The 2017 state election results does not just indicate a Narendra Modi wave, but it defines a tech-tonic shift in Indian politics. The results indicate the shift from communalism and caste based politics to the pan-india demand of development. The BJP and allies now have governments in at least 12 states. About 54% of the population in India is under saffron rule. Moreover, 64% of the country is under BJP and its allies.
- Let’s start with a state that’s as big as the United Kingdom and has a population of over 200 million. Yes it’s the heartland of India, Uttar Pradesh.
- BJP’s landslide victory at Uttar Pradesh clearly means that the State which has a large number of poor people clearly supported the government’s Demonetisation move. This reinforces Modi as a messiah and the leader of the poor people in India.
- This victory also gives a green signal for bigger and more disruptive reforms such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST). GST is expected to get an easier passage in Parliament when the relevant legislation is introduced.
- BJP can now be strengthened in the upper house of the parliament. Numbers in Rajya Sabha, where the government currently lacks the numbers, could see a more conducive environment for the passage of key legislation with the opposition likely to be less obstructive after the electoral snub.
- The massive support to BJP even from muslim populated areas in Uttar Pradesh, shows a shift in the mindset of the voters. It can be safely assumed that voters now care more of the development agenda than petty caste based politics, that used to define Indian political scenario till a decade back.
- The Modi tsunami has completely blown away regional satraps like Mayawati in UP. Akhilesh has survived to fight another day but alarming times are on the anvil for Mayawati and the BSP. They need to reinvent their politics to stay relevant in ‘Modified’ India.
- The election results in Uttar Pradesh can now be certainly considered as a pre-mandate to the upcoming 2019 General elections. The results have bolstered Narendra Modi’s image as the country’s undisputed leader and it will take some ‘Mahagathbandhan’ by the opposition parties to stop his winning streak at the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Apart from Modi and Amit Shah (the BJP national President) the credit for this victory also goes to Sunil Bansal, the State General Secretary(org) of Uttar Pradesh.
Sunil Bansal has been the link between the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh(RSS) and the BJP state unit.The BJP’s strategy had been to reach out to non-Jadav Dalits and non-Yadav OBC castes. The party’s leadership in the districts, and the distribution of party tickets, reflected this changed social character of the BJP.
Now comes the big question, who will be the next Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh?
BJP’s top leadership has two names on the top of its list for Uttar Pradesh chief minister – Manoj Sinha, telecom minister at the Centre and Keshav Prasad Maurya, BJP state president and a prominent non-Yadav other backward caste leader.
Manoj Sinha and Keshav Prasad Maurya (from L-R).
Sinha’s plus points are his “integrity”, “administrative acumen” and his “ability to deal with senior bureaucrats”. Maurya on the other hand brings to the table his formidable campaigning to consolidate non-Yadav OBCs for BJP, a key factor in the party’s landslide 300-plus seats performance in UP. Hence, both leaders have an equal chance with Maurya having the additional edge.
2. The Uttarakhand poll results were completely as expected by most analysts.
Following are the reasons for the astounding victory for the BJP in Uttarakhand.
- Harish Rawat had the dubious distinction of being the only CM in the state’s 16 year old history to have faced maximum dissent during his two and a half years tenure. Besides the 9 Congress leaders who left the party in March last year, other senior leaders like Yashpal Arya also quit in a huff protesting against the CM just before the tickets were to be announced. The vacuum created by these leaders became difficult for the Congress to fill.
- BJP played up the issue of corruption in the Harish Rawat government highlighting mining and liquor licence allotment scams in which the CM’s close advisers were alleged to be involved.
- The CD sting which showed Harish Rawat allegedly negotiating a deal to buy back his dissident MLAs dented his image and may have contributed to people voting overwhelmingly against him and leading to his loss from both the seats that he fought.
In Part 2 of this post, I will discuss about the poll results in Goa, Manipur and Punjab and how the people of India can now expect stability fot the next 7 years in the Indian political landscape.
(Please share and subscribe if you liked reading this post)