Narendra Modi didn’t campaign (or intensively campaigned) in the bye-elections held after BJP’s high voltage performance in the Lok Sabha election 2014 that made it the first party to get majority on its own after 1985.
And BJP languished in these bye-elections – first in Uttarakhand, then in four states including Bihar, and then in 9 states including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal.
The negative talking points against BJP’s performance simply outnumbered the few positives that it gained in these bye-elections with the later two important bypolls seen and analysed as ‘acid test’ or ‘semi final’ or ‘test of the Modi Wave’ before the upcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir and Jharkhand.
And BJP failed in these ‘semi-final’ sort of tests. Bypoll verdicts gave voices to everyone. Congress, JDU, Samajwadi Party, RJD, Shiv Sena, and other parties and the leaders of these outfits. They took on BJP with their customized reasons.
But the undercurrent was – assembly polls were different than parliamentary elections and BJP needed its allies. And the favourite talking point of the opponents was – Modi Wave was receding or had gone away, especially after poor show in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar bypolls.
But did Narendra Modi and the Modi Wave fail?
No. The Maharashtra and Haryana poll verdicts say so.
Modi campaigned extensively in these assembly polls, inviting sarcastic remarks from his opponents and allies that he should have stayed focused on delivering in Delhi. But Modi, in his workaholic work style, stayed focused on delivering his speeches reaching out to the electorate. And he promised what was his central plank during the Lok Sabha poll campaigning.
And BJP has registered historic victories in Harayana and Maharashtra assembly polls today.
It is to be seen in the context that BJP had no major political figure in these two states and the party had contested without projecting any chief-ministerial candidates. The central theme of campaigning was Narendra Modi. The party asked for votes in Narendra Modi’s name. And Narendra Modi was there, to establish direct contact. He exploited well the supporting but vital factors like anti-incumbency, government corruption and poor governance.
The analysis into the voting trends shows it has been like the Lok Sabha elections, beyond the boundaries of caste and regional considerations – voting in the name of the politics of development.
Electorate in the Lok Sabha elections bought what Modi promised and voters in these two assembly polls have once again expressed their faith in Modi and like the Lok Sabha elections, even in Maharashtra and Haryana, the ground earned by BJP was much beyond the BJP’s claim in these two states based on the party’s political history.
The verdicts today re-establish the Modi Wave discourse as the central theme of political analyses on upcoming elections, Jammu & Kashmir and Jharkhand.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/