National impact

National impact

Delhi’s elections attracted national and international attention. It is not just because Delhi happens to be national capital.

Delhi’s elections attracted national and international attention. It is not just because Delhi happens to be national capital. The BJP has inflicted a self goal. An election in a small territory that does not even have a full statehood was converted by the BJP into a referendum on Narendra Modi-led central government. The BJP has its own strategy in doing so which now has misfired. After a win in Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Haryana and an impressive show in Jammu and Kashmir, BJP expected to repeat the same in Delhi. The BJP wanted to take this saga of victories to the people of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. Thus, the Delhi saffron panorama was intrinsic to the strategy of creating an aura of invincibility around Narendra Modi and use it as unique selling proposition. Having made it a national event, now the BJP cannot escape from its adverse national impact for the party.

The BJP did not just project the theory of invincibility, perhaps it somehow believed in it seriously. Thus, the party took a unilateral posture towards its allies. Now, it will be the time for the friends and foes to give it back to BJP. The process has already begun. Shiva Sena appealed to Maharashtra people to take cue from Delhi and virtually reject BJP. Shiva Sena is not just an electoral ally of the BJP, but its time-tested ideological ally.

The BJP has been creating irritants for TDP. The Centre’s indifference to the demands of Andhra Pradesh government is a case in point. The BJP is flexing its muscles to grow in Andhra Pradesh at the cost of its partner, TDP. Of course, this is not either unusual or unacceptable in politics, but the TDP until now was following a cautious path. But, the voices of allies like the TDP may also become louder in the wake of BJP suffering a crushing defeat in Delhi.

Meanwhile, overwhelmed by BJP and especially Modi’s triumph, many parties were looking at BJP for a hand of friendship. Such parties include TRS in Telangana, YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh, PDP and National Conference in Jammu Kashmir. Speculation is rife in the political circles that TRS-BJP tie up may materialise anytime until after the GHMC polls. It is unlikely that TRS may still be so enthusiastic after the Delhi mandate. It may wait and watch. Meanwhile, the Telangana CM has welcomed the Delhi mandate.

Obviously, political parties across India which wanted the BJP to lose are jubilant over the Delhi verdict. They include SP, JD (U), the Left, TMC, RJD etc. This exuberance across the non-Congress and non-BJP political spectra may trigger a new round of political realignment. The AAP ideologue Yogendra Yadav has already remarked that Delhi mandate opens up new political possibilities. Such possibilities may take some more time to crystallise.

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