BJP baiters need to recognise Modi tsunami
by Ashok B Sharma on 18 May 2014 3 Comments

BJP’s landslide victory in 2014 elections has come as a surprise to those analysts and poll predictors who failed to understand and appreciate the Modi politics and statecraft and development agenda. The recent polls have shown how elections can be won if dissenting voices at grassroots level are given a patient hearing.


The poll results have come as a shock to Modi-baiters who think that the BJP can thrive only by evoking emotive issues like hindutva and the Ram Mandir, and that the party with a support base among the upper castes, mainly Brahmins and Baniyas, cannot make any substantial dent among the Scheduled Castes, Tribals, OBCs and Muslims. Narendra Modi has proved them wrong.


The effective social engineering by Modi and Amit Shah, his chief campaigner for UP, enabled the party to mobile support irrespective of caste and religion. The caste politics of the Mayawati-led BSP, Mulayam Singh-led Samajwadi Party, Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD, Nitish Kumar-led JDU and Ajit Singh-led RLD had to retreat before the Modi tsunami.


Against well-entrenched caste politics in the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh (80 Lok Sabha seats), the BJP garnered as many as 71 seats (+2 for ally Apna Dal), surpassing its earlier record of 57 seats in 1998 and reducing the ruling Samajwadi Party which banked on Yadav-Muslim votes to 5 seats from a tally of 23 in 2009. All the seats won by the Samajwadi Party have gone to the party’s first family.


Both the BSP which banked on SC-Muslim votes and RLD which relied on Jat-Muslim votes scored a duck. The Congress sank from 21 seats in 2009 to only two – that of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi.


The BJP could harvest the disenchantment of non-Yadav OBCs and non-Jatav SCs under the Samajwadi Party and BSP regimes, respectively. The BJP was also successful in wooing a section of SC Muslims and Shias. Its alliance with the Apna Dal helped get the support of the Kurmis.


The BJP has the record of gaining 50 plus seats from UP in three consecutive polls - 1991, 1996 and 1998 riding on the Ram Mandir and hindutva wave, the highest being 57 in 1998. But in 1999 when the party won a maximum of 182 seats in the Lok Sabha, its count from UP dropped sharply to 29. However, in 2014 the party did not evoke either hindutva or the Ram Mandir, but insisted on the development plank citing the Gujarat model of development, it captured the imagination of the people.


In Bihar, the BJP could wrested 22 out of 40 seats, restricting the RJD-NCP-Congress alliance to 7. Six seats won by Lok Jansakti Party and 3 seats won by Rashtriya Lok Samata Party added to the BJP’s kitty.


It is not the Modi wave, but actually the Modi tsunami that has shattered the century-old Congress party and humbled its score to below 50, precisely 44 in a 543-member Lok Sabha.  This is way below the 10 per cent seats required to secure the party leader in the House the status of Leader of Opposition, along with Cabinet rank under the Salary and Allowances of the Leader of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977. This is a pathetic state of affairs for a party that has ruled the country for several decades.


The Congress peaked at 404 seats and 49.01 per cent vote share in the 1985 elections fought after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. It is now at its nadir with 44 seats and a mere 19.6 per cent vote. The BJP under Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi has won an historic 282 seats on its own, and 31.5 per cent of the vote.


This can only be called Modi magic. It is the first time since Independence that a non-Congress party has won a massive majority on its own and the first time since 1984 that a political party has won an absolute majority on its own. Perhaps sensing that this could happen, Narendra Modi was at pains to emphasise, in interviews given during the campaign, that the 25-party pre-poll alliance crafted by him would work together harmoniously. The NDA alliance now enjoys a strength of 336.


The Modi wave has hit the length and breadth of the country, touching hitherto untouched shores. In Jammu & Kashmir in the north, the BJP won 3 seats; the opposition People’s Democratic Party won the remaining three, leaving the ruling National Conference high and dry.  In Uttarakhand BJP bagged all 5 seats and in Himachal Pradesh all 4 seats.


In Tamil Nadu in the south, BJP and its alliance partner PMK won one seat each, despite the sweep of AIADMK. In Puducherry, BJP’s alliance partner, All India NR Congress bagged the sole seat. In Andhra Pradesh, BJP and its alliance partner, TDP won 19 out of 42 seats. In Karnataka, BJP won 17 out of 28 seats.


In Rajasthan in the west, the BJP bagged all 25 seats. Also in Gujarat, home State of the Prime Ministerial nominee Narendra Modi, the party won all 26 seats. In Maharashtra, the BJP alone won 23 seats out of 48 seats, while its alliance partner Shiv Sena won 18 seats.


In Assam in the northeast, BJP garnered 7 out of 14 seats. Among the eastern states BJP got two seats in West Bengal and one seat in Odisha, despite the strong performance put up by State parties like the Trinamool Congress and Biju Janata Dal.


In the central Indian states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the BJP’s victory was equally spectacular, with 27 out of 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh and 10 out of 11 in Chhattisgarh. In the far flung Andaman and Nicobar, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the BJP won the sole seat in each place.


The Modi magic / wave/ effect is undeniable; it has made the BJP a pan-India party. His critics need to recognise this and change their attitudes towards India’s new party of governance.  

User Comments Post a Comment

Back to Top