18.9 C
New Delhi
Sunday 15 December 2019
India BJP in 2017: Modi's charisma remains intact

BJP in 2017: Modi’s charisma remains intact

New Delhi: Two contrasting assembly poll wins stood out in the BJP’s forward march that continued in 2017 – one was its astonishing scale of victory in Uttar Pradesh and another its surprisingly tough return to power in its bastion of Gujarat.

If the BJP’s huge win in the politically important Uttar Pradesh prompted many, including a key Opposition politician, to believe that its return to power in the Centre in 2019 was all but certain, the Gujarat result gave the Opposition hope as some fault lines emerged in an otherwise dominant saffron narrative.

As the year came to an end, what is, however, clear that it will go down as a high watermark for the party.

It was its most successful year after Narendra Modi led it to to power in the Centre in 2014 and its president Amit Shah went on to assert that its win in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur polls was even bigger than its victory in the last Lok Sabha polls.

Modi noted at a party meeting that the BJP with its allies were today ruling more states- 19 in total- than Indira Gandhi did at the height of her powers.

In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP reached close to the vote share of more than 40 per cent it had garnered in the last Lok Sabha polls, indicating that Modi’s charisma was more or less intact and its political project of Hindu consolidation while weakening caste alliances was working.

Its massive win in Uttar Pradesh and also in Uttarakhand, where the Congress tally fell to 11 from 32 while the BJP won 57 seats against 31 earlier, left the Opposition party dispirited and it was telling that it failed to form governments in Goa and Manipur, two states which threw a hung mandate with the Congress in lead.

Elections to five states, Punjab being the fifth one, spread across February and March, were held against the backdrop of the Modi government’s demonetisation decision in November 2016 and were seen as a first popular referendum on the exercise.

Hoping for a backlash, the Opposition went to town with stories of problems and hardships caused to the masses but was in for a shock when the results came.

The BJP’s scale of victory in Uttar Pradesh, where it won 325 seats in the 403-member assembly, was such that National Conference leader Omar Abdullah advised the Opposition to forget 2019 and prepare for 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

The SAD-BJP alliance was routed in Punjab by the Amarinder Singh-led Congress but it hardly mattered in the political discourse triggered by the saffron tsunami in Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha that had 543 elected members.

If the BJP got better of its rivals in electoral field, it outwitted them off it as well.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, a staunch critic of Modi and seen as an Opposition leader around which ‘secular’ parties could rally, changed camps overnight, dumping the RJD and the Congress for the BJP over issues of corruption involving RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family members.

As far as symbolism goes, Kumar’s embrace of Modi, with whom he once refused to share a stage, stood out for its projection of the BJP’s strength.

Its dominance was also underlined by its success in electing a first partyman as president with Ram Nath Kovind trouncing his rival Meira Kumar by getting over 65 per cent of votes.

However, if the year started and continued like a dream for the BJP, it did not really end the way its leaders would have envisaged. The BJP returned to power for a sixth consecutive term in Gujarat but with its lowest tally of all these six polls.

Many believed that it was largely Modi’s standing in his state and the formidable saffron organisation that spared the party blushes in its bastion state where the Congress machinery was seen comatose.

With another round of elections only months away, the new year will tell if 2017 gave the opposition false hopes or it finally manages to shows signs of putting up a real fight in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Among big states, the Congress-ruled Karnataka will go to the polls in the first half of this year followed by assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh- all ruled by the BJP- by the year end.


Subscribe to our newsletter

You will get all our latest news and articles via email when you subscribe

The email despatches will be non-commercial in nature
Disputes, if any, subject to jurisdiction in New Delhi

Leave a Reply


Justice That Is Instant Is Travesty

But neither the state nor society can wash their hands off this social craving for settling scores in the name of doing justice to the victim

Karnataka Voters Punished INC, JDS Leaders

Even the BJP was not confident of the result even as their leaders kept saying for public consumption they were winning all the 15 seats

The United States Of The World

The United States, stereotyped as the land of plenty and plentiful guns, is still a destination of choice for people from across the world

प्याज़ के आँसू न रोएँ — महंगाई से किसान, उपभोक्ता दोनों को फ़ायदा

जिस अल्प मुद्रास्फीति की वजह से वे सरकार से बहुत खुश थे, उसी 1.38 प्रतिशत की खाद्यान्न मुद्रास्फीति के कारण किसानों को अपने पैदावार के लिए समुचित मूल्य नहीं मिल रहे थे

CAB Can Correct Wrongs Of NRC

… if the government can fix the inept bureaucracy and explain what happens to those marked as aliens, as the neighbours are not taking them back
- Advertisement -


Gurdwara discards 30 kg of cooked dal, realising it was ‘plastic’

The historic Gurudwara Bangla Sahib realised again the next day that the lentils were fake but got alerted before the dal was cooked

Prashant Kishor to campaign for AAP in Delhi election

Prashant Kishor has been successful as an election strategist in most campaigns: BJP at Centre 2014, JDU in Bihar 2015, INC in Punjab 2017

Service sector picks pace; trade deficit reduces

Service exports stood at $ 17.70 billion in October, registering a growth of 5.25%; trade deficit declined from $ 17.58 billion in 2018 to $ 12.12 billion

Sabarimala verdict review: SC snubs Fathima, Bindu

Ignoring the court decision to refer the Sabarimala review pleas to a 7-judge bench, the petitioners tried to get an order to enter the shrine immediately

Andhra Cabinet okays Disha Bill that dictates judiciary

While ordering the prosecution to complete its work in 14 days is permissible, Andhra Pradesh cannot set a time limit for the judiciary

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

For fearless journalism

%d bloggers like this: