Indian regional polls 2017: Anti-incumbency, Congress-SP and media management cause big win for BJP! (II)

-Dr. Abdul Ruff
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Part-2

 

Apparently the Modi government has done everything possible not to let the voters to make the by polls as the referendum on the crucial demonetization move and PM Modi fully succeeded in that respect. The official results  of UP polls clearly show voters  have not got the  real opportunity to express their opinions on the subject on the basis  how much they struggled for money and suffered waiting at banks in long queues.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as a political offshoot of Hindutva RSS with links to all major parties in the country, including Congress and SP, has remained a communally divisive party seeking votes on Hindutva agenda rules and proved its Hindutva mettle in the poll once again in 5 regional polls 2017.

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Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand

 

Uttar Pradesh with maximum MPs and MLAs in the country decide the fate of national politics and it has given the edge to the BJP in both Houses of Parliament to pass any bill or make amendments to the Constitution to make Indian a Hindu nation just like Israeli fascist regime trying to make Israel an exclusive Jewish state.

Fanaticism and occupational crimes bring India and Israel together.

Uttar Pradesh is a large state crucial in deciding the national government formation and BJP wanted win the state for many reasons like Babri Mosque, Rajya Sabha majority, silence the Muslim population which about 29% in this Northern state which previously returned 69 Muslim MLAs.

In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP won 312 seats, including some of the Muslim-dominated seats such as Deoband, Chandpur, Moradabad Nagar, Noorpur, Naanpara and Nakur where analysts feel that Muslim votes got divided between Muslim candidates of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. Muslim candidates, however, managed to win seats like Meerut, Kairana, Najibabad, Moradabad Rural, Sambhal, Rampur and Suar-Tanda.

UP then ruled by former defence minister Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi party (SP) under his son Yadav and Uttarakhand ruled by Congress party have conveniently stood by BJP. In fact, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have given a complete turnaround to Modi and his BJP after the backlash of demonetization. Media reports suggest federal government has tampered with the voting machines to make BJP the “historic” winner.

The BJP won with a clear majority in Uttarakhand with 57 seats in the 70-member assembly, ousting the Congress led by Harish. In politically crucial Uttar Pradesh, the saffron party witnessed an unprecedented victory with 321 seats, while the Congress-Samajwadi party alliance bagged 54, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) got 19 and others 18 seats respectively.

The BJP won a three-fourths majority in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly and is returning to power after 14 years. Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state of India, with a population of more than 200 million. Muslims form around 19pc of the population.

Showing astonishing performance, the BJP got 312 seats in the 403-member UP Assembly. Its allies Apna Dal(S) and SBSP bagged nine seats and four seats, respectively, taking the total tally of the combine to 325. On the other hand, the SP won 47 seats while its ally the Congress got pathetic 7 seats. The BSP won just 19 seats, finishing a dismal third. BJP emerged victorious in an unprecedented showing in UP winning 312 seats with almost 40% of the vote share. The Congress-Samajwadi combine with about 54 seats and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samawadi Party reduced to an insignificant 19 seats. Sify’s Satish Acharya depicted the win rightly in this cartoon – no one expected the victory would be so big.

 

After a long delay, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leader PM Modi decided to make a Hindu/tva cleric to be the CM of restive Uttar Pradesh where the Supreme Court, under tremendous pressure to announce a pro-Hindutva judgment  on the ghastly destruction of Babri Mosque , is on its way to pronounce its final judgment as the appointment of Saffron man Yogi could terrorize the judges of Apex court to deliver a pro Hindutva judgment in support of Hindu criminals who pulled won the historic Mosque as national heritage.

BJP named fanatic Hindu radical Yogi Adityanath as the new chief minister of Uttar Pradesh a week after the poll results were announced. Spreading hatred against Muslims and Islam in order to get Hindu votes, Adityanath is known for his hardline Hindutva ideology and making anti-Muslim statements. He is popular among his supporters for his fiery speeches against minorities. The chief minister-designate also runs an extremist organisation, Hindu Yuva Vahini, which has been accused of instigating communal tension, said The Hindu. During the recent elections in the highly-polarized state, he had stirred controversy by making claims of discrimination against Hindus and stoked anti-Muslim sentiments. He had criticized allocation of land for graveyards for Muslim community. Adityanath has also been accused of spearheading a forced conversion initiative, called Ghar Wapsi, which targeted Muslims and Christians.

