Modi magic is back


After losing Delhi and Bihar, the Modi magic is now back with an impressive victory in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. The Narendra Modi-Amit Shah combine has effectively cobbled caste equations, focused on development and economic changes and sent a strong and convincing message of its Hindutva credentials by denying party ticket to any Muslim candidate in Uttar Pradesh.
BJP’s victory in Uttarakhand is also equally impressive, but the way it formed governments in Goa and Manipur can be justified only with the argument that in electoral politics, it’s always “Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar”.
The BJP has been successful in retaining its support base, which it had gained in 2014 Lok Sabha polls as the opposition parties remained scattered, unlike during Bihar assembly polls where Nitish Kumar led ‘Mahagadhbandhan” trounced a mighty and very aggressive BJP. The victory in Uttar Pradesh will definitely change the political equations in the coming years with the grand old party, the Congress, getting marginalised and seemingly beginning to crumble under its own weight. The only solace for the Congress is Captain Amrinder Singh’s victory in Punjab, that too, in the backdrop of anti-incumbency against the Akali-Dal-BJP government.
BJP’s successive victory in 2014 and in 2017 will change the overall feel of Uttar Pradesh politics in the days to come. The BJP will take all steps that are required to consolidate its position, aiming for another impressive win in UP which can contribute heavily to its tally in the next Lok Sabha elections. Ever since Modi came to power, his campaigns and decisions, including the demonetisation, seem to have convinced people that “at least, he tries and does something”.
Within the party, the Modi-Shah combine has also emerged strong. Very soon, the ruling party at the centre is all set to get a majority in the Rajya Sabha, which means that the government can push its agenda effectively. Besides, Modi now is in a position to get the candidate of his choice elected in the upcoming Presidential polls, due for later this year.
As the assemblies in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are scheduled to go for polls in November 2018, just six months before the April 2019 Lok Sabha polls, would be considered as crucial semi-final for the general elections. As BJP governments in these states are battling anti-incumbency, there is every possibility that the Modi-Shah combine may take some crucial decision to counter such potential challenge. Speculations are ripe that Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis would be moving to the Union cabinet.
Congress party’s repeated dim performance in the election, coupled with powerful regional satraps getting increasingly marginalised, on the other hand, might pave way for opposition unity against the BJP—as like the opposition parties united against the Congress in the post emergency scenario and on later occasions. That’s one major challenge Prime Minister Modi may face in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, even as he is basking under the glory of his impressive victory in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh.


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