On Shaky Grounds: When Modi-Wave Hit These States Hard

If this Modi-wave continues, which will be clear after he takes up the work after his swearing in, the BJP will undoubtedly sweep all assembly polls. Seems the political parties have a lot more to worry now.

It is a refreshing change in the political paradigm of India.

The whole country is witnessing the blooming of the lotus.

While the dynasty-party, Congress, has been limited to two digits, that too below a half century of seats, many other parties have seen a downfall which has diminished the stature of their leaders and the governments. These states are Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

Within minutes of the leads coming in, which gave the Bhartiya Janata Party a good head-start on over 150 seats, Assam saw the saffron surge. Its chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who is a Congress loyalist, announced on Times Now that he will resign “within a week” from his office as he had promised earlier in case he got less than seven seats in the state.

“When you win three terms as CM, some amount of arrogance and complacency sets in. This was, of course, the case with me as well as the party. We thought nobody could defeat us. We forgot that we had lost earlier. This is the first debacle since I am here. Probably there was a communication gap with the people,” he said in Guwahati.

Next in line was Bihar whose chief minister Nitish Kumar’s party JD(U) was limited to two seats in the state. Worst was their performance in the bypolls where they barely managed to clinch one out of five seats. It was mainly because of Kumar’s campaign against BJP prime minister designate Narendra Modi and his split from NDA.

Taking the high moral ground, Kumar resigned from his post on Saturday. His party’s fissures are out in open where almost 40 of its members decided to split from the party. By Sunday night, three RJD MLAs joined JD(U) and the party wanted Nitish back. All now rests with the Governor who might ask for a parade of MLAs to let the government run.

Another best was BJP’s clean sweep in Delhi. The Aam aadmi Party, whose leader Arvind Kejriwal resigned from the government within 49 days to help the party prepare for Lok Sabha elections, not only lost his seat against Modi from Varanasi, but his party lost all seven seats in Delhi. Given that the Aam Admi Party came second on all the seven seats, the BJP is said to be reluctant to give any time to the AAP to consolidate its gains or the Congress to recoup.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung is likely to come under a huge pressure to go for elections. Also, the party leaders have started to moot the idea of AAP against staking claim to government formation in the state with the help of either BJP or Congress.

Another state which was hit hard was Congress’ old bastion Haryana. Only the CM’s son and Rohtak MP Deepender Singh Hooda could retain his seat in the election, which saw the decimation of party candidates everywhere else. CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s detractors in the party are learnt to have become active after party’s poor show in the state. It was to placate this section that Congress president had handed over the reins of the state unit to young Dalit leader Ashok Tanwar, who is close to Rahul. Hooda had been a Nehru-Gandhi family loyalist but Assembly elections in the state are barely four months away.

The utter lapse in providing flood relief in Himachal Pradesh led to Congress’ defeat. CM Virbhadra Singh had forced the Congress high command to appoint him PCC chief and give his loyalists tickets in the last Assembly polls to ensure his election as CM post-polls. Central leadership was miffed by his defiance, but went along with him because of his proven popularity in the state. Now that the BJP has swept the state and even the CM’s wife has lost election, there are enough reasons for Virbhadra to start worrying.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and union minister in the last UPA government, Farooq Abdullah wanted those who wanted Modi to drown in the sea. With coalition partners Congress and the National Conference drawing a blank, the long-simmering tension between the two is likely to aggravate in coming weeks. For over a year, state Congress leaders have been complaining about the functioning of Omar Abdullah government, but every time they sought to escalate it to the Congress president’s level, his friendship with Rahul ensured that they beat a hasty retreat.

State Congress leaders were learnt to have told A K Antony-led sub-committee on pre-poll alliances that the Congress should go alone in the state in the Assembly polls. A section of the Congress has also been in favour of allying with the PDP, which is said to be keen on it. Ahead of the Assembly polls slated towards the year-end, the Congress is likely to turn the heat on Omar. While Rahul has always stood by him, it will be clear in coming weeks whether the Congress vice-president will continue to support him pro-actively or go with the state leadership that is not very keen on continuing the alliance.

The Congress-supported Hemant Soren government in Jharkhand and Harish Rawat government in Uttarakhand could face trouble in the wake of BJP’s spectacular victory in the states. The inclusion of old Congress loyalist Satpal Maharaj in the BJP just ahead of the LS elections has spelled trouble for the party.

Hemant Soren too is precariously placed and may need the vote of the Speaker to save his government in the event of a no-trust motion. Given that Assembly polls are slated early next year, he may find it difficult to keep his flock together.

In Maharshtra, CM Prithviraj Chavan is said to be under tremendous pressure after the Congress-NCP coalition ended up with just six out of 48 seats in the state. Rest were swept by BJP-Shiv Sena. The state is slated to go for Assembly polls towards the end of the year. While NCP won four seats, the Congress was limited to two. The NCP took no time in blaming its loss on CM Chavan’s “performance”.

They want the Congress party to re-think about the leadership in the state and may part ways with it in case of dissatisfaction from the same. Given that elections are just six months away and there are not many contenders after former Union minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s comprehensive loss in the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress high command may not like to rock the boat at this stage notwithstanding pressures from within.

The worst hit by Modi-wave was Uttar Pradesh where only the family was able to survive with wobbling head. Out of 80 seats, SP managed to win only five in which two are SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s seats and one of his daughter-in-law Dimple’s. SP’s capitulation on the home turf in the LS elections is likely to force party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to have a hard look at his son Akhilesh’s performance as CM. Akhilesh had emerged as a rallying force for the youth in the Assembly polls about two years back. But his lackadaisical performance drove them to the BJP fold as was evident from the way they thronged Narendra Modi’s rallies in the state.

There were also obvious dents in the SP’s core votebank of Yadavs and Muslims. Although the SP’s main rival, Mayawati’s BSP, was not even able to open its account in Lok Sabha elections, it had come second on 34 seats, clearly indicating that Akhilesh administration hasn’t really impressed the people. After the SP’s poor show in the general elections, Mulayam is set to come under pressure from the party’s rank and file to either himself replace Akhilesh or bring in somebody else like Shivpal Yadav.

If this Modi-wave continues, which will be clear after he takes up the work after his swearing in, the BJP will undoubtedly sweep all assembly polls. Seems the political parties have a lot more to worry now.

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