In appointing Yogi, an unelected member of UP assembly, the Chief Minister of the state when 312 of elected MLAs of BJP are available for the top job is indeed strange. BJP and PPM Modi has ignored the valued of mandate given by the people.  Why a saffron cleric has been chosen to head the government is a myth.  Not even one among 322 MLAs is suited for governance and that is the truth about BJP and RSS.

During the recent deterioration of relations between India and Pakistan, Yogi passed statements against Bollywood actors who supported the continuation of cultural ties between the two countries.

UP elections were expected to be indeed a litmus test for PM Modi’s post demonetisation from which entire nation suffered for months. Unfortunately the issue was not raised by the opposition in the campaign as seriously as it deserved. BJP and Modi had a cake walk almost everywhere. Fanatically extreme right wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which grew and expanded its Hindu vote bank by targeting Muslims, Islam, mosques, Pakistan, China, etc, has come out in flying colors. UP has revealed that the ruling BJP with huge money packets directly from banks and a worst ever split politics in the state has made full use of anti-incumbency to its advantage.

People seem to have voted for BJP not for what Modi said or did not say, because they are disillusioned with corrupt parties like Congress, BSP and SP etc that have looted nation’s resources and ruined nation’s image. The local BJP people have clean image because they don’t enjoy power and money.
UP has taught the SP for its divisive bickering and self projection of son Yadav and its essentially anti-Muslim politics. People hate Congress party and punished Sp for opting to play politics by alliance with Congress. Son Yadav refused to distribute tickets to father’s candidates. Akhilesh misread the people’s minds. Narendra Modi‏’s assistants tweeted: ” I salute the hardwork of BJP Karyakartas. They have tirelessly worked hard at the grassroots level & won the confidence of the people”. That means work at grassroots and media management by which PM Modi’s campaign speeches were relayed directly and he dominated TV channel reports. Rahul or any other leader did not find similar space in media.
Modi and Amit Shah have played the social engineering arithmetic very well and that helped the party in winning big in UP elections. The BJP campaign strategy in UP benefited it in neighbouring Uttarakhand as well. However, in Punjab, the BJP and Akalis bit the dust. It has even failed to win 15 seats in Goa, despite having a leader like Manohar Parrikar,” said the editorial. “Manipur too has not given a strong mandate to BJP.

Shiv Sena attributed BJP’s big win of BJP in Uttar Pradesh to the “carrot” of loan waiver dangled to farmers by Modi ahead of polls and said it was not a vote on demonetization. The ties between the two allies, who fought the recent civic elections in Maharashtra separately, have been strained and Sena has often needled the BJP and Modi. “The Uttar Pradesh mandate is because of the loan waiver promise made by Prime Minister Modi to farmers during his election campaigning. It is not a reflection of demonetization decision,” an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamna said today. The editorial also invoked the issue of Ram temple in Ayodhya and wondered whether BJP would initiate its construction.

Modi succeeded in polarization of votes by making “shamshan-kabristan” remarks and playing the Hindutva card during the UP campaign. “It would have been better, had he (Modi) played the cards of uniform civil code and Ram Mandir during the campaign,” said the editorial.
As compared to the strong and genuine leadership of Nitish Kumar in Bihar and Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, the childish leadership of Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi was rejected by the people of UP. Apparently, “Yadavs and Dalits as well as Muslims, have voted for BJP to teach a lesson to Akhilesh Yadav.

Nitish pointed out that the Congress-Samajwadi alliance was not successful in Uttar Pradesh like the grand alliance in Bihar. Congratulating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for its splendid victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said the opposing parties ignored the fact that demonetisation gave satisfaction to the poor. Nitish pointed out that the Congress-Samajwadi alliance was not successful in Uttar Pradesh like the grand alliance in Bihar. He also stated that there was no need to oppose demonetisation in the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls as the poor felt contentment that this move has hurt the rich. Nitish added that several parties ignored this fact.
A day after the so-called ‘Modi wave’ helped BJP storm to power in Uttar Pradesh after 14 years, securing an astounding three-fourths majority in a keenly-contested Assembly polls, senior Congress leader and former finance & home  minister P Chidambaram said that Narendra Modi was the most dominant political leader in the country at present. He also said that the scale of the BJP’s victory in UP and Uttarakhand was unprecedented and mind-boggling. He further wrote, among other things, “The man of the moment is Narendra Modi. He has convincingly demonstrated that his appeal is pan-Indian. It extends from Gujarat and Goa to Assam and Manipur. After slipping badly in Bihar, Modi has regained his prime position as a master of communication and show and make entire media network to telecast live. The text of his message in 2014 was development, in 2017, he has cleverly altered the text to development+ and the debate has to now focus on that elusive and indefinable element that he has added to the text of his message. The sab in ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ has been subtly altered to include certain sections of the people and exclude others.”

