Opposition rallies around no-trust move called by YSR Congress and TDP, but government safe

News Snippets

  • Actor Pawan Kalyan says given its "negative" image, nobody in his right mind would align with the BJP now
  • Rahul says BJP spreading anger, only Congress can show the way forward
  • Congress wants voting machines to be dumped and paper ballots to return
  • Sonia Gandhi tears into NDA "misrule", calls Modi "dramebaaz."
  • Rahul Gandhi inaugurates the two-day plenary session of the Congress
  • An a/c mechanic, posing as doctor, accompanies a patient from Burdwan to Kolkata in West Bengal leading to the death of the patient
  • Commercial vehicles' life placed at 20 years, after which they will have to be scrapped
  • SC asks govt to place status of investigations in the PNB scam before the court in a sealed cover, govt protests
  • War in BCCI comes out in the open as CoA does not allow the acting secy to go to Sri Lanka
  • SC rejects GJM leader Bimal Gurung's plea for probe by central agency
  • Harsh Vardhan, science and tech minister, says Stephen Hawking had put Vedas above Einstein
  • Actor Irrfan Khan has rare tumour, goes abroad for treatment
  • Lt. Gen. Sarath Chand, vice-chief of army staff said that the budget dashed all hopes of modernizing the army by not providing resources
  • SBI cuts penalty on non-maintenance of minimum average monthly balance in savings accounts by more than 70%
  • Despite India developing Chabahar port, Iran offers Pak and China a role in it
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.

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