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Total Victory for NDA – and the nation breathes again!

May 18, 2014

Even the most optimistic of BJP workers did not anticipate such a massive victory. Narendra Modi in one of the interviews prior to the election results did say that he expected a decisive mandate short of the 1989 Rajiv Gandhi landslide but when the results actually poured in I presume they left even the articulate NaMo short of words. Bharatiya Janata Party has won an absolute majority on its own with 283 seats and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has won more than 320 seats. Many Congress stalwarts have bitten the dust. Leaders like Salman Khurshid, Kapil Sibal, Sachin Pilot, Priya Dutt and Farooq Abdullah have all lost. It has been a veritable rout for the Congress. Even Rahul Gandhi just managed to scrape through. Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference lost for the first time.

Congress drew a blank in four vital states – Gujarat, Rajasthan Uttarakhand and Delhi. They lost heavily in their bastion state of Maharashtra. The BJP-ShivSena and their regional allies won a decisive 41 seats. Maharastra Navnirman Sena of Raj Thackrey drew a blank. Aditya Thackrey, son of Udhav Thackrey is the new rising star in Maharashtra politics – the lad can communicate and has a presence. In Assam BJP got majority seven seats and Varun Gandhi’s hard work paid off – he was in charge of Assam. In Seemandhra TDP and BJP swept the polls. BJP and allies even opened their account in Tamil Nadu. In West Bengal too they surprised everyone by winning two seats. It was a veritable Modi mania.

It was UP and Bihar that sealed the fate of all other parties. In UP BJP won 71 seats – a record of sort. In Bihar too BJP and LJP combined won almost all the seats barring a couple for JD(U) and Lalu’s RJD. Political pundits who were giving Congress and UPA more than 150 seats had to eat their words. One small TV channel gave a prediction that was replica of the final results and its name is Chanakya Polls. They got it absolutely right. Rest were proved wrong and clearly have armchair critics and political analysts who have no clue of the ground reality.

The Big Takeaway

You can’t have a landslide like the one NDA has had now if there is not a decisive support, which means that the nation comes as one to support a party, a leader. Clearly, Narendra Modi’s development agenda struck a chord with all and sundry. The nation rose as one and all castes and class divisions were set aside by India. The much touted Muslim or minority vote did not matter. It was said that the Muslims voted tactically, but even if they did it did not work as the rest voted as one and such ‘tactical’ voting was marginalised.

The emphasis on ‘secularism’ which the BJP calls Muslim appeasement, by the Congress backfired. Rahul Gandhi, the star campaigner emphasized again and again how they had passed various bills to empower the weak and the poor. What he did not realize was that bills do not give food and clothing and shelter, jobs do. Modi’s message of a strong, vibrant India with an emphasis on development and job creation went through. Modi in his thank you speech post victory pointed out how his development agenda was the centre of the debate and that he thought was his biggest victory. This observation by the man who would be the PM makes me feel that there will be governance by the BJP led NDA government.

Contrast that with what Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi said post their defeat. They accepted the verdict (which they had to anyway) and hoped that the incumbent government would take along all sections of the society. This was arrogant from party chief whose party had been completely routed. Who was Sonia Gandhi pontificating to? The BJP led NDA has won more than 320 seats – does she mean to say that they won the landslide without taking along all sections of the society? Who is tutoring the mother-son duo? Were they sucking up to the minority vote-bank even after such a complete decimation? Remember Sonia Gandhi met Imam Bukhari of Jama Masjid to garner Muslim votes prior to the elections. There was no word of congratulation for BJP and Narendra Modi – she was as contemptuous as ever and that bemused me a bit. It is this arrogance that has brought the Congress to such a pass and the arrogance continues.

There won’t be a LOP

Congress has managed just 46 seats. Indian National Congress is a national party no more. To qualify as a national party one needs to have at least 10% of the total seats in the lower house that is the Lok Sabha. Congress is well short of the minimum required. Jayalalitha is the third largest party and Mamata’s Trinamool Congress the fourth largest. Clearly the Congress has been reduced to being a regional outfit except that they belong to no particular state. The few seats that Congress has won are not because of the party and the national leadership but because of the influence and goodwill of that particular candidate. While Sonia and Rahul said that they take full responsibility, it had little meaning as they refuse to resign.

