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Five results, one lesson

Five results,  one lesson

The results of the five states are sure to elate BJP and sure to boost their confidence that it an win the 2024 Lok Sabha elections with ease. Although there has been a fall in the number of seats won, it has secured a second mandate in succession in Uttar Pradesh and was able to maintain 40 per cent vote. This in a way is an endorsement of the BJP's strident racist politics in the Hindi heartland. In Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur too, the BJP has been able to ensure its continuity through which the party has stabilised its influence in the northeast as also made an entry into the southern region. As for Punjab, Aam Aadmi Party has made a landslide pulverising the incumbent Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal. The fact that the BJP was able to overcome the impact of the farmers' strike and anti-incumbency sentiments through its Hindutva agenda is likely to land the social fabric of the country in greater insecurity. But the Congress' rout qualifies for analysis as much as the BJP's continued victory does. The Congress has become extinct to such an extent that even the hope of sustaining as a viable opposition party has dimmed in the people's minds. The party does not have the stamina even to delve into the causes of the defeat in the Punjab. In Manipur, it is behind National People's Party, which had ruled the state for 15 years at a stretch and was the opposition in the outgoing assembly. Although it was predicted to be the largest single party, Congress' performance is more pitiable than in 2017. The party's leaders in Punjab and Uttarakhand were engaged in internal bickering for power and bids to decimate rivals within the party. Punjab leaders Siddhu, Channi and Harish Rawat used to fly frequently to Delhi, but not to chalk out strategy for the party's victory but to liquidate their opponents. They have now been rewarded with the fruits of that: all the three have lost not only their states, but even the roots in their own constituencies.

The Congress leadership has, instead of displaying the leadership skills to resolve the faction-fights within the party, or the political sense of direction to defeat the BJP or organisational robustness, left the party to the mercy of destiny. The party's illusion of coming back to power easily by pinning hopes on the consolidation of the oppressed classes and anti-incumbency factors and without winning people's confidence, has been thrown asunder by the BJP's skillful mobilisation and consistent spreading of hatred of Muslims. Its total exclusion of Muslims despite the community forming 20 per cent of the state's population helped it consolidate the Hindu vote bank that was splintered along caste lines. The BJP, according to preliminary analyses,won also the Dalit votes which BSP used to win. It all indicates that the anti-Muslim politics followed by the sangh parivar is getting denser and in that sense, there is scant possibility of the party making any difference its agenda for 2024 Lok Sabha election. It may reinvigorate its hyper-nationalistic sentiments too. Even the Central Election Commission has fired the first salvo of 'one country, one election'.

But the election results do also radiate some rays of hope that the country still has left in it the capability to survive the politics of polarisation successfully being implemented by the BJP. Although Samajwadi Party failed to come to power at the face of the money and muscle power that the sangh politics has mobilised, it has been able to secure double the votes it won last time. Statistics also show that the BJP's vote share has fallen in regions where farmers and agricultural labourers have more sway. Punjab's united decision to embrace AAP instead of the BJP also is a sign of the reluctance to opt for communal politics per se. But as for the question whether parties and leaders seeking power have the resilience and strength to capitalise on regional political advantage and make it the catalyst for change in national politics, there is no clear answer yet. And that is the uncertainty in which the country is moving - and the sangh politics is raising its flag of victory.

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TAGS:Assembly poll resultsUP Uttarakhand Punjab Manipur GoaBJP's communal campaignAAP in Punjab
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