What went wrong for BJP
The results of Lok sabha elections are out and it clearly showed the next government structure at one look unlike many people anticipitated.The speculation of hung parliament with no clear one party with majority and regional parties playing imp’ortant role got over in a flash.
People of india sang “jai ho!” and snubbed “bhay ho.!” The perseverance of Dr. Manmohan singh over the Nuclear deal in the interest of the nation was valued more than CPM’s withdrawing of support again in the interest of nation! This elections, in a way were very unique and brought smiles,sorrow,hopes and not to forget a great deal of speculation.!
Is it the end of caste based regional politics,or start of development oriented mentality of the voter.? Is rahul gandhi future PM,or is he now experienced enough to head the govt now.? Has our voters have become matured now by going for nitish kumar and not for lalu,Mamta banerjee instead of budhadeb bhatacharya,shiela dikshit,Shivraj chauhan etc etc..The answer would be : Its too premature to judge on the basis of this elections all the above parameters.
The reasons for unexpected phenomenal growth of Congress party in this elections are not entirely related.Where at some points they have scored on merit basis while at some other,their opposition parties misfired.! Congress’s alliances proved to be most effective in the end.!
But the interesting thing to understand is the reasons which led to the downfall of BJP.! The arithmetic,astrolgers,media,exit polls were in any case never in the favour of them but no body actually expected them to perform so poorly.They claimed to get over 160 lok sabha seats but only managed to decrease their count by 20 and settled for 118.! By the time the safron brigade started the analysis of this debacle ,blame game within the NDA brought another shock for the party! It could be populating Modi’s future PM candidature,attacking Dr.manmohan singh personally as a weal PM,losing out key alliances..the speculations are everywhere.! But i think there are several factors which contributed for this dismal performance of the hindu nationalist party.
· BJP campaign never begin with a promising note of offering an alternative government with a difference. There were issues with the current government,infact many disappointments as far as public hopes were considered but BJP did not highlighted those effectively.
· Economic Recession performed the role of an alibi for UPA govt for the poor economic conditions and job losses.As a result,many urban middle class voters which had always been BJP’s key contributers shifted to congress because they thought of continuity and stability at this time and to some extent they had more faith in Dr.manmohan singh and P.chidambaram than their BJP alternatives.
· In the past 5 years,congress made a better connection with the rural india than BJP.The farm loan waiver,bharat nirman praogramme connected with the farmers.They started with 2.5% growth of agriculture sector in 2004 but managed to increase it to 5.5%.That doesn’t mean that some kind of revolution was brough in rural india but congress did well to balance between urban infrastructure plans and rural india development.
· Varun gandhi may have won the seat from PILIBHIT but brought a lot of negative publicity for the party in the rest of the country.It gave an oppurtunity to the opposition to play the “secular” card once again term the BJP as communal.This speech by varun gandhi did free publicity for congress amongst the minorities.The urban voters want development and sound economic policies at this crucial economic times and hence they just moved away from BJP and not to forget it influenced the decisions of millions of first time voters against BJP.
· Attacking Dr.manmohan singh personally as a weak PM persistently didnot go well with the voters.There are lot of serious admirers of his soberness and tranquility and strong take of congress govt after 26/11 increased his stature considerably among those who considered him weak.
· BJP forgot one of the most crucial state of india as far as arithmetic of elections goes—UP.They never concenterated much on this land which is undoubtedly was their “garh” in the 90’s.From 57 seats in ’98 to just 8 in ’09 clearly shows how they lost the plot in UP.Where with the mass appeal and charismatic nature,RAHUL GANDHI mesmerised the UP voters and did for congress one thing which no one had imagined in the past 25 years! Congress got 23 seats in UP.An unimaginable feat.! This success could be attributed to internal feud within the SP and the induction of kalyan singh in SP and losing out considerable amount of muslim votes to congress.
· The state of RAJASTHAN where a tough battle between the BJP and congress was expected turned out to be a one sided battle.! Ashok gehlot swept the whole state and leaving just 4 seats for BJP.They lost the assembly elections here last year and it seems people didnt accepted their governance as per their liking.
· In gujrat,MP,jharkhand,Karnataka,Maharashta,Bjp did well like always but that room for improvement which they were expecting this time to happen failed.! Congress gained in these states which can be attributed to some of the above mentioned reasons.
· The southern states of Tamil nadu,Andhra pradesh,Kerala where there is no BJP presence,Congress did exceptionally well individually in AP and with DMK alliance in TN.!
The allaince with mamta bannerjee in WB at the crucial movement by congress resulted in a shock for the CPM.! But ultimately,BJP’s non-presence in these states and virtually no alliance resulted in a widening gap betwwen the two biggest national parties.
The BJP lost the plot in Punjab,haryana,Arunachal pradesh,orissa also on similar lines where sometimes their allainces failed or else they just could not bulid a positive image in voter’s mind.
The upper caste hindu brahmins still continues to support to BJP but it needs to understand the scale of this country.It needs to extend its appeal beyond the top leg of the varnas.If they believe in indian nationalism and not in hindu nationalism,then they have to come forward with the right people to propagate this message in the most positive manner it could be.
They have to build themselves in the southern states and come up with some strong allainces as we have seen some of the allies like BJD going away from them and JDU,akali dal criticising them openly.
If they are against minorities appeasement then they have to prove to the minorities also that they dont appease majority also.! By going with only one caste and religion a long term political ambition can never be fulfilled in a country like india.BJP needs to categorize key states where they can do fairly better than this time,states like UP,rajasthan and they have to start the work right now.
We can not ignore or isolate BJP as of now.They are strong contender which they have showed the congress in the past and they keep the capability to do in the future also.
But lot of introspection is required for them and decisive actions to be performed in near future for its resurrection.