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Thursday, May 30, 2024

The Invincible And Indomitable Saffron Spirit 

Its spectacular victory in the three key states that went to polls recently has propelled the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prospects further. Dismantling almost all exit poll predictions, the party had its landslide victory in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Should the results of the state elections be seen as a signal for the Modi government’s hat-trick comeback in 2024? The results must have shaken the entire organizational edifice of the Congress with more murmurs of discontent being heard. Though its Telangana victory came as a relief almost in line with the predictions flung both before and after the polls, its drastic fall in the Hindi heartland that remained its stronghold once, would take some time to sink in. But for the Congress, as usual, to learn lessons from its failures is a nonexistent and unnecessary etiquette

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By: M.R.Lalu

Its spectacular victory in the three key states that went to polls recently has propelled the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prospects further. Dismantling almost all exit poll predictions, the party had its landslide victory in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Should the results of the state elections be seen as a signal for the Modi government’s hat-trick comeback in 2024? The results must have shaken the entire organizational edifice of the Congress with more murmurs of discontent being heard. Though its Telangana victory came as a relief almost in line with the predictions flung both before and after the polls, its drastic fall in the Hindi heartland that remained its stronghold once, would take some time to sink in. But for the Congress, as usual, to learn lessons from its failures is a nonexistent and unnecessary etiquette. This has been the approach of the party all through its failures. But the Telangana victory will be seen as historic as ever since the UPA government formed the state in 2014, the party had painstakingly been on its track strategizing to grab power in the state. But the K Chandrashekhar Rao magic continued for two terms winning elections probably gaining from the thanksgiving pattern of voting by the electorate. KCR gained ground for being the master crusader for the formation of the state that had been carved out from Andhra Pradesh.

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Though Madhya Pradesh was a tough ride, the Congress expected an ascent in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh was speculated as an easy pass. But the narratives, predictions and myriad speculations could not work. Dismantling Ashok Gehlot’s upbeat presumptions and unrealistic estimations, the BJP had its saffron flags flying high almost everywhere in the state. Disgruntled to the core, the party should spend some time to meaningfully check the factors of failures that have led to its big fall. But its behavior in the parliament the other day was unsurprisingly menacing and the prime minister had to caution its members to restrain from venting frustration in the house. Madhya Pradesh was a turbulent storm. The results have put the Congress in its too little and dwarfish image once again. The BJP government, as had been predicted by its master strategist Amit Shah, came back with its unprecedented numbers, giving a sense of its precise calculation and commitment from the party’s grassroots to the apex layer. Chhattisgarh had ultimately shattered the hopes of the Congress. It was known for the party’s indomitable hold on the electoral scenario, especially when the entire speculation mechanism mocked the BJP for being a distant shadow. Anti incumbency was a rare chance, predicted by the media and pundits alike. But the saffron ride had devastated the Congress, at least in the winning point of view, turning it a mere scarecrow.

Resounding, impressive and momentous were the three state victories for the BJP and its most powerful patriarch Narendra Modi. And for the party cadre, Modi, animated like a saintly savior, taught them the lessons of humility and the reasons to remain composed even while scaling the heights of victories. This has been a curious fact that the BJP and its supporters have often been following. Taking every election as a new experiment with new strategies creating an amalgam of winning components, the party and its endless array of supporters including its strong cultural foundation the RSS toil restlessly and this could be a prominent reason that separates the saffron party from the rest of the political groups in India. Excellently carved and beautifully polished narratives have deliberately been placed to meticulously differentiate between the binary – the nationalistic politics of BJP and the divisive anti-national ways of politicking by the Congress. Mostly, elections in India are battles of narratives. They rarely address key issues that excruciatingly prickle and incessantly destabilize the essential ambiance in the country. Of course, the situation began to change ever since the 2014 saffron saga. The tide of expectations it could put into effect was a defining indicator; that India was all set to trace the track of its excellence. Not only internally but globally the attempt was to redefine and redesign the image of India. Undoubtedly, a decade of untiring initiatives by the Modi administration could change the mindset of a large segment of India’s electorate, that otherwise was sunk in profound desperation and weary of being carried away by the politics of negativity, malignity and self defeat.

A distraction designed merely to placate the country’s journey to success would be efficiently countered and narratives to defame its eminence would be easily toppled. This has been a basic tutoring that the Modi government could take the country’s electorate through. But the BJP’s defeat in Telangana would be deliberately termed as the south’s reluctance to embrace a party that nibbles on Hindutva and a viable framework of narratives would further castigate it as a Hindi, Hindu and Hindutva party. This would lead to an unsurprising argument, a division of the country into North and South. I am not without sympathy for the Congress or any other party for that matter, as their reluctance to see the pathways that the BJP is creating in the southern states is a blindfolding activity. Exemplifying its efforts and efficiency, the saffron giant had paved inroads in Telangana as well. The result of this state election is a testimony for its ascent from its single seat to the eight seats it won. Though out of power, Karnataka is still its bastion and now stretching further to Telangana, the BJP is expected to credibly increase its tally in 2024.

Imagine the irony, the pathos. The disenchanted outcome that the Congress has landed in should be saying tones of instances of its absolute ineptness. Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra could not impress the voters to the extent of winning votes. The Congress narratives are too skinny, unrealistic and irrationally framed and feeble to successfully counter the formidable threat and existential crisis that the Modi factor and the impact of his welfare schemes could cause to it. Modi has gone farther in heights scripting success stories and the personal rants against him by his opponents have actually helped him earn sympathy and gave him a chance to sharpen his oratory. The Congress meltdown in the Hindi heartland has obviously been a reaction to what the party and its INDI alliance partners have been standing for. A decade of consistent efforts by the opposition to target Modi has backfired almost every time, mainly because the electorate in the country has grown reasonably well intellectually and to assess the government’s initiatives was a realistic exercise with greater transparency while their impacts being sustainable and satisfactory. Welfare schemes by the government have meticulously been brought to the last man and an obvious reason for their gaining accolades is that they were far better, transparent and feasible than the UPA regime. The Congress party’s arrogant, partial and pessimistic approach on Hindutva and its minority appeasement could be some among the factors that decimated its fortunes in the three key states. Understanding the behavioral defect of the Congress and its leadership, Modi puts it candidly with a slight caution in his recent X one-liner, “Old habits of 70 years cannot go away so easily”. Doesn’t the Congress have a reason to ponder? (The author is a freelance journalist who can be reached at mrlalu30@gmail.com)

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