AND WHAT IT TELLS ABOUT INDIA’S
POLITICS IN THESE TIMES..
The second round in the political
turf war between Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar goes to Nitish Kumar and in an equally
emphatic way as was Narendra Modi’s and BJP’s victory in the Lok Sabha election
BJP and Nitish Kumar’s JDU were long
terms partners and shared power together in Bihar for over 8 years before
Nitish parted ways in the name of ‘BJP becoming Narendra Modi’s BJP’.
It was the second election
(barring bypolls) that the two political outfits fought as rivals and with
this, JDU has equaled the score 1-1.
But what it tells about political
state of affairs now?
Given the fact that the broad
issues that the Bihar elections were pinned on revolved around caste, religion
and community arithmetic, the outcome of the polls become interesting for how
they would affect the further political discourse in the country on some issues
doing rounds in the national consciousness.
-- The poll result will, first of
all, tell vehemently that the Delhi poll debacle was not an aberration but was
a clear indication of things and days to come – an ominous signal which was
conveniently ignored by BJP.
-- The most worrying socio-political
aspect of it is that the country is indeed going through a rough patch with
real threat of communal and caste-based flare-ups if the fringe elements and
intolerant voices are not reined in now.
-- The message will be that
people are not taking developments like FTII row or appointments to other
institutions, JNU row, reservation policy row or the move to return national
awards by eminent personalities to protest the surge in incidents of
intolerance or the ongoing legacy wars to claim legacies of the political
luminaries from the country’s past.
-- After Delhi, the Bihar polls
are again a direct testimony on BJP’s performance. The message is that the NDA
government, so far, has failed to perform effectively on its promises of
governance and development. BJP lost even in Jayapur in Panchayat polls, a
village adopted by Narendra Modi in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi. It
will further reinforce the demand that people need concrete development now,
not even a blueprint will do. There are valid questions even in Varanasi now
where the city has seen no significant development in the last 18 months or so.
Developments like making Banaras Hindu University a greater mess that it was
earlier in, go squarely to the union government of BJP in Delhi.
-- Narendra Modi now needs to do
some serious thinking about his political branding and imagery, given the fact
that the Bihar assembly election was basically a direct personal fight between
Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar, the chief minister of Bihar from JDU. Nitish
had left the JDU-BJP alliance in Bihar on NDA’s projection of Narendra Modi as
its prime-ministerial candidate and had stepped down after JDU’s crushing
defeat in the Lok Sabha election last year. Also, it is not about other BJP
leaders but about Narendra Modi. People have given BJP absolute majority
because of Narendra Modi and Narendra Modi will obviously be worried about his
-- We can soon see Shiv Sena
walking out of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in Maharashtra. The alliance has been
in consistent controversies ever since the two old alliance partners came
together again last year. Shiv Sena, the big brother-turned-humiliated-junior
partner in Maharashtra is freshly recharged from its gains in Maharashtra civic
polls, the first big shot post Maharashtra assembly polls in 2014, the polls in
which BJP has performed poorly. The ongoing war of words between Uddhav
Thakeray, the Shiv Sena chief, and Devendra Fadnavis, the Maharashtra chief
minister, may precipitate into something big soon.
-- The outcome makes it mandatory
for BJP to do course correction with its politics, especially in the light of
the upcoming assembly elections in Punjab (2016) and Uttar Pradesh (2017) –
with realizations and changed requirements post the debacle in the Bihar
-- BJP’s alliance with SAD in
Punjab is not so smooth and the party has lost every subsequent election in UP
after the grand show in the Lok Sabha election in May 2014. If we go by the
projections and different analytical reports so far, we can say Congress is
going to win the next round of polls in Punjab and
-- In UP, BJP still has no mass
political leader and cadre. This is a space that the party has failed to
populate so far, especially in the context that it had the grand opportunity to
do so with the sky-high confidence that it got with the absolute show there in
the last year’s parliamentary polls – winning 71 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats. And
the Bihar assembly polls results tell why the party needs to focus on poll
infrastructure at the ground level and development politics while effectively
controlling the ‘fringe and intolerant voices’ – because once the UP is lost in
2017 – it will be a moral doom for the party to make a comeback in the 2019
-- And that goes with the socio-political
imperative of the day that there will be more protests and intensified attacks on
BJP and the NDA government on ‘politics around cow and religion’ about these ‘fringe
voices spewing venom of intolerance in an otherwise resiliently tolerant Indian