GUEST COLUMN: Dr. N Prabhudev
Yes- but it is the tough who get going when the going is tough!
9 years of Modi!
India is currently a $ 3.1 trillion economy. India’s tech-enabled governance is now admired the world over. India has developed a world-class digital public infrastructure to support its sustainable development goals. The National Education Policy 2020 was introduced by the Union Cabinet of India on July 29, 2020. Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families – 50 crore beneficiaries, providing coverage up to 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
Modi’s popularity has been waning. But he is still the most popular leader by a wide margin. The opposition remains in disarray and Modi might win a third term in 2024. As for Modi, he’s a quick learner and taking steps to improve the economy, making it likely for him to sail through again in 2024.
The entire southern part of the country consisting of Andhra Pradesh, Thelangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala is now BJP mukt. Karnataka’s loss is a huge jolt to Prime Minister and Mr Shah who relentlessly campaigned in Karnataka but could not turn the tide of anger into votes!
State Assembly elections act as a litmus test for the General Elections to Lok – Sabha. 2014 and 2019 general elections – the opposition was in disarray. Their influence was limited to pockets. They are still in dark about putting up a unified front! There seems to be some attempts of the opposition to mount a united challenge against BJP.
BJP is weak in Kerala with 21 MP seats, Tamil Nadu 39, Telengana 17, Andhra Pradesh 25, Orissa 21, West Bengal 42 and Punjab 13. Out of 178 seats BJP can win a maximum of 15 to 20 seats. In 2019 BJP won 31 seats in these states. BJP may not be able to retain its 18 seats in WB and 25 in Karnataka.
If the opposition sweep these states with 150 seats, they require only 123 more seats to form the Government from the rest of India or induce some partners of BJP to leave NDA and join them. BJP is not sure how the voters behave in Maharashtra. In Uttar Pradesh Samajwady Party is resurgent and has 125+ MLAs. Therefore sweeping UP may be difficult. Akilesh will give a good fight. In Gujarat, Rajastan, MP, Chattisgarh, Delhi, HP, UK, Haryana, Jarkhand the party did extremely well winning all the seats in many of these states. BJP cannot increase its numbers in these states. The party can only lose some. The party need to lookout for new areas.
BJP need new strategies, increase its strength in all the states where their writ runs. 2024 will not be easy and BJP is certain to circumvent all hurdles to come out successful in the 2024 general election.
Karnataka self-goals by BJP
BJP-Mukt Karnataka’! This time the battle was fought over corruption, governance and non-performance. BJP – the only southern citadel has walked into the sunset?
A teary-eyed BS Yediyurappa with his voice choked up announced his resignation as CM. Repeated insults when he was the CM has not gone down well for the Lingayath community! Prominent leaders like former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and former Deputy CM Laxman Savadi were also denied tickets by the BJP. This led both to quit and join the Congress.
• Brahmin CM’- BJP is flying a Kite, Thinking Out of the Box or Burning its Bridges in Karnataka? Former CM Kumaraswmy effectively inflamed the hurt feelings of the Lingayath community! In a major shift, after decades to support, traditional BJP vote bank Lingayats switched sides from BJP to Congress in Karnataka assembly elections.
• This tectonic shift was one of the major factors which led to a landslide victory of Congress party. Congress won 37 seats out of 46 Lingayat candidates fielded in Karnataka, in comparison to 13 in 2018 polls. In contrast, only 15 Lingayats from BJP secured victory, though it fielded 69 candidates from the community.
• The one important national fallout of the BJP’s defeat in Karnataka is – its much-touted anti-corruption plank has taken a severe beating and BJP was badly hit by the charge of “40% Commission Sarkar.
• True, corruption was not the only issue that felled the BJP in Karnataka. Steep price rise and large-scale unemployment among the youth added to people’s anger.
• The candidate to contest against Siddaramiah lost both the seats he contested. The high profile candidate who contested against DK Shivakumar lost his deposit! This showcases how BJP was blissfully unaware of the ground reality!
• BJP’s Hindutva card did not work in Karnataka.
Congress guarantee schemes!
1. 200 units of free electricity every month to every household
2. ₹2,000 each month to the female head of every household
3. 10 Kg rice, every month to every member of BPL families.
4. ₹3,000 every month to every unemployed graduate for a period of two years. And ₹1,500 to unemployed youths with Diploma.
5. free bus travel for women in govt buses
Lessons to BJP-
Karnataka has voted decisively for the Congress.
1. It cannot depend only on Modi and other central leaders for votes.
2. The overexposure of PM Modi in each and every election risks reducing his charisma’s shelf life.
3. The high command culture is hampering growth of the party and new leadership at state-level.
4. Hindutva doesn’t alone win elections.
5. Corruption felled the BJP in Karnataka.
6. Gujarat is not replicable.
7. The BJP’s rise in Karnataka was due to its adoption by the Lingayats.
8. Congress party’s five guarantees has become a trend setter.