The Delhi election had a clear verdict: the nation’s capital no longer believes in any of the political parties. The two national parties, eyeing a few seats in the assembly were wiped off – one in power less than 15 months ago, the other, who has all seven sitting MPs and holds a government at the centre. Who was second or third is immaterial.
True, the assembly elections are for Chief Minister and not for premiership of the nation. But, to consider voters so smart is slightly generous. Elections are won on waves, on the general mood of the nation and mostly on anti-incumbency. There are exceptions, but mostly Indian politics is moulded, shaped and coloured on the three stated grounds.
The examples of Uttar Pradesh elections, won by Samajwadi party and subsequently by BJP in Lok Sabha are not pertinent to the Delhi verdict. Assembly elections in UP were a mere reversal of a cloth worn by largely ill informed and manoeuvrable UP voter, who is presently not able to see beyond the two parties who have a strong base and are able to swing the requisite “neutral” voters to win elections. What happens in 2017 though will be interesting.
Amit Shah’s delivery of UP Lok Sabha is praiseworthy and is largely a reason Modi is able to reach the top spot. What was responsible for the massive number of seats in UP?
- BJP’s realization that parliamentary majority is not possible without UP and hence an early preparation.
- Congress’s failure at the centre and its not letting the voters know what it has done, notwithstanding the widespread perception of corruption.
- Samajwadi party’s expected less than ordinary performance, poor law and order, ill-timed Sai Fai festival and foolishly handled case of IAS officer Durga.
- And so on and so forth…
Moving on to Modi’s victory in the Lok Sabha election. Let us see the timeline as a run up to the elections.
Up to July 2011: BJP looks like it has given up. It has no plans how to run a campaign against an embattled Congress, who is widely maligned for corruption across the nation.
August 2011: Anna Hazare starts his agitation for Lok Pal. His arrest and stay in Tihar is compared to the rising at Tahirir. Congress’s incompetency to handle Anna dents it. Limited say in parliament leaves them scratching fingernails. BJP, mind you, is as clueless as ever.
UP elections March 2012: Samajwadi party turns tables on arch rivals. No surprises there. Since when Mayawati and Co. become good enough to earn a second term? Congress, dying across the nation after 8 years of anti-incumbency, loses further ground. BJP is still the also ran, unsure what to do.
Times passes. India is on face book now. Twitter and whatsapp are gaining users by the day. BJP’s fed up workforce tries to infuse life in the party by clamouring for a change in leadership. They pick up on Social media and ultimately the leadership hears their cries to bring on Modi. Why Modi? Why not equally successful MP’s Chief Minister? Well because Modi represents the face of Hindutva after Godhara and has also earned a name by winning his third term in Gujarat. To be brutally honest why Modi – because Guajaratis have more money. Countless updates on Modi flood the face book. RSS and other Hindu groups back Modi as well. He gets the boarding pass to Delhi.
Dec 2012: A rape case rings the entire nation. While the government can hardly do a thing to prevent it, the wrath of public again falls on the ruling party at the centre. People burn meaningless candles, flock at the gates of the Gandhis, persuade them to appear and make a statement, as if they sheltering the rapists. Sheila Dixit doesn’t help by saying that she has no control of Delhi Police. If she had, what would have changed? Who listens to such statements? Congress is even more beleaguered.
2013: Kejriwal forms a party and decides to run for elections in Delhi. He starts his campaign and evokes positive responses all around Delhi. People across the country join his bandwagon. In between, he is beaten by Police for meddling with a Congress Minister. Congress, who is now cornered from all fronts, is even more forlorn.
Posts on face book comparing Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi become regularity. Nehru Gandhi dynasty is not spared either. Congress clearly does not have an active, smart workforce to counter this while BJP’s NRI and rich Gujarati community takes a head start on social media. For the first time in India, elections might be decided on the social media. Pause here and recall now when did you create your face book account. 2009? 2010? At least you became active only after 2010. Like millions.
Neutral observers start believing that Rahul Gandhi is a bigger joker than a Laalu Yadav. His interview with Arnav Goswami becomes a rage on You Tube. In direct comparison to the Ace of Spades Modi, Gandhi is a two of clubs. All this was not possible without social media, where the opponents can not only be maligned but can be stripped and ravaged too. Something undiscovered before 2009. Newspaper advertisements can extol you but can’t take a jibe at your rivals.