The anti-Islamic and anti-secular process by targeting historic Babri Mosque started by PM Nehru and continued by Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and PV Narasimha Rao and Kalyan Singh would be expected now to be completed by the Yogi. That would help the ailing corrupt Congress party to get back to political business once again.
Tampering of voting machines (EVMs)

 

Apart from effective media management, consolidation of caste votes of Hindus, taking over the Congress party’s Hindu vote banks, money distribution, door to door campaigns, targeting corruption of Congress regime and absence befitting reply form Congress and others, the BJP seems to have resorted to illegal tampering of voting machines (EVMs) to make BJP candidates emerge victories in most seats. Election commission’s implicit role in the ghastly operations should be investigated..
It is not merely an exercise in imagination that the BSP leader and former CM Mayawati raised the issue of polling mischief by way of voting machine tampering in UP and other places during the poll that gave an all round advantage to the ruling BJP. Voting machines are made and controlled by people concerned and possibly any maneuvering can be exercised to benefit a particular party or candidate. Earlier, Tamil nadu CM Jayalalithaa also raised the issue seriously but no action was forthcoming from the central government. Indian government should assure the people there were no tampering incidents in the polls.
That BJP got such a historic mandate in UP and Uttarakhand while a social worker who fasted for 16 years against the special military power that causes human right problem.

Victory of BJP in UP would signal a cake walk for that party in the next parliamentary poll as well. But the people keep shuffling the governments and readily offer alternative mandates. They also, like cricketers do, opt for draws  or hung parliament and assemblies.

 

AAP’s disappointment

A new concept of Indian politics, Aam Admi party is trying extend its influence in select states and quietly without having national forum to devise strategies as its founder leader Kejriwal decides everything singlehandedly mainly to retain the image of the party as being non-corrupt and pro-people in content.

Aam Admi party and its founder Arvind Kejriwal are very dear to Delhiites for the immense services they have done to Delhi even before the AAP came into being. Delhiites trust them and treat them as their own. However, that is not the case in other states where the AAP leaders have not served them. Two years ago, Aam Admi party (AAP) had scored a sensational victory in Delhi, decimating rivals BJP and Congress. It also debuted in parliament by winning four seats in Punjab in 2014 – the equivalent of 33 seats.
People of India hear a lot about AAP and its leader but they have no firsthand experience with them and hence they have no trust of them. Only exception is Punjab where AAP miraculously won 4 MPs even while it could not get even one in Delhi as Kejriwal went all the way to UP to contest against PM Modi and lost there.
AAP’s entry in poll scene of Goa and Punjab and hectic campaigns made the both BJP and Congress run for shelter and shade and for this reason, both national parties want to end the party. This could be the reason why BJP could not retain the government in both states by not been able to secure majority of seats.

AAP contested Goa with high hopes, but could not open its account. In Goa, they believed that AAP might replace the Congress. So one can ask, what has gone wrong for the party? Was it a bubble? Or is AAP just a one-state party?

Thought AAP failed miserably in Goa, it did manage seats in Punjab. Goa did not elect any AAP candidate, but Punjab has elected many MLAs for the first time in the state assembly. The agrarian state witnessed a big shake-up, throwing the ruling SAD-BJP alliance out of power. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which had made a big pre-poll buzz, came in second place with 20 seats.

The exit polls predicted an AAP victory; others claimed a photo finish between AAP and the Congress. During the campaign, every analyst who visited Punjab vowed that AAP had a very strong presence. It was universally acclaimed that AAP had a massive wave in the Malwa region which commands more than half the seats in the state, though there were weaknesses in the Manjha and Doab areas. One channel wanted to know if Arvind Kejriwal would go to Punjab and leave Delhi, which I denied in the strongest possible terms. In fact there was a time when trends showed on TV that AAP was trailing even the Akali-BJP alliance at third position. But finally it is the Number Two Party.

