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Bjp’s Insurmountable Winning Strategies

by Rinku Khumukcham
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By: M.R. Lalu
Election results from the five states that went to polls recently were almost on the expected lines. The results are sure to change narratives in the days to come and the consolidation of power by the BJP in the four states by making a comeback would compel the regional parties to strategize their policies well before the 2024 general elections. And now this is going to be a cautious move as many aspiring regionalleaders are trying to put themselves on the national pedestal with meager public support outside their states.  Most of them would be seen skeptically holding hands with the like-minded and taking the most delicate move that they know would break any time at the wink of a slight disagreement. The BJP has successfully transformed the nature of politics, and the style with which it went on winning elections left all the other parties clueless. This winning spree has effectively demonstrated the existential crisis some parties began to experience and the Congress is sure to suffer this crisis with no scope of return, probably possible in the near future. Rahul Gandhi’s tweet soon after the results, had nothing new to reciprocate except with the same hackneyed stuff “Will try to learn from the defeat.” Legitimizing defeat as an achievement, the party and its leadership have not yet educated themselves to learn lessons from its multiple downfalls. What probably the party failed to conceptualize is to generate a sense of commitment in politics to counter the style and system and superiority with which the BJP did it.  BJP’s return to power in a state such as Uttar Pradesh should become a subject of study for other parties. A state driven by caste dynamics and various other polarizing situations, BJP’s victory in Uttar Pradesh for the second time should tell us the electioneering tactics with which it successfully crushed the electoral prospects of its main challenger the Samajwadi Party. 
Most of the parties in India, perhaps underideological compulsions, kept the BJP at bay for the fear of being reprimanded as communal. This gap was the space that the BJP sagaciously used to build its pro-nationalistic narratives. L.K. Advani’s Rath Yatra was an apocalyptic beginning the party started its journey with and since then the electorates of India have been watching the ups and downs the BJP has been through. From the temple movement in 1992 to the beginning of the construction of the Ram temple in 2021 in Ayodhya, the party has been consistently banking on what its critics call the Hindu Nationalism presumably designed by the Sangh Parivar. Though the Rath Yatra could turn the political spectrum in the country storm-tossed, the BJP could establish its presence as a national party in the following years and that was the beginning of the fall of the Congress. Though L.K. Advani’s dream to become the Prime Minister remained unfulfilled, his aggressive Rath Yatra could begin the discourse of Hindu Nationalism in India, infuriating many but fertilizing to the extent of BJP grabbing power throughout the country.
From 13 days to 13 months to a full five year in government, A.B. Vajpayee, one of the most admired Indian politicians taught the Indian polity the possibility and dynamics of coalition politics. His long parliamentary stint of six years was filled with great oratory and poetic diplomacy. He was one of the best Hindi orators that the Indian Parliament had ever seen. As a young parliamentarian, after Nehru’s death, Vajpayee’s obituary speech in Parliament is known to be one of his best renditions. BJP has never had dearth of such great orators. From Vajpayee to Modi, the party had orators who could connect with the assemblage cutting across borders of states conveniently conveying the idea of India. His tenure as the Prime Minister had been tempestuous with the Kandahar plane hijack and his well-conceived but terribly failed Lahore Bus diplomacy. His bus to Lahore could not reach its diplomatic destination as an inimical Pakistan from behind the hills in the Himalayas conspiratorially began to intrude into the Indian territory.   With his innate politeness and statesmanship, Dr. Manmohan Singh remained a genuinely accepted personality throughout his tenure but pitiably failed to communicate with the electorate in the standard of the masses.   
The success that the BJP made under the leadership of Narendra Modi is a mixture of this connection that he managed to maintain so far with the people and the reputation he was able to secure for his country internationally. Entry of Yogi Adityanath into the state politics of Uttar Pradesh was evidently a representation that the party was rumored to have showcased as its Hindutva symbolism. The level of intellectual animosity with which he was vilified in India and abroad was terrible. From the Washington Post’s “Militant Monk”, he could catapult himself to the level of the “People Monk” of Uttar Pradesh, winning hearts of people with multiple welfare schemes introduced for all. Successfully implementing welfare schemes, carefully quashing the populist caste definitions of the opposition, the saffron clad man rallied his party into a comfortable victory.
Modi and Yogi were not always in the good books of the media. After the Gujrat train carnage and the subsequent riots, Modi, as the Chief Minister of Gujarat was equally vituperative in India and abroad with a lot of hate-mongering happening against him. Yogi, for that matter, was equally subjected to exasperating media trials when the country was at the peak of its mounting covid cases, and from the holy Ganges emanated the stinking smell of unidentified dead bodies. His Anti-Romeo Squads had broken the backbones of eve-teasers and made the state a place for women to freely venture out alone. Despite the multiple welfare schemes that he could effectuate and the humongous mandate that he managed to win in his favor, it is too premature to take him to be a potential successor to Modi. Congress leaders in the party, confining themselves in the political cocoon of Lutyens’ Delhi, are still unable to figure out the reach of the BJP and its leaders especially Modi among the electorate. Yogi’s entry into the bandwagon as a strong man winning the most populous state second time, definitely strengthens the party’s prospects further. Small regional parties are nibbling at the vote bank of Congress without much damage being caused to the BJP and the general elections 2024 will be an interesting event to look forward to, as ripples of a third front in formation is visible in the horizon. But the leaders to stitch the coalition are still clueless without knowing where to begin the stitching, on a cloth which is mostly torn and tattered. One thing is sure, they cannot jump into the fire of electoral politics with the slogan “Modi Hatao” alone. This time they have to face the influence of the duo, Modi and the saffron clad Yogi nationally, probably learning from their winning strategies, before making brusque political somersaults.  

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