OPINIONS : Strongly Expressed

Thursday, September 20, 2018

People Are Talking About

rahulgandhi Shivbhakt
Why Doubt A Pilgrim’s Word?
Asia Cup: India beat Pakistan by 8 wickets after a stellar show by bowlers who skittled out Pak for 162

News Snippets

  • The convoy of BJP state president Dilip Ghosh was attacked in Contai in West Bengal. Ghosh was not hurt.
  • Two side roads being built to ease traffic congestion due to the collapse of Majerhat Bridge in Kolkata will miss the October 8 deadline
  • Mohan Bhagwat says RSS does not want to foist its ideology on anyone
  • In a rare admission, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat says Congress played a big role in the freedom struggle
  • SC to examine evidence in hand of Pune Police relating to the arrest of 5 rights activists
  • SC allows manufacture and sale of Saridon, Dart and Piriton Expectorant, the three drugs that were banned with 325 others recently
  • Nitish Kumar says that a seat-sharing deal has been finalized with the BJP, with his party getting a respectable share
  • One of the three prime accused in Rewari rape case arrested
  • Left wins all posts in JNU students' polls
  • Poll strategist Prashant Kishor joins JD(U)
  • Clashes in JNU over elections for student body
  • Pune school principal, who is also a priest, booked for sexual abuse of male student
  • Rewari rapists called a doctor after they panicked when the girl's condition deteriorated
  • Research by Dr Himmatrao Bawaskar shows that nearly 95% people with ear crease are likely to have heart disease
  • DINs of over 21 lakh individuals who failed to submit KYC will be frozen by the MCA making them ineligible for board positions in companies
wilting lotus
Punjab, Gujarat and Now Rajasthan: Is the Lotus Wilting?

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

The scale on which the BJP has been decimated in the by-polls in Rajasthan is mindboggling and perhaps unprecedented. Consider the facts. The BJP won the Ajmer Lok Sabha seat in 2014 with a majority of 1.7 lakh votes. This time it lost by a margin of nearly 85000 votes. In Alwar, it had won by 2.83 lakh votes. The Congress won it this time by nearly 2 lakh votes. In Mandalgarh assembly, the Congress won by 13000 votes. In all three places, the swing in votes away from the BJP was over 15 percent. These figures cannot be put down to just plain anti-incumbency. These figures show that even the core voters – those who traditionally support the BJP, come what may – are also going against the party. A swing of 3 to 5 percent is often viewed as anti-incumbency vote as fence sitters not approving the ruling party’s record can go against it. But such huge swings are matters of concern and more than being negative voting against the BJP, it can be taken as positive voting for the Congress.

Although the Raje government has introduced many welfare schemes in Rajasthan, she tripped in the by polls due to many factors. First and foremost, the selection of candidates was faulty. Then, she underestimated the organizational strength of the Congress. She could not gauge the underlying anger in communities such as the Rajputs, the Brahmins and the Jats. She could not comprehend the distress over Pehlu Khan’s lynching and the general deterioration of law and order in the state. Despite being a pioneer in land law reform and introducing government-funded health insurance schemes for the poor, the Raje government could not tackle farmer distress and law and order. It also alienated powerful sections of the Hindu higher castes. That has become its undoing.

There must be deep worry lines on Amit Shah’s forehead after these results. Punjab and Gujarat have already shown that just trying to create divisions between communities will not help the party. People vote on hope for some time. After that they vote on performance. In state after state, the BJP governments are doing little to alleviate the sufferings of the people. Instead, cow vigilantes and other criminals are being given a free run to foment trouble. Religion can excite people only on full stomachs. When there is no job and the stomachs are empty, the ire is vented on the government through negative voting. The BJP has only one more year to reverse the situation. Otherwise, their footprint will start vanishing from large parts of the country.

In Depth

majerhatbridge

Majerhat Bridge Collapse: Same Old Story of Shamelessness

Editor's Pick

rajya-sabha-deputy-chairman-election-759

Rajya Sabha: BJP Outfoxes The Congress – And The Opposition

mobiles