The popular mandate of Punjab was with Congress, as the party received 38.5 percent (59,24,995) votes in the election followed by SAD at 25.3 percent (38,98,161) while AAP came third in terms of votes polled at 23.8 percent (36,59,266). BJP received a meagre 5.3 percent (8,19,927) votes. There were 1,145 candidates in the fray with all the top-three contenders — Congress, SAD-BJP and AAP — fielding 117 candidates. d AAP won 20 seats. Congress’ chief ministerial candidate Captain Amarinder Singh won from Patiala. Even though he lost Lambi to Parkash Singh Badal, he has much to be happy about. There are, however, a few clear trends that have emerged in the elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and to a lesser extent, in Goa.
It is a disappointment for AAP in Goa because Delhi’s massive mandate raised the hopes of the people that AAP would emerge as a principle party at the national level. After that historic verdict, AAP had decided to contest elections in Punjab. AAP started focusing on the organisation and the idea was to consolidate the gains of the parliamentary elections of 2014 when the party had won four seats. At that time, the party had lost every seat outside Punjab, including in Delhi. As the party got to work in Punjab, it was enthused to see the energy and empathy for the party at the grassroot level. Soon enough the media also assumed that AAP could win more than 80 seats (of 117); the same was predicted by Huffington Post which said that AAP would be the new king of Punjab politics.

What really happened in Punjab where AAP could not get a simple majority? This is not the first time that AAP has suffered a rather humiliating defeat. After the 2014 parliamentary elections, AAP was carpet-bombed with criticism. It contested more than 400 seats, but could win only 4. But it bounced back with a thundering margin in the Delhi election and re-wrote electoral politics. AAP won with a historic mandate. It was nothing less than a revolution because it humbled two very powerful political parties who had a wealth of experience in fighting innumerable elections.

Punjab elections have proved that AAP has the potential for a bigger political outpost. No other regional party has this distinction. AAP is better off even in defeat than the Samajawadi Party, the BSP, Shiv Sena, the Trinmool Congress, the DMK, the AIADMK, the BJD, NCP etc. AAP’s opponents shouldn’t commit the mistake of taking it lightly. Arvind Kejriwal addressed big rallies in MP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, UP, Jharkhand in the month of December, just after the announcement of demonetization by the Prime Minister Modi. The response was very encouraging. The lesson for the party is to work hard to build the organisation, convert sympathy among people into votes. It has to build a cadre and keep the morale of the organisation up which is another challenge for the party.

AAP has shown the path in Delhi, and in Punjab too, that clean candidates with honest money can also contest, win and become the member of the legislature. AAP candidates did not distribute money and liquor to bribe voters and yet they came out victorious. It’s a huge leap in Indian politics.

In 1984, the BJP could win only two seats. It was also pronounced dead and buried. Today, the BJP has replaced the Congress and it is the most dominant political force. There is more to come from AAP.

The silver lining for AAP in these elections is that it today is the main opposition party in Punjab which is no mean achievement. Let’s not forget the fact that AAP is only a four-year-old party. And it was fighting assembly elections in this state for the first time. For a first-timer, it is a great beginning. Many political parties took years and many elections to achieve what AAP has accomplished in its first attempt. In four years’ time, AAP has a government in one state, which is doing path-breaking work in the areas of education, health and drinking water; AAP has set the benchmark in honest and transparent governance in Delhi and now in another state, it is in the opposition.

Kejriwal is a romantic leader who thinks people just elect him for what he is. He refuses to tour the nation or appoint a national committee to spread the message of AAP. He behaves like Zamindar (rural lord) runs the party like a company and autocratically. he needs to change if AAP to take roots in the nation.

AAP is here to stay in Indian politics. Those who think that AAP’s future is bleak are going to be proven wrong again.

 

(More to come…)

Dr Abdul Ruff

Prolific writer, Educationist; Independent Analyst; Investigative journalist, Columnist contributing articles to many newspapers and journals on world politics; Expert on Mideast affairs, Chronicler of foreign occupations & freedom movements (Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc.) Chancellor-Founder of Center for International Affairs (CIA); Commentator on world affairs & sport fixings, Former university teacher; Author of eBooks/books; *Editor: International Opinion, Foreign Policy; Palestine Times: website: http://abdulruff.wordpress.com/ email abdulruff_jnu@yahoo.com;Phone*: 91-7293435028 *Thanks the remuneration if sent to my State Bank of India - Account No: **62310377429 Bank Code: **SBIN0020731 *(Earlier it was State bank of Hyderabad)

One comment on “Indian regional polls 2017: Anti-incumbency, Congress-SP and media management cause big win for BJP! (II)

  • March 23, 2017 at 11:21 pm
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    EVM rigging is the only way that BJP could win so many seats

    Reply

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