Indian voters can be harsh, unpredictable and ambiguous. What seemed like a cake walk for the Modi Government four months back now seems like a lost battle. The bypoll results are out in three states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, and the outcome was not bright for the ruling party.
Out of the 11 contested seats for the UP assembly, BJP managed to win only three. In Gujarat, which is considered BJP’s bastion, the party lost two seats to Congress. The party suffered a humiliating defeat in Rajasthan, which is again considered a BJP bastion and the party had made a clean sweep in the Lok Shabha polls. BJP lost three of the four seats to Congress in Rajasthan.
The only good news was perhaps from West Bengal where BJP made its debut in the state. The win comes after BJP president Amit Shah visited Bengal ahead of the polls.
This is not the first time after the Lok Sabha polls that BJP got such a jolt. The party has suffered electoral reverses in all the three rounds of byelections held after the Lok Sabha polls. The first bypolls were held in Congress-ruled Uttarakhand close on the heels of the May 16 Lok Sabha verdict.
The outcome had shocked BJP as Congress won all the three assembly seats including two seats held by former BJP Chief Ministers who were elected to Lok Sabha by comfortable margins. The second round saw the party losing six out of the 10 seats in Bihar, despite a formidable show in the Lok Sabha polls. So, what went wrong for BJP? Has the Modi effect suddenly starting waning? Is the promise of “Ache Din” over? Boom News looks at some of the factors that could have influenced the results.
Development issues neglected: The Modi Government was brought to power by the voters on the issue of development. Modi promised India that he would first take care of the economically backward people by curbing inflation and rampant corruption. However, things have not changed much in the last four months.
Though it takes much more than just four months for an economy to show progress, Indian voters are impatient and ruthless. Perhaps people were not expecting a drastic change within such a short time but with prices of essentials commodities rising exponentially, people must have already lost hope. Read More
Polarisation never works in India: Ignoring the developmental issue, BJP rode high on polarisation and religious sentiments. For example, the venom and hate speeches on the controversial subject of “love Jihad” by Yogi Adityanath did not go well with the minority voters. While the senior leaders decided to play mute on the controversial subject, this did not go well with the UP Muslim voters who choose to vote for the ruling Samajwadi party. Read More
Overconfidence of party cadre: After the BJP’s historic win in the Lok Sabha elections, BJP workers become over-confident and complacent. Instead of focusing on development issues, the party played on the religious sentiments of the people and it backfired.
Lack of leadership: Another factor that worked against the BJP is the lack of participation from prominent leaders. Most of the senior party leaders like Rajnath Singh or Amit Shah gave a miss to key constituencies. Perhaps people expected more from the top leaders . It is also the first time that BJP went to polls without Narendra Modi at the helm of affairs. Perhaps, people were expecting more of Modi and other senior leaders. When the leaders did not show up, the Modi effect faded faster than it was expected. Read More
Indian voters are hard to impress: Lastly, Indian voters are tough and difficult to impress. They want results and want it fast. 100 days after the BJP Government came to power and when Modi’s big promises didn't see much of progress, they felt cheated.
A lot is at stake on the forthcoming Maharashtra and Haryana assembly polls. The BJP Government might have to step back a little and see what went wrong in the recently concluded bypolls. Also, unlike Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgadh, Maharashtra does not have a known face. Further, the rift between RSS and BJP is getting stronger and more evident.The Shiv Sena took a pot-shot at BJP, saying that the party should “keep their feet on ground” Read More
Also, in Haryana, things do not look too bright. According to a survey done by India TV recently, it was predicted that BJP might fall short of majority by nine seats. While there is the old written rule that people choose differently when it comes to assembly and Lok Sabha elections, why do people actually do that? Maybe, something changes in between and that’s what BJP should be looking at now.
BJP suffers setback in bypolls; worst hit in Uttar Pradesh