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The recent results of Assembly elections of 5 states are to be analysed carefully by both BJP and Congress as both the national parties cannot afford to not draw their respective lessons from the judgements given by voters of these 5 states. (Afterthoughts of Assembly Polls & Dreams turn sour for regional satraps-THI, December 15).In a way , it is right time  especially for Congress to go for an  introspection of its perfunctory  electoral strategy rather than to rejoice about its not so emphatic victories with an exception of Chhattisgarh where also it needs to align with Ajit Jogi in the ensuing 2019 hustings to play safe in all aspects. 

In one sense, it must be a matter of worry for Congress that the  percentage of votes it has got  is slightly lesser than BJP in Madhya Pradesh  even though it managed more seats than BJP. Certainly, the grand old party would have thrashed the saffron brigade with comfortable margin,  had  it been wise and flexible enough to have an alliance with BSP.  