WHY BJP SHOULD READ THE ASSAM VERDICT WITH CAUTION?

Today was a day when BJP, the ruling national party, the chief group of the National Democratic Alliance, got another feather in its cap – towards its aspirations to become a true pan-India political party.

BJP, more than comfortably, won Assam, and got a fantastic headway into the North-East of the country – that has otherwise been the forte of Indian National Congress and regional political parties like Naga People’s Front, Sikkim Democratic Front, Mizo National Front or CPI(M) in Tripura.

And with it, the largest political party of the country, in terms of members, in terms of MLAs (in the state legislative assemblies), and in terms of MPs (in the parliament), effectively answered to the observations that it was trying to get a backdoor entry in India’s North-East by uprooting a democratically elected Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh. Arunachal Pradesh has a different government now – comprised of Congress rebels and supported by BJP.

But the verdict has its own cautionary tales.

BJP’s vote share has come significantly in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. The party, in spite of putting intense efforts, saw its vote share down to 10% from 17% in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Tamil Nadu was the same story where it came below 3% – from almost 6% in 2014.

And BJP’s good show in Assam is going to have a flip-side.

The anti-BJP faction is going to consolidate. When Nitish Kumar said the outcomes were not unexpected given anti-BJP parties failed to stitch an alliance together in Assam, like it was done in Bihar, it was a clear signal of the things to come.

And BJP should read it in the context of the fact that the party is going to lose Uttar Pradesh and Punjab polls the next year. What is left to be seen is the scale of BJP’s loss.

So, for BJP, it is time for some introspection based realpolitik.

To continue..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

CAN BJP GET WHAT IT GOT IN MAY 2014?

It was again a thoughtful selection by the folks working in Facebook backrooms or some algorithm working on my account this morning, if I can say so, about picking up one of my memories that I chose to scribble on my Facebook wall some time ago.

Yesterday, it was about what I had written on counting trends – on May 16, 2014 – the counting day – the counting day of the General Elections in 2014 – that BJP won comfortably (an unexpectedly, because a victory was in the air, but not with complete majority).

On a day when the 2016 assembly elections got over – on May 16, 2016 – with counting slated for May 19!

Today, it was again on a related issue – on the electoral behavior of Muslim voters.

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That was in 2014 – the year of the Narendra Modi wave. Two years later, the first real test is here.

The Narendra Modi wave is certainly in reels now. Even BJP has finally accepted this.

Muslims are even more polarized against BJP now. All the analytic opinions point to just one thing – that defeating BJP has become the primary objective of Muslim voters – and the miserable performance of Asaduddin Owaisi led AIMIM in Bihar polls is being seen as a testimony to that.

Two factors that were attributed to the massive victory BJP got in 2014 are not going to work for BJP here – because assembly polls are localized, and affected more readily by caste and local issues – and because of the rush of fringe voices ever since the BJP government came to the office.

The question is – can BJP achieve the Hindu vote polarization of 2014 – at least in Assam – the only state in this round of polls where BJP has some chance? Can the luck smile on it in other states, West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, especially in West Bengal and Kerala, states with sizeable Muslim population.

Certainly not!

And the question is – can BJP see a fractured Muslim vote again – like it happened in 2014 – helping the party electorally – something that it is hoping for in a state like Assam? –

Probably not!

Let’s see what happens on May 19, 2016.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

MAY AGAIN IS GOING TO BE THE MOST IMPORTANT MONTH IN INDIAN POLITICS..

Politically, May 16 may not be the biggest day this year in India’s socio-political landscape, like it was in 2014, but it started the race to gear up for what lies ahead – on May 19 – when counting for assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and West Bengal takes place.

Whatever it comes out to be, it will write a defining chapter in India’s politics because the nation would directly face the most important assembly polls from here – in Uttar Pradesh – that would, in turn, write the script of the electoral politics on display in 2019 parliamentary elections.

When I glanced at the my Facebook page today, I found what I had scribbled then. That was the day of counting of the world’s biggest democratic elections. Exit polls were in and the real-time trends had started telling the picture that would emerge finally.

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Exit polls have set the ball rolling for May 19 with conclusion of single phase polling in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry today. There are valid reasons on why or why not the exit poll results may fail. The analyses, the predictions, the projections, they will find their final edge on May 19 and it should be all clear by noon.

May 16 and May 19 may be two years and two days apart, but May again is going to be the most important month in Indian politics.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/