That there will be no leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha is not a healthy development for democracy. Checks and balances such as a visible opposition are basic requisites for a healthy democracy. I am sure Narendra Modi will listen to all and sundry as the prime minister of the nation that is Bharat. Naveen Patnaik after winning both the state elections and a thumping performance in Lok Sabha polls observed that it will take the Congress a long time to get over this rout that were the 2014 general elections.

There was this Team Modi that worked as a unit. Rajnath Singh, the president of the party played a very critical role in the victory of the BJP and the NDA. His decision to project Narendra Modi as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate was a master stroke and he had the magnanimity to step aside and let Narendra Modi hog the limelight. Amit Shah, the quiet Humpty Dumpty of a man, and a close confidante of Modi was the in-charge of UP and how he managed to galvanize his cadre such that BJP swept the vital state is something that is hard to understand. The man was new to UP politics but Modi’s faith in him was proved right.
BJP led NDA went to the polls with almost 25 allies. If one were to look at the numbers BJP does not need their allies now. But I would be surprised if Modi will set them aside and give Cabinet berths only to his party-men. He will accommodate all his allies as this has been a victory of the NDA and that the BJP will not forget.

Global Impact

World leaders sent congratulatory messages to Narendra Modi. From US president Barack Obama to prime minister of Israel Binyamin Netanyahu to Tony Abbot of Australia, Nawaz Sharief of Pakistan all sent their note of congratulations with hope of working together in future. Sonia Gandhi did not show this basic courtesy of congratulating Mr. Modi. This was in poor taste.

The victory of the rightist BJP and allies will have global impact. Indian foreign policy will be more pro-active and India should pursue its place in the world theatre more aggressively. I will not be surprised if Narendra Modi makes an official visit to Israel. If he does, it will have impact on global geo-politics like nothing has in recent past. If indeed our PM visits Tel Aviv the West will begin to look at India differently. We will be taken more seriously and our opinions sought more frequently. Our relations with our neighbours will also improve and they will begin to view us as a pushover no more.
It is Modi’s economics that will be watched very closely. The one big question is – who will be the finance minister. Yashwant Sinha is the most obvious choice but I will not be surprised if Modi thinks out of the box and does something totally unexpected The Cabinet formation is being looked at very closely by everyone.

The one question that must be answered is – what led to such total decimation of the Congress? Who was really running the government? Everyone knows that Manmohan Singh had his hands and legs tied and his mouth gagged. Later it was also said that Sonia Gandhi vetted files. My hunch is that the real power rested with the National Advisory Council headed by Sonia Gandhi. This was a bunch of extreme Left ideologues who were ‘advising’ the government. Their word was a diktat. Communists are atheists. They saw the majority Hindu population as a nuisance and ‘dangerous’, their idea of ‘secularism’ was a negation of the Hindu faith. Chants like Har Har Modi were ‘communal’ and therefore censured by the Election Commission. Hema Malini was given a show-cause notice for having a meeting in a temple in Mathura! Baba Ramdev was hounded with hundreds of cases slapped on him, not to forget the merciless assault on his Yoga camp in Delhi a few years ago. The Swami had vowed to annihilate the Congress. The constant emphasis on secularism was not to keep India a non-religious state but to hound the majority Hindus. They had under their belt a controversial and demonic anti-Communal Violence Bill whose main purpose was to target majority Hindu community. Had the UPA returned to power they would have surely passed this bill in parliament.

The nation was not stifled socially but also economically. Projects just would not get clearances. Files would gather dust. India was sliding down economically – its economic potential stunted. There was no job creation and expensive doles were a burden the nation could ill-afford. The national Advisory Council was at the back of it all. They ensured such a complete and total mess that they by proxy became the best guarantors of Modi’s success. It would be a shame if Rajnath Singh and Modu do not throw a thank you party for them. The nation had no choice but look for a change. With the NDA in power the nation feels unshackled, we are free we can breathe again. As Narendra Modi said ‘Achhe din ane wale hain’. (Good days are coming).

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