The failure of the Opposition including “mahagathbandhan” to offer a credible an alternative to the voters has once again paved the way for another landslide victory for the BJP-led NDA in the Lok Sabha 2019 elections. The opposition has been shunned and half a dozen prime ministerial hopefuls including Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, N.Chandrababu Naidu, and Mayawati, stunned.
The Grand Old Party was decimated even in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh where it had won the Assembly polls less than six months ago. The saving grace was Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The Modi tsunami was so strong that Rahul Gandhi lost even from the family pocket borough Amethi. The 2019 outcome was powered by the hyper-nationalist agenda while the welfare schemes of the Modi government did play a role. The BJP was able to make inroads in West Bengal and Orissa in a big way. The BJP’s gains in Telangana indicates that BJP is no more a part of the Hindi belt.
The Modi government has got brute mandate but it should hold its ground and play its constitutional role with while defeated parties need to introspect where they went wrong in 2014 and 2019. It is a long way to 2024 but the opposition parties should look for course correction right away. The BJP alone has over 300 Lok Sabha seats which gives it the power to override even its allies but great power comes with greater responsibility. Once the euphoria subsides, the Modi needs to get back to work to resolve issues of terror from across the border and farm sector crisis. The BJP has to fulfill its promise in manifestos of 2014 and 2019 to double farmers’ income by 2022. Other issues that need immediate attention are unemployment, impending economic slowdown, and intolerance. The Prime Minister-elect’s first speech at the parliamentary party meeting of the National Democratic Alliance was most significant as he focused on inclusion, restraint, regional aspirations, constitutional values and the minorities who had been living in fear. To end the trust deficit, Modi included “Sabka Vishwas” to his slogan of “Sabka saath, sabka vikaas” by working for all and not merely for those who voted for them. This has earned everyone’s admiration for Modi. His message seems to be a shift from a politician to a statesman and his gesture of paying respects to veterans LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Parkash Singh Badal shows that PM in his second innings is turning to be a unifying figure. The task for Modi government is cut and the foremost task is to gain the trust of all citizens. Tehelka while extending congratulations to the BJP hopes that Modi’s second term will be more inclusive and pluralistic than the first.