PM Modi is back for a second term in style. The BJP is all set to win around 300 seats, and the Congress Party’s final tally is likely to be around 50. We’re hearing the same lines over and over again about the factors that led to this phenomenal victory. Some people believe it was polarization, others believe it was the Balakot airstrikes. Some believe it was the brilliant campaign and mobilization the BJP achieved coupled with the lackluster campaign of the opposition, while others believe that that the new 10% reservation, the targeted basic income for farmers, and other schemes such as Ujwala led to this victory. Many believe it was a combination of all these factors. Most people realize that PM Modi’s opponents have been annihilated politically, and that the much touted Mahagathbandhan experiment has failed royally. There are no new revelations about Rahul Gandhi, his performance has been on expected lines both nationally and in Amethi. But let us step aside from the usual analysis for a while, and let me give you ten insights that the mainstream media and most political commentators might have missed or simply refrained from sharing.
One: 2014 was easier, 2024 will be easier. This was the tough one.
The Congress, for various factors, was not in a position to return to power in 2014. The mandate was up for grabs, and Narendra Modi grabbed it with both hands. Returning to power the first time was always going to be difficult, considering one would have to destroy 60 years of Congress legacy. The Congress through the decades had managed to entrench itself so deeply in the country’s psyche using various mediums, that it was impossible to keep it out of power for more than one complete term. The Congress has been out of power before, but the fact that they will be out of power for two straight terms now means that their influence and resources will be seriously curbed for the first time. Two consecutive elections where the country has rejected them outright giving them 50 seats or less each time, means that their machinery on the ground, in the media, in the bureaucracy and many other walks of life will be compromised. Unless a national alternative to the BJP takes shape in the next five years, 2024 will be smooth sailing for the party, much smoother than 2019 at least. This, as described by many, was the mother of all elections in a long long time, and BJP has delivered.
Two: Not just the Congress Party, its legacy has been totally destroyed.
Over the last five years, the BJP has not only destroyed the Congress Party on the ground, but it has destroyed the Congress Party’s legacy and certain grooves within which independent India’s psyche functioned for decades. Jawaharlal Nehru’s blunders stand totally exposed five years after PM Modi’s reign, and after this election, Rajiv Gandhi’s legacy too stands exposed. But most importantly, India seems to have rejected pseudo-secularism. The mainstreaming of Yogi Adityanath in 2017, and the mainstreaming of Sadhvi Pragya in 2019, is a hard kick on Nehruvian India that dragged the country down/left for decades.
Three: The Captain model will come into effect in other states if Congress Chief Ministers survive.
Captain Amarinder Singh is a member of the Congress Party only in name. In reality, he runs his own show in Punjab. Unlike other regional leaders of the Congress Party, he does not consider the family to be his boss, nor is he obliged to the family in any way. If the Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan survive in the weeks to come, the state satraps will soon be running their own shows. The family has lost all authority and no strong regional leader will be obliged to them anymore. What we will witness in the coming months is an increasingly decentralized Congress Party, until its eventual balkanization.
Four: Yogi is the frontrunner for the future.
The BJP won a whopping 71 (+2) seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2014, and this is what powered Narendra’s Modi’s journey from Gujarat to Delhi. With the regional forces having come together in Uttar Pradesh, the challenge for the BJP was massive. When the regional forces came together, many believed it was the end of the road for the BJP. Today, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has proven to be a complete rockstar, with the party retaining around 60 seats. The media might portray that it was all Modi and that Yogi played no role in this, but that is asinine. One cannot dispute the fact that he has proven himself politically, and has emerged as mass leader number two in the party. Being massively popular around the country already, and being touted as a potential successor to PM Modi ever since he became the Chief Minister, this massive victory in Uttar Pradesh further enhances his position.
Five: Fadnavis and Khattar are likely to get their second terms soon.
In 2014, these two largely unknown faces were appointed to lead BJP governments in two states that the party had won for the very first time during the Modi government’s honeymoon period. Both leaders have proven themselves, administratively and politically. From being irrelevant, the BJP has become the dominant party in both Haryana and Maharashtra, sweeping both states. Despite the fact that the Shiv Sena might attempt to displace Fadnavis in Maharashtra, the fact that the BJP has won a majority on its own means that its allies do not hold much leverage against it. The Shiv Sena continues to be in a position where it needs the BJP more than the BJP needs it, and therefore, Fadnavis will continue as Chief Minister after the alliance sweeps the assembly elections in the state later this year.
Six: Pakistan and 1984 matter, Mahatma Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi don’t.
When Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sam Pitroda made objectionable remarks with regards to Pakistan and the 1984 riots, it was rightly said that the statements would affect the Congress adversely. When Sadhvi Pragya praised Mahatma Gandhi’s killer, and Narendra Modi exposed late Rajiv Gandhi especially with regards to 1984, the dishonest mainstream media said these statements would prove to be equally damaging for the BJP. In the end, the Congress Party is struggling to get 50 seats. Meanwhile, Sadhvi Pragya has won from Bhopal and Narendra Modi has won his second term. This is egg on the face of the media, and the Lutyens/Khan Market durbaaris. What this clearly shows, and someone has to say it so I’m going to, is that the country cares about taking down Pakistan and obtaining justice for 1984, but could not care less about Mahatma Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi’s legacies. This will in the coming years raise questions about the narratives that have been foisted on us artificially or forcibly.
Seven: A massive victory for the BJP IT Cell.
The BJP’s IT Cell has been under constant scrutiny, especially from BJP supporters themselves. The Congress Party was thought to be fast catching up in a game in which it was completely irrelevant in 2014. No election in the world can be won today without the IT Cell, and when it mattered, the BJP IT Cell delivered.
Eight: The opposition’s pets and pet projects were colossal failures.
After the 2014 loss, the opposition invested massively in Youtubers, comedians and web portals to discredit the Modi government. Clearly, they thought that these clowns could substitute the much-needed groundwork that was required to bring the opposition back on its feet. The part-time comedians turned out to be full time molesters, and the portals and Youtubers went about with their propaganda so dumbly that they soon lost all credibility. It’s difficult to assess if this strategy was lacking or if it backfired royally. At the moment, it seems like the latter.
Nine: The mainstream media will change sides.
The mainstream media in India is among the most dishonest in the world. Not only is it prone to inducement, it is also completely spineless. With no access to power and nobody to offer inducements, and having realized that the 2014 mandate was not an anomaly but a major shift in the nation’s trajectory, these suckers for power will soon line up to shower praise on PM Modi and the BJP. The BJP will have to watch out for this, and will have to ensure that these snakes stay out of the corridors of power.
Ten: Many jumped ship both ways, but only BJP benefitted.
The two significant names who jumped ship to the BJP between 2014 and 2019 were Himanta Biswa Sarma and Mukul Roy. Himanta delivered the entire northeast to the party, while Mukul has proven his worth by making massive inroads into Mamata’s bastion. The BJP is likely to step up its efforts and capture the state when it goes to poll, and Mukul Roy will play an important role. Contrast this to the role Sidhu, Shatrughan Sinha, Kirti Azad, Udit Raj, and other BJP turncoats played in this election. They did more damage to the Congress than good. This will also raise questions about whether the BJP deliberately planted moles in the Congress Party.