Even as the Budget dust settles down and the triumphal look continues on the face of the BJP leadership over delivering a master stroke ahead of the 2019 elections, it is also with much concern the Modi-Shah duo must have watched the results of the Rajasthan bye-elections. The ruling party has lost two Lok Sabha seats, both sitting and one Assembly seat to the Congress and that too with crushing huge margins.
The drubbing received by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Ajmer and the Alwar Lok Sabha seats and Mandalgarh Assembly seat indicated a massive swing in vote share towards the Congress. The glowing faces of Congress leaders said it all with the 25 per cent and 11 per cent swings in Alwar and Ajmer seats while the BJP share dipped by 20 per cent and 10 per cent. This is simply a reversal of the 2014 results.
It is not even what the BJP did not do in governance that dealt the blow to it. If only, the BJP leadership were to mind the ambitions of rising India, it would understand that this is a liberal society despite its ancient civilisation and a politically wrong doing won’t be tolerated here. Whether the haughty overbearing leadership understands this is not known. Silence over attacks on the fundamental rights of people guaranteed in the Constitution and enshrined in the Preamble of it is numbing.
Whether one likes it or not, Hindustan is by and large a tolerant society. Two issues loomed large over the bye-elections. First one was Pehlu Khan's murder in Alwar. Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer from Nuh district of Haryana, was attacked and lynched by cow vigilantes affiliated with the right-wing Hindutva groups.
Those accompanying him were thrashed and robbed by the mob. This has polarised not just Muslims but also all the right-thinking Hindus against the ruling BJP. The second issue was that of Padmavati. The State government aided and abetted the Karni Sena and allowed vandalism. As hooligans held the nation to ransom, the BJP-ruled States, including Rajasthan, stood by them rock hard.
While, the rest of the nation rejected the Karni Sena and its threats by thronging the theatres, in Rajasthan, the voters rejected the BJP too for its frivolous politics. The BJP leadership must be reminded of the saying, "he who rides a tiger must be afraid to dismount."
Riding waves of hooliganism sold in this country under several nomenclatures of Hindutva could turn out to be the nemesis for the BJP. Whoever be the perpetrators of heinous crimes like that of Gauri Lankesh, the blood finally colours the hands of the BJP. It is the collateral damage you suffer if you practise politics of hate. Eye on the vote is OK, but ear to the ground is also important.