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Ae Bhai..! Ye Public Hai.. Sab Jaanti Hai

   By Vijay Darda | 14-03-2022

Why did the BJP succeed in retaining power? AAP given a chance in Punjab and why did the Congress collapse?

Vijay Darda

Long before the exit polls could predict the results, I had told my colleagues that Yogi Adityanath’s government was returning to power in Uttar Pradesh. BJP would get more than 250 seats. Many disagreed with me as the wind was blowing in favour of the Samajwadi Party. However, I was keeping a close eye on the working style of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who kept working hard in UP. Indeed, the credit for this victory goes to this triumvirate.

The prime minister infused life in the party’s agenda of Sab Ka Sath Sab Ka Vikas to ensure development of all, women’s empowerment, the implementation of social schemes and the confidence that social engineering instilled, the strategy that Amit Shah weaved, the rule of law galvanised by Yogi Adityanath and the image of a fear-free UP; all these factors paved the way for BJP’s victory.

Akhilesh Yadav tried his best and left no stone unturned to change the direction of the wind towards him but the chair still eluded him. The reason for this is that Narendra Modi, Amit Shah or Yogi are in the field 365 days a year. Their workers are always in the field. I remember how RSS and BJP workers helped people during the difficult times of Covid pandemic, while most leaders of other parties remained indoors.

During elections also, other parties jumped into the fray just a few months in advance, whereas the RSS and the BJP were already present there. All these factors created a great impact. The public knows everything and everyone and can distinguish a leader from an actor.

Perhaps it happened for the first time in Uttar Pradesh that caste and sectarian politics did not work. Muslims did not vote for Owaisi. They did not vote for Congress either because they realised that voting for these parties means wasting votes. The wind was blowing in favour of SP, so they voted for it. Farmers also supported the SP.

Mayawati was under so much pressure due to the cases against her that she left the field even before the elections, but still she hoped that if she got 20-25 seats, she would continue to bake her political bread. However, her voters shattered this illusion and voted for the BJP. Meanwhile, it happened for the first time in UP that the chief minister was reelected after ruling for five years.

I never look at any situation from a political point of view but analyse it on the basis of reality. There is no harm in saying that it is because of his ability to make the impossible possible that Narendra Modi has emerged as the Shankaracharya of Indian politics. His dignity has shifted from that of a politician to being a saintly statesman.

While attending a programme in 2012, I had called Modi ji the ‘lion of Gujarat’ and ‘a political saint’. This statement had stirred the hornets’ nest! Modi ji, who was present on the occasion said, “You called me a lion, a saint but unfortunately, you will face a lot of trouble.” I really had to suffer a lot.

Well, I am talking about elections, so I recall that even Aaditya Thackeray had reached UP! He had announced to contest 100 seats but contested only 37 seats and all his party candidates forfeited their deposits! Same is the case with Shiv Sena in Goa.

Let us now look at the plight of the Congress party. Priyanka Gandhi was camping in UP and playing on the front foot but what happened? The Congress has been wiped out. The seats in Hathras and Lakhimpur Kheri where she had launched an agitation were also bagged by the BJP! Rahul Gandhi has already lost the Lok Sabha election from Amethi, which was considered a Congress fiefdom. The party could not retain Rae Bareli in Assembly elections either!

I had written long ago in this column that Priyanka Gandhi should have been introduced in politics ten to twelve years ago. It’s late now. Congress should introspect now. People are not complaining about the Gandhi family, but the complaint is that those who have mass base are being ignored and humiliated. The person who has no support base is being crowned general secretary! Seeing the sordid condition of the party, veteran Congress leader A K Antony announced his retirement. I feel that in the coming days many leaders will leave the party because nobody cares for them.

I do not agree with Modi ji that there should be a Congress-free India. There must be a strong opposition in a democracy, but who will play this role? The Opposition does not behave like the Opposition. Seeing the functioning of Congress, I suspect whether Congress has internally joined hands with BJP? Otherwise, why does it show the door to those candidates who have the potential to win?

Congress should blame itself for destroying itself in Punjab. Had it not made a mess of itself, the party would not have been in the present ignoble situation? Capt Amarinder Singh lost, Navjot Singh Sidhu also lost. People said they don’t want drama anymore! Congress itself is to blame for its defeat in Punjab. Arvind Kejriwal’s party AAP has been given a chance by the people in Punjab because that party has proved that it can run the government well by giving a clean government in Delhi.

The promises made by AAP were not political. The party fulfilled them. He carried out remarkable works like free electricity to the poor, improvement in the condition of mohalla clinics and schools. Just as Mamata Banerjee built her own stature at the national level, Arvind Kejriwal has made his presence felt at the national level. Kejriwal stands to benefit immensely as he hails from a Hindi speaking state.

The win of BJP in Manipur was a foregone conclusion. After all, the BJP and the RSS have expanded their base in the north-eastern states even as the Congress has destroyed itself there as well. Congress has also lost Uttarakhand and Goa. Uttarakhand seemed to be moving towards the Congress but Harish Rawat’s rhetoric in favour of one community ruined the opportunity. When this happened, I told a friend that Congress has gone from here! And exactly that happened.

As far as Goa is concerned, all the credit for the victory goes to Devendra Fadnavis. He won the losing battle by instilling clever strategy, solidarity and confidence. A friend of mine even jokingly said that until Maharashtra’s seat is not vacant, Fadnavis should be made the Chief Minister of Goa..!

Meanwhile, people are again asking as to why the Congress does not realise that it is not only hurting itself, but also hurting the country. Actually, it is only the Congress that has the potential to provide an alternative to the BJP. Regional parties cannot be an option in this regard. You cannot make a six foot man by adding three 2-foot men! The G-23 leaders of the Congress have nothing to lose. They should now raise a strong voice so that the Congress can be saved.

To amuse the mind, Congress can say that BJP also had two seats once but today it has emerged as the largest party. What if we also came down..? We will reach the previous level again! For now, this idea is good to amuse my heart, Ghalib..!


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