Bihar and state bye elections in MP, UP, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, Manipur, Nagaland, Chattisgarh, Haryana, Odisha and Jharkhand have revealed the following main points to us:
Modi and BJP: Most Favoured
Modi continues to be the most favoured brand and BJP continues to be the most favoured political party across India. This is despite it being communal, incompetent at governance and corrupt.
Rahul Led Congress Lacks Credibility
People have shown no faith in Rahul led Congress and the performance of Congress has been very poor. Sonia, Rahul and Congress leadership need to do some soul searching and make Congress a credible alternative otherwise its significance in India will go on diminishing. Moreover, Indians will not have an alternative to Modi. Congress today does not offer any serious ideological alternative to the BJP. It is almost like the BJP which pursues soft Hindutva policies, is also pro-corporate, is little less corrupt, has better talent in governance and is more democratic.
Tejashvi led RJD
People showed immense faith in Tejashvi led RJD and it emerged as the single largest party in Bihar. If RJD had not shared such a large number of seats with Congress then it is probable that the alliance could have formed the government in Bihar. The Tejashvi phenomenon has shown to India that the youths across castes and religions would be inclined to vote for any leader who generates hope about improving the real issues like the economy, unemployment, education, health and agriculture.
Left Parties Revived
The anti-privatisation desire and appeal of the young and student leaders has marked a revival of the Left Parties in Bihar. This is good for India because the total pro-corporate policies of the BJP need to be balanced and the voices of the voiceless heard.
Rise of Owaisi
In the immensely polarised society created by Modi it was natural that the Muslims, being pushed to the wall will tend to consolidate. This has led to the rise of Owaisi. The Muslims have been consistently let down by the so called secular parties. The AIMIM party eats into the votes of the opposition parties and to that extent helps the BJP. Congress and most other opposition parties are too scared to be joining hands with a communal Muslim party for the fear of losing Hindu votes. Owaisi’s party is set to rise. It will not be in a position to influence governance in any serious manner but Muslims do not see a better choice.
Expanding Communal Hindus
The core constituency of the RSS and BJP which loves the divisive politics, CAA & NRC, “love jihad”, cow politics and so on is expanding. This constituency is unaffected by the trampling of the democracy and institutions, ruin of the economy, rising unemployment and consistent corrupt and poor governance. This expanding constituency is most dangerous for India’s future.
Are Economy, Unemployment, Mis-governance & Corruption Non-Issues in India?
Support for Modi and BJP may give an indication to an observer that the election results indicate that people have endorsed the lockdown, mishandling of the migrant labourers and poor handling of the economy by the government. This is not true. These are relevant issues. Delhi had preferred Kejriwal to Modi because he offered a better governance alternative. Tejashvi, in his short campaign, generated greater enthusiasm than Modi because he focused on the real issues.
Is Modi that Great?
The continued success will give an indication that Modi is really great. This, in my view, is not true. As per me the reason for Modi’s success is:
Modi is not great but Rahul led Congress is that bad!
· Elections are due in Bengal and my assessment is that BJP will defeat TMC. There will be considerable violence and political killings in Bengal.
· BJP will head towards victory in 2024 general elections and Congress will go down further.
· The Left Parties and Owaisi will rise. This rise will make no difference to the governance we will get.
· India will head towards becoming a “Hindu-rashtra”.
· India will no longer remain a developing country but regress to the level of Pakistan.