Insular ideology

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/7/2019 11:08:49 AM IST

 Whatever is happening or is to happen between now and the May 2019 parliamentary election, will invariably be for political dividends but the people, as usual, would be short-changed. The opposition parties are divided among themselves about alignments or alliances. That is understandable and accepted since the regional parties have leaders with inflated egos which cannot fit their hats. However, what is more interesting is their common foe- Narendra Modi- whose stock is dwindling quite fast. Even the official Xinhua News Agency has said that Modi “has been losing popularity with each passing day”. The article written from New Delhi attributed the gradual decline to lynching incidents including what it described as the “not-so-successful economic policies of Demonetisation and GST (goods and services tax)”. Other analysts included the destruction of key Indian institutions by the Modi government from the Supreme Court to the RBI, from CBI to Election Commission, to the ED, to CIC and RTI, to CVC etc. Lokniti-CSDS (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies) poll “found that the drop in Modi’s popularity has been quite sharp”. Pointing to the recent by-polls in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and West Bengal, the article said that, the repeated defeats of BJP candidates in parliamentary by-polls were sufficient indicators that BJP is facing a surprising anti-incumbency quite early in its innings. The causes for such an early development was attributed to the various unpopular actions of the Modi government and the rampage by the fringe elements whose actions seem to have been justified by the statements of various ministers in the Modi government or BJP leaders of other states. The consistent defeats of the BJP in the parliamentary by polls indicate that the voters were clearly not in favour of the BJP. If the BJP explained these are inconsequential, the party faced shocking defeats in its own strongholds in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan and narrow loss in Madhya Pradesh. These defeats were like a huge writing on the wall for the Modi. The shocking defeats ought to send a clear message to Modi that voters have heard enough of his oratory but are more disenchanted with the contradiction and ambiguity of the government’s actions. These votes against the BJP were as much negative vote as the failure of the economic and other welfare policies of the party to alleviate the suffering of farmers and rural poor. After the clear and simple rejection, the BJP’s new gameplan for 2019 was to focus on dalits and lower castes. The shift was because BJP was losing popularity among the Dalits and lower caste people. Media and pollsters however gave a twist to the setbacks by explaining that the votes were not against Modi but against the local leaders. However, these “findings” could not explain the defeat of the party in Madhya Pradesh where Shivraj Singh Chouhan was most popular. It should be noted that people voted out Shivraj Singh Chouhan despite liking him. It is, therefore, possible that people may keep saying that they like Modi, but may still vote him out. The same happened in Uttar Pradesh too, where people said they liked Akhilesh Yadav but not his party. With more allies leaving Modi, his oratory and rhetoric have probably lost their appeal as the reality has sunk in. 

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