandhi says that 2014 will be different.