Modi magic wave II

The supersized victory of BJP destroys Opposition


May 24, 2019

/ By / New Delhi


Turning the 17th general election into a virtual referendum on himself and his rule, Prime Minister Narendrabhai Damodardas Modi retained his magic to establish majority for the ruling party and completely decimate a divided grand alliance against him.

The BJP has won a runaway victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, not just replicating its 2014 performance but even improving its tally. In 2014 its own tally was around 282 seats. This year it improved by winning 21 seats more, therefore taking the tally to 303 seats.

“With all+ development for all+ everybody’s confidence = victorious India,” Modi tweeted. “Together we grow. Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again,” he said.

To recall if Modi had cast himself as “The Challenger” against a tired and discredited UPA II regime in 2014, five years later he projected himself as “The Saviour”, to reap a pro-incumbency harvest not seen since the days of Indira Gandhi in 1971.

Not only did the BJP sweep the North Indian heartland but also made forays into east and South India.

Several opposition parties were left discredited and completely decimated. This included the Indian National Congress whose tally improved just by seven seats compared to last Lok Sabha election to 51 seats. Similar fate was handed to other political parties who were reduced to single digit in Lok Sabha. This included Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra among others. The BJP also made significant gains in West Bengal and Odisha expanding its footprint in the east and making its presence felt across most regions of the country, except for Tamil Nadu and Kerala in South India.

Unlike the BJP which had projected Modi as their Prime Ministerial candidate, opposition parties had half a dozen aspirants for the top post. Also the battle of political space and ego clashes kept the opposition leaders divided. For instance, though the Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party came together in Uttar Pradesh, did their social bases comprising other backward classes, socially marginalised-dalits and Muslims vote for alliance candidates is a matter of question?

The normal issues of daily sustenance such as Roti-Kapada-Makan (Bread-Clothes-Housing), farmers’ distress and unemployment were brushed under the carpet.

Also, the anti-poverty scheme Nyay, announced by the Congress or the Rafale corruption charges against the BJP did not sell. As against this, Modi’s emotive message of nationalism and security appealed to the electorate even as BJP projected Modi as a larger-than-life leader who alone could save the country whether it is economic distress, political corruption or keeping India’s arch enemy-Pakistan in check.

In the electoral wind that blew over India, Congress president Rahul Gandhi lost his family bastion Amethi. Most of its important leaders, like Mallikarjuna Kharge in Karnataka and Jyotiraditya Scindia in Madhya Pradesh too were blown away.

Rhetoric of majoritarian assertion pursued by Modi has left its impact on voters who see themselves mirrored in Modi whom they can identify with an angry, aggressive, ambitious and aspirational New India.

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