oppn parties Bursting The BJP Balloon, And How!

News Snippets

  • Ban on international flights extended till July 31
  • Reliance launches JioMeet to take on Zoom and other virtual meeting places
  • ICMR says the Covid-19 vaccine made in India, Covaxin, might be launched as early as 15th August
  • The Permanent Court for Arbitration says India is entitled to compensation in the Italian marines' case
  • China says it is "groundless and exaggerated" to claim that it follows expansionist policies
  • In a message to China, PM Modi says the era of "expansionism" is over
  • Prime Minister Modi says India will never bow to any world power
  • Film choreographer Saroj Khan breathes her last
  • China bans access to Indian news websites
  • PM Modi says that as Unlock-02 kicks in and more people resume working, people have to follow the rules even more religiously
  • PM Modi says that all citizens need to be vigilant against people who do not follow the rules in force, like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing
  • PM Modi warns the country that with the onset of the monsoon, more seasonal diseases will strike and citizens have to be more disciplined
  • Hero Cycles to buy the struggling Atlas Cycle group
  • RIL to buy the retail businesses of Future Group
  • Import licensing to be put in place for AC's TV's and other non-essential items
Prime Minister Modi visits Leh and Nimu in Ladakh to take stock of the situation arising out of the LAC stand-off with China and praises the soldiers injured in the Galwan clash
oppn parties
Bursting The BJP Balloon, And How!

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.

Our Special Correspondent had it as wrong as the exit polls. He had predicted a clean sweep by the BJP in Haryana and the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in Maharashtra just a couple of days ago. But in the end, the BJP alliance won in Maharashtra with a hugely reduced margin and Haryana threw up a hung assembly. Obviously, the results surprised everyone including the ruling party, the Opposition, the psephologists and the political commentators. It also proved that most of the times it is impossible to predict the public mood until the votes are counted.

The Congress and the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) almost dislodged the BJP in Haryana and the NCP and the Congress put up a spirited fight in Maharashtra despite the consolidation of the saffron votes. The BJP was not expecting this. It had counted on the groundswell of support for its moves in Kashmir to get it through its first test after the general election. But the results prove that in state elections, bread and butter issues are more important that hyped-up nationalism.

Both the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra and the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana did not have a glowing record. In fact, they ran a pedestrian government and were hence facing huge anti-incumbency. Ideally, they would have been shown the door if the opposition had managed to run an effective campaign. But in the end, the overpowering organizational strength of the BJP and the Shiv Sena made them cross the finishing line in Maharashtra and the lack of the same in the Congress, coupled with the rise of the JJP, prevented the opposition from putting it across the BJP in Haryana.

The results clearly show that at least in the states the BJP, or any of its alliance with any party or parties, is not invincible. The BJP is not as big a juggernaut as it is made out to be by a section of the media. Nationally, it can ride on the huge brand equity of Narendra Modi but when it comes to state elections, it is just like any other party and the opposition must draw up a plan to call its bluff from now on. They have lost too many elections and must learn from them to counter the BJP and start winning.