In the run up to the Gujarat and Himachal election, the poll season is getting hotter as it could have been. The voter trends, the issues at polls, and the national perception is all at the poll with the electorate exercising its franchise soon.
This season has seen one of the most historic decisions being taken by the Congress, and the ghosts of caste based politics come to haunt Indians again as the poll game is fraught with alliances and calculations based on the same.
The polls hold the key to the future of states going to polls in the net year and as well as for the two major national parties the Indian National Congress and the Bhartiya Janta Party.
First, let us give Congress the moment, as Rahul Gandhi has assumed charge of India’s grand old party, but there is not much of break from its past when RaGa is seemingly trying to work out an arrangement of 50-50 seat sharing with assured reservation to the Patidars. Yes, we are talking about the Mandalist poll tactic which has benefitted many political parties, to have taken ground again. RaGa has though raised issues like the Rafale deal, Padmavati crisis, lack of development in the ‘Gujarat Model’ but has seemingly chosen a trend set by NaMo, by visiting temples and sporting a bold tilak on his forehead. This isn’t very secular in its approach when appeasing the majority is pretty much evident! Alongside these, the Congress has seen deserters getting tickets in BJP and turncoats from BJP walking over in Congress. The Congress’ organizational wing has seen more resistance than ever from. In Himachal as well, the Congress is treading on a rope, as Virbhadra Singh has to his name a tainted tenure, and has substantially failed to keep the state in shape. Thus all in all the Congress is seemingly slow and low, yet the stark criticism of shift in election schedule, and delayed Parliamentary session, may not do well with the electorate. The reservation cards, may deter the majority voters from the Congress, and the shift may see BJP biting away the prospects of a balanced rule. Vijay Rupani’s SEBI notice’s and Jay Shah’s defamation may not work well with the Congress as it has no towering leader as its CM candidate, as of yet.
Now, it is the Saffron party that has rolled out massive developmental projects under the watch of NaMo himself. NaMo has also the support of the Hindu clergy and enjoys a good reputation for marketing brand Gujarat, and towering the name of the State. NaMo to his credit has many things that Gujarat boasts of under the name of BJP and NaMo. The mercurial stand taken by the BJP in tackling Brahmins’ and Patidars’ requests for reservations makes a bold reputation in the general voters. The lower middle classes and the lower classes have praised the BJP for its moves to clean the economy. NaMo factor is the paramount BJP punch and Vijay Rupani has enjoyed popular reputation for being a strict leader, as, he initiated a fast system ensuring the governance as soon as he assumed office. The BJP has the issues, that do have to do something with polarisation which is a real vote catcher, also the BJP has denounced any open caste calculus yet seems to have employed it safely. The winnability of candidates has been focused on, in both the poll bound states. The BJP may come back in Gujarat and win in Himachal.
What all comes to our knowledge when the results come out, is the choice of India for 2019, the voter trend, importance of neo-nationalism as promoted by BJP, RaGa’s new avatar, and will BJP come back in 2019 at the centre or not. The policies of the BJP will be the vote catcher as the clean up exercises will gain many votes and the business class that is crying due to the shift in business patterns, will also have to throw a verdict, in favour of the party that supports the new trend, as what is done cannot be undone. Thus, we may not expect a radical change as RaGa will have to come like a wolf to hunt for votes which is not seemingly happening.
The Leftist parties seem to be out of the fray, which marks another walk-over to the BJP if it wins.