In the eighties, cartoons appeared in elite magazines like India Today and were seen by the privileged. Now cartoons travel on WhatsApp, faster than light, and penetrate the educated and the boorish alike.
Congress implants Pranab Mukherjee as the President but has no one to fill the crucial North block portfolio. A lacklustre figure of Shinde fills in the position- another weak step by the Congress. Delhi is handed over before the elections.
Kejriwal storms Delhi in Dec 2013, becomes the Chief Minister. BJP wins the rest of the states as Congress is oblivious now. A very fortunate BJP gains by the agitation started by Anna and Kejriwal, Congress’s failure to strengthen itself in states, and by its own sensible performance in states like MP, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Media is shocked at Kejriwal and his entourage’s impish advances and does not spare him and his party AAP. He too acts like a wild lion and bites everyone who challenges him. He even threatens to disrupt the Republic day. All this is immensely benefitting the BJP, who is just beginning to feel confident of gaining a majority for NDA. Yes NDA.
Soon comes the blunder of the decade- the one which literally hands Modi the Government on a platter. Kejriwal resigns after 49 days. Media, the BJP and even the moribund congress is relieved. A point proven- AAP were the pretenders, when the actual act came, they escaped and are still unabashedly trying to sing the Lok Pal jingle. Shame on these idiots.
Kejriwal further fumbles. Challenges Modi in his den. Hollow bravado. He himself would know he has no chance but insists on an arm wrestle. Loses. The list of his enemies is growing by now- from Ambanis to Rajat Sharma, who calls him a liar on his show. Kejriwal is slapped in the meetings. God knows by whom. BJP’s social media now paints him a joker on the face book. Jokes on his muffler, slaps, and escapist attitude inundate the social media.
BJP’s media team is working overtime now. Congress is no threat. Neo politics guy is thrown overboard. Anna is silent. The coast is clear. They can now safely project their once maligned, US visa-denied, cornered leader as a saviour of the nation. Jokes multiply on opponents- with triple speed now. A joke appears on WhatsApp before the headline hits the NDTV. Modi is the Lion, Shinde the dog, Rahul Gandhi the mouse…
The road to Delhi and coast is clear.
Modi as PM. Dream realized. Gujarati NRIs head back home to US. They exhale so loudly that I could smell of khakhras in Singapore.
A few months later, Kejriwal lands in Jail. Elections lost, future uncertain, party depleted, what else can go wrong?
Fortunately for him, the tide was turned three years ago. That BJP rode it is a different story.
Within 7 months of a massive mandate, BJP and Modi are ignored by the Capital’s voters. Why?
AAP and Kejriwal did nothing new. In fact, save his apology for resigning in 2014, he is still his abrasive old self. Delhi was a huge loss to the BJP. The reasons? Can be millions. New CM candidate, ignoring old stalwarts, de-motivated workers, Bedi sounding haughty, Modi not providing enough toilets…
The only reason is…
But before that. Don’t assume it is a victory of democracy. This is again a wave. In a democracy, people vote for a representative. In India, that no longer happens. In fact, it has never happened. But this wave is a confirmation that country is finally cajoling those who have an alternative to lead a better life, to come to politics and clean it. This is an ode to the MBAs, IASs, Engineers, and IITians…
The reason is lack of trust on BJP, Congress, BSP, SP… All those who are ruling anywhere. Wherever an alternative is present, they’ll be thrown out. Bengal and Tamil Nadu exempted.
Everyone has to ask one question. What does this man Kejriwal has which I lack? Apparently, it is the honesty, and an image whose cleanliness has passed the transparency test of media’s relentless grill and has survived long enough. In the eighties, clean image was a perception, today, it better be a reality. Otherwise, it won’t last a day. Kejriwal’s middle class white shirt is clean, even after Delhi’s mud bath.
BJP must act reasonably now and hope for the best in 2017 UP elections. It stands to lose in both scenarios. Loss would further dent, victory will add to the misery by adding a monkey called UP on its back, a monkey that might scratch them before 2019 elections.
By the way, forget the free Wi Fi or water. It will never come. No one has voted for that.