Bharatiya Janata Party’s massive win in a Congress bastion might have surprised many but it is in fact a validation of PM Narendra Modi and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis’s impressive work. The results of the Jalgaon and Sangli civic body polls have been convincing enough for any BJP supporter with the party bagging 57 out of 75 and 41 out of 78 seats in them respectively. While Jalgaon had been held for several years by Shiv Sena leader Suresh Jain’s Khandesh Vikash Agadhi (KVA) the bigger triumph for BJP came from Sangli. Sangli, for the first time, fell from the hands of Congress in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, a seat which it had held since 1962. A Congress stronghold, Sangli could be considered as Raebareli and Amethi’s equivalent in Maharashtra. On 2nd August 2018 when the results for the Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad Municipal Corporation (SMKMC) came in favour of the BJP, the Congress and other opposition parties were at a loss of words, the 2014 win by BJP had been termed as a result of the Modi wave. Sangli has again chosen BJP over Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
It is an important win for the BJP considering the day polling was being held for the two municipal corporations the rest of Maharashtra was under siege by rioters demanding reservation for Marathas. Apart from all this, Sangli had in the past favoured Congress without giving a second thought to who the candidate was or what issues the elections were being fought on. Support of the people from Sangli had turned the Congress so blind that they forgot that the Maharashtra CM Fadnavis had been slowly making inroads into the hearts of the people. Several Congress stalwarts who had actively helped farmers to earn a decent livelihood and had provided them with opportunities of education and employment were the reasons behind this blind belief of the people. Leaders like Patangrao Kadam and Rajarambapu Patil had laid the solid foundation of Congress in Sangli by establishing educational institutions like Bharati Vidyapeeth and several schools. When Vishwajeet and Jayant Patil took over the reins from their father after their death it was sort of a valid transition for the voters, who readily agreed with the new names. For these and many other reasons Sangli had remained as the political hub of the Congress in Maharashtra.
BJP’s win in Sangli therefore is not just an ordinary win but a huge blow to the party which has not been at its optimal level in the past few years. Voters from Sangli have shown that they believe strongly in the vision of growth and development shown by Maharashtra CM Fadnavis. The BJP campaign in Sangli was led from the front by Chandrakantdada Patil, a minister from Fadnavis’s cabinet. It also speaks volumes about how Congress looks all set to lose the clout it once had over the citizens of India. If Sangli is seen as a sign for the things to come in the future, then it is indeed worrying for the national party. Its rejection at the hands of the people shows the distrust which it has brought upon itself. The day when Congress could be wiped out from Raebareli and Amethi seats too wouldn’t be very far now and for the BJP this is the time to celebrate its success in the Municipal elections and prepare for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Congress has supposedly reached a point of no return from where it will be very difficult for them to scrape through in the upcoming days and years. The disillusionment of voters with Congress seems to have taken place gradually but it seems to have set deep and the party will have to think of ways to overcome this. Sangli has shown the party a trailer of what might follow the upcoming elections and for Rahul Gandhi and party, the prospects don’t seem promising enough.