Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his morning address to the nation on the occasion of Gurpurab, announced that the three farm laws will be repealed. His decision immediately brought varied schools of response from the public. However, a common thread that ran through nearly every observation was the connection of today’s decision to the upcoming state assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
Of the two states, it was a given up until today’s eventful morning, that the BJP was romping home to a victory in Uttar Pradesh. Punjab remained a dream, an attainable one, but still a dream. However, with the sudden decision of brooming away the farm laws, the equations have changed and for the first time, there is a sense of uncertainty gripping the BJP camp and its future in both states.
Will Captain Amarinder joining forces with BJP and help the latter?
In Punjab, Congress is on a self-destruction spree with Navjot Singh Sidhu as the destructor-in-chief. Congress’ ace in the pack, Captain Amarinder Singh has already ejected away. Amid the whispers of Captain joining the BJP, the former floated his party and surprised many.
However, he left the door ajar for a BJP entry, by remarking ‘if the central government repealed the farm laws, he would join the saffron party’. His meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and NSA Chief Ajit Doval last month further indicated that something was indeed cooking.
However, Modi government dropping the towel on farm laws, rather tamely, must have been an eventuality that even Amarinder Singh would not have prophesied to come true so quickly. Even if he joins forces with BJP, there is no guarantee for the saffron party that it will make significant strides. Thus, the ‘Queen’s gambit’ to sacrifice the 303 mandate to gain a foothold in a 117-seat assembly appears a rather risky move.
Narendra Modi – the mirage that is fading?
Speaking of risky moves, it appears that the majority of the public that votes for the BJP – the middle class, has had its confidence shattered in the main man. Narendra Modi, up until this point was the indefatigable leader who could do nothing wrong. The setbacks that the NDA leader suffered were often referred to as a minor blip in his otherwise magnificent political career.
However, the decision to cower down in front of the violent mob of farmer protestors is expected to anger the middle class, which for all thoughts and purposes, might show its discontent by pressing a different election party symbol, during the elections.
After the morning announcement, even UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath appeared to go through the motions while showing his support to PM Modi. It looked as if Yogi had already calculated ramifications of the reckless ‘9 AM’ move, and the result didn’t please him much.
In the address he remarked, “We know how farmer unions were protesting against the three farm laws. On the occasion of Gurpurab, PM Modi has made a historic decision to repeal the farm laws. I welcome the decision with all my heart. From the very beginning, there was a large group of people who believed that farm laws could pave the way towards increasing the farmer’s income.”
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) November 19, 2021
BJP needs to understand that it came to power riding on the vote of only 37% of the population. It doesn’t need to win everyone. Trying to woo the vote banks that have traditionally never voted for it is not a smart strategy. The party risks losing its core base and if that happens, god bless, but even a Modi or Yogi Tsunami will not be able to secure a turnaround.