“We are pledged to the service not of any particular community or section but of the entire nation. Every countryman is the blood of our blood and flesh of our flesh. We shall not rest till we are able to give to every one of them a sense of pride that they are children of Bharatmata. We shall make Mother India sujala suphala (laden with fruits and overflowing with water) in the real sense of these words. As Dashapraharana Dharini Durga (Goddess Durga with her ten weapons) she would be able to vanquish evil; as Lakshmi she would be able to disburse prosperity all over and as Saraswati, she would dispel the gloom of ignorance and spread the radiance of knowledge all around her. With faith in ultimate victory, let us dedicate ourselves to this task”. – Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, while delivering the Presidential Address at the XIV Annual Session of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Calicut, December 1967
Contrary to the predictions of political pundits, the Assembly election results of the five States gave a clear mandate and message. All the numerical jugglery projecting neck-to-neck fights went haywire, giving another dent to the business of psephology. No pollster could anticipate the landslide victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and the Congress trouncing Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) that was credited for carving Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh. The BJP wave in Madhya Pradesh, resulting in the BJP securing close to 49 per cent of the vote share with 163 seats, is in contrast with the projections by all the exit and opinion polls. Rather than just analysing the outcome, it is essential to understand what the political experts, media persons and psephologists missed and why.
It is beyond doubt that the ability of the BJP to galvanise society through organisational outreach and delivery through governance played a critical role. The ideological foundation of patriotism, based on cultural ethos, has taken a firm root in the Bharatiya polity. Hindutva and effective policy implementation at the grassroots level are at the core of the BJP’s success. For the last few years, the way the party has effectively reached out to the tribal masses through policies and organisational contact was entirely missed by the biased analysts sitting in urban centres.
When it comes to credibility, no one can match Prime Minister Modi’s leadership; this has been proved repeatedly. The Opposition must accept this reality, not in political terms but even in intellectual and policy terms. Modi-guarantee is not a jumla for the people ,who are the direct beneficiaries of the toilets, housing and healthcare schemes, or electricity and water reaching the interiors of the country in a record time. All this is happening with minimum leakage to the intermediaries; this is a matter of conviction for the ordinary voters. From the decision of demonetisation to the women’s reservation bill, people believe in the promises made by the Modi-led Government.
Stability is another reason that electorates have voted for. That is why anti-incumbency against Telangana’s BRS Government has tilted the majority towards Congress. A fractured verdict leads to misgovernance, while a clear majority either ensure decisive Government or exposes the ruling dispensation completely. After experiencing the hotchpotch coalitions of convenience, the wise voters of Bharat prefer a stable, decisive Government.
The flip side of this mandate is a clear rejection of the negative and divisive agenda of the Opposition. Harping on “every penny you are spending is going to Adani”, and “the caste census is the only solution to everything” have exposed the Congress’s hypocrisy on many counts. The massive surge of votes for the BJP, both among OBCs and tribals, is a strong message to the I.N.D.I alliance that projecting Hindutva as anti-tribal or backwards no longer holds traction beyond a few intellectuals. The electoral outcome in these States favouring stability will further strain the already dotted alliance. The decimation of Congress in a direct fight with the BJP will undoubtedly weaken the position of the grand dynastic party vis-à-vis the regional family-run parties. Consolidating Muslim votes back in its favour is perhaps the only saving grace for the main Opposition party.
The roots of this success are in the philosophical foundation of the ‘nation first’, as articulated by Deendayal ji in December 1967. In December 2023, the voters stamped the policies based on national ethos, social inclusion and cultural resurgence of Bharat on the global stage. The growing acceptance of BJP’s ideology is not a ‘blind love’ that some naysayers, biased experts and media persons would like to believe. It is not an indication of an imaginary divide between North and South. It is the process of decolonisation of our polity through renationalisation. Either vested interests or colonised prism is disconnecting self-proclaimed experts from the ground reality.