Published On:14 March 2012
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

State Elections 2012 & the Irony of BJP

In spite of disappointing results in the recent assembly elections, BJP leaders are patting themselves, while trying their best to avoid bitter questions about party’s performance in UP, Punjab and Uttrakhand. Senior Journalist Khan Mohammed Jeelani tries to probe into BJP's rout.

Congress Party got mauled, BSP got swallowed, but what about the BJP? It not only got defeated, but actually it got crushed, and its dream was shattered. The BJP in fact got what it had asked for. I am talking about the recent result of Uttar Pradesh assembly election which were termed as the semi final (The final will be in 2014 or may be little earlier, when the nation will go for the parliamentary elections).

Let's check the facts.

As, we the people in media and those who have little interest in the dance of democracy and the most payable but most hated profession i.e politics, know that the saffron party went to the polls under the leadership of its state president Surya Pratap Shahi and an ‘outsider’ Sadhvi Uma Bharti, and not to forget the former national and state presidents of the party.

And, almost all the biggies of BJP (from L K Advani to Arun Jaitley to new Hindutva- face-in-the-making Varun Gandhi) addressed dozen of election rallies and some even had gone on rath yatras much before the dates of elections were announced. But what after all did the party, which again dreamt to rule not only UP but the nation, get when the EVMs started displaying the results?

Its total seats were reduced from 51 to 47. It got only 15% votes in Uttar Pradesh, which was its bastion for a long time. It was humiliated by the new entrant in politics in its fort, Ayodhya, from where it rose like a Phoenix to rule UP, including several other sates, as well as the entire nation. In the current elections, unfortunately, it could not even save Lucknow, the parliamentary constituency of its biggest leader, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It got only one seat in this district.

Its one of the tallest state leaders and former assembly speaker Kesri Nath Tripathi lost from Allahabad South, which comes under Allahabad Parliamentary constituency represented by Murli Manohar Joshi, former party president, till 2009 when he switched to Varanasi. It got drubbing in Ghaziabad, Lok Sabha constituency of Rajnath Singh, party’s former national and state president as well as former UP chief minister.

Its state president Surya Pratap Shahi lost his seat for the fourth time in a row. Leader of the BJP Legislature Party Om Prakash Singh forfeited his deposit. The so-called firebrand leader Uma Bharti won, but not with the impressive margin which the party and its leaders were claiming and expecting.

BJP left no stone unturned as far as UP is concerned. It brought Uma Bharti from Madhya Pradesh, and even gave her ticket to woo backward castes especially Lodh voters. It welcomed wholeheartedly expelled BSP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, again with an aim to get back backward castes into its fold, but the BJP chose to close its eyes over his misdeeds and massive corruption charges when he was Minister of Health.

The BJP as usual also played religion card and tried its best to incite and polarise backward castes Hindus against Muslims. This time it did so in the garb of minority reservation announced by Congress-led UPA2 government, which believes in ignoring the plight of Muslims and only waking up during elections to announce few sops, realizing its folly only when it gets too late.

While the Congress, main rival of the BJP at the centre and in most states, increased its tally from 22 to 28 in UP as well as enhanced its vote share, but the result is quite disappointing for it as well. It had sky-high expectations especially from its Yuvraj Rahul Gandhi, who led the election campaign. The grand old party of India too got routed in its bastion -- Rae Bareili and Amethi -- represented by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, respectively in the parliament. Out of ten seats in these two districts, Congress got none, while it had earlier done well in these two and some other neighbour districts in most assembly and parliamentary elections.

Now take the case of Uttrakhand, neighbour state of UP. Here too BJP’s strength in the 70-member assembly got reduced from 35 to 31. Again, loss of four seats. Its incumbent chief minister B C Khanduri could not make it to the assembly. He was defeated, most probably due to infighting, in Kotdwar constituency while he was supposed and to some extent expected too, to win this state for his party. Congress with 32 seats in its kitty has made its claim before governor Margret Alva for the formation of government. There is every chance that Congress will be able to do so as its three rebels who have won have come back to it. Cogress has also got support of some other members in its efforts to form a government.

The saffron party is hardly giving any comment about its performance in this hill state where it has ruled more than any other parties, and which was created when it was heading the NDA government at Centre.

Similar is the case in Punjab, a state where it is part of Akali-led government. Though, the coalition was able to thwart Congress attempt of wresting power from it, but the result is not so rosy as the BJP is projecting. In Punjab, BJP has lost seven seats and now has only a dozen members compared to more than one and half dozen it had in previous tenure. If the SAD-BJP combine has created a new history for this state by retaining the majority, it's because of its senior partner Shiromoni Akali Dal (Badal) which has jumped from 48 to 56 this time. Even Congress has got two more seats (46) than the previous election.

So, this is not strange to see BJP leaders from state level to national level avoiding questions about BJP’s own performance in Punjab. They are just talking about SAD-BJP combine’s performance and congratulating each other.

Now, let's look at the results of Manipur. In this northern state the BJP has almost no presence and results too have proved it. Congress has not only retained this state, but has also improved its number from 30 to 42, and is in full majority without depending on any other party.

Lastly, consider the election results of sea-coast state of Goa. This is the only state where the BJP has really done well this time. It has jumped from 14 to 21, and by doing so it has got full majority on its own. Although, it also has the support of MGP which fought this election as its partner and got three seats. As far as performance of Congress is concerned, it has lost seven seats from its last tally (16). Most of its prominent leaders including many ministers lost badly.

So, over all, the results of these elections are not so good for the BJP. In spite of such a disappointing result, party’s big-mouthed leaders including its national president Nitin Gadkari are patting themselves as if they have captured the fort of India’s politically most important state which will lead them to the throne of Delhi. Or, the trophy of Goa which hardly has any significance in Lok Sabha elections will enable them to get back to the Centre.

But, is it not strange that Congress leaders are accepting their defeat graciously, while BJP leaders instead of accepting the harsh reality are trying their best to avoid the questions about the performance of their party.

[Khan Mohammed Jeelani is a Delhi-based Journalist. He can be contacted at mjkhanalig@rediffmail.com]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on March 14, 2012. Filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on March 14, 2012. Filed under , , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

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