When BJP's political calculations went wrong
The political map of India presents a worrying picture for the BJP.
The political map of India presents a worrying picture for the BJP. It has lost five States in five months. When the BJP romped home in the Lok Sabha despite having shelved some of its allies, it had perhaps overestimated its strength.
It might have even felt that the successful manner in which it had abrogated Article 370 and the Supreme Court verdict on Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue would help them to remain on the top.
But in last one year, they lost Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. In Maharashtra, although the BJP emerged as the single-largest party, it failed to form the government.
In Jharkhand, the saffron party has been trumped by regional player like JMM while Shiv Sena subtly kept it away from forming government in Maharashtra. It does not mean that the Congress is on a comeback trail.
It is enjoying playing second fiddle even to regional parties. Being in power is important directly or indirectly seems to be the new strategy of the Congress party. The BJP should also introspect and see if its decision to dump its allies which had helped them to come to power in 2014 was a right decision or not.
A new trend is being witnessed in politics whether at the Centre or in certain States where the people in power feel that they are supreme.
Instead, they should start realising that it is not they who are supreme, but it is the people who are supreme. No government should think that it is their prerogative to do what they feel is right.
They should realise that the government is continuous process and any decisions they take should be progressive and not regressive. If any political party falters on political front, they would face the kind of situation the BJP had faced in Jharkhand.
There can be nothing like unbeatable juggernaut and this is the biggest lesson the Jharkhand elections have conveyed to all political parties.
The trend that this election reveals is that never overestimate your strength. People are ready to look beyond the ruling party whether it is the BJP or any other party, if their performance is not good enough.
The only consolation for the BJP was that it managed to increase its vote share from 31% last in 2014 assembly elections to 33.37% in 2019.
But again the share is up as it contested more seats. Taking unilateral decisions, trying to decimate the Opposition parties or adopt use and throw policy or make experiments as the BJP had done in Goa and Karnataka will not help in the long run.
The BJP strategists may be thinking that in the long run it would be advantageous for them if there are more Khichdi governments.
Their perception appears to be that these governments will not last long and this instability will help the saffron party to emerge stronger.
But at the same time, they should also understand that there is every possibility that the compulsions of the Opposition parties may force them to compromise on their policies and remain in power for full term.
They too know that if they lose the opportunity they got, then there would be no next time. The Jharkhand elections also state that delivery mechanism for any government is necessary.
One of the main reasons for the setback of the BJP was that welfare schemes were terrible in a State where 46 percent of the population was below the poverty line.
There were of course other reasons like proposal to amend Shathal Parganas Tenancy Act and Chhota Nagpur Tenancy Act etc. The tribals were also unhappy that the they did not get their share of jobs in the State.
And most important was the success of Opposition in projecting the BJP as anti- tribal since the Chief Minister was a non-tribal who was born in Chhattisgarh.
This helped Shibu Soren. The Opposition also succeeded in creating an anxiety among the minorities on the issue of CAA. Added to that poor brand management caused damage to the BJP.