By Rajesh Kumar Choudhary
The thumping victory of the ruling party of India, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recently held assembly elections of five states, is a great success. However, it is not a result of merit alone, but the failures of other stakeholders have a major contribution in this achievement. We can understand this fact with the example of Uttar Pradesh (UP), whose population is greater than that of Pakistan. The rise of the hardline BJP discloses short comings of liberal Congress, Samajwadi Party(SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and the Aam Aadami Party (AAP).
If the outgoing Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh had been a good administrator and led the state on the path of progress, ensured the security of common men and women, and had control over goons and anti- social elements, the picture would have been different. The so called rebel, Akhilesh Yadav, had no control over his own party. A family feud, just before the assembly elections, strangulated the hope of his victory. His fight with his uncle Shivpal Yadav sent a wrong message to party workers as well as to the public. The Yadav clan gave more priority to the chair and ignored the plight of people of the state. Moreover, the young Chief Minister could not break his image of “baby CM”. His father, veteran socialist, Mulayam Singh Yadav , used to scold Akhilesh publicly and reverse his decisions at any given time. The seasoned politician Mulayam incorporated Amar Singh and Mukhtar Ansari in Samajwadi Party. Akhilesh opposed it, but it was all meaningless. Akhikesh sacked his uncle Shivpal Yadav from the cabinet. The older Yadav expelled him and Ramgopal Yadav from the party. Ultimately, Akhilesh revolted and took the reign of the party in his hands, but it was too late. After a lot of drama, they compromised. Akhilesh made an alliance with Congress party against the will of his father. But , all this could not avoid the defeat of Samajwadi Party, which is now limited to less than fifty seats in the state assembly.
Similarly, if the main opposition party of Uttar Pradesh, the Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP), had played its role honestly and effectively, the party would have not been marginalized. The BSP supremo, Mayawati , lives in New Delhi. She controls her party like a landlord and misbehaves with her own workers. In effect, she is not a mass leader. After the defeat in the state assembly polls, Mayawati managed her entry in Lower House of Parliament (Rajyasabha). It can be said that she is a burden on her MP’s and MLA’s. Moreover, this time her social engineering of Dalits and Muslims did not work.. Mayawati lost their support and could get only 18 seats in the state assembly.
Third, the Congress Party is no more a vital force in Uttar Pradesh. The party is limited to Raibaraily and Amethi Parliamentary constituencies, which are said to be traditional seats of the Gandhi family. Indira Gandhi used to fight elections from Raibaraily and Rajiv Gandhi won elections from Amethi. After Indira and Rajiv, Sonia Gandhi and her son and Vice President of the Congress, Rahul Gandhi stands from Amethi. However, Rahul and his ailing mother Sonia only focus on these two seats. Rest of the time, they stay put in Delhi. As such, they are unable to mobilize the people of the whole state. Also, the Congress party does not allow regional leaders to grow and develop. As a result of all this, the party is struggling for existence in UP. This state has given nine prime ministers to India; four out of these belonged to Congress. It is pitiable that the oldest party of India has single digit number of MLA’s in the most populous state of the country.
In neighbouring Uttarakhand, the Congress party lost badly to BJP. This poor performance of ruling Congress in this Himalayan state reduced it to only eleven MLA’s. Despite the anti-incumbency factor in Goa, Congress could not get majority to form the government.. In Manipur, the party emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats in the 60 membered state assembly. The credit goes to the Chief Minister Ibobi Singh. But, the BJP registered an outstanding performance getting twenty one 21seats. This assumes significance given that in the last state assembly elections , the BJP had no MLA here.
In Pakistan bordering Punjab, Congress did very well. It got a got full majority. However, the Congress’ victory is owed to the charisma of Captain Amarinder Singh, misrule of the Prakash Singh Badal government, among other things.
In the process, Narendra Modi has emerged as the most powerful leader not only within his party, but also in the country. It seems that there is no alternative to Modi but his success is reminiscent of the rise of Nazism and Fascism. Modi has exploited the feelings and issue of nationalism and his party, the BJP dons the mantle of a nationalist party. Importantly, Narendra Modi is also making the best use of strife within political parties of India.
Modi also adopts an aggressive policy posture in the international sphere especially vis a vis Pakistan. Even though , Modi invited Nawaz Sharif to his swearing in ceremony and landed in Lahore while returning to New Delhi, but ultimately Modi is going to give no concessions to Pakistan. The same approach can be expected to political opponents of Modi. All in all, the rise and ascendancy of Narendra Modi as a pan Indian leader is alarming but the irony is that it is liberals of India that are to be blamed for his rise.
The author is a senior journalist and can be reached at: [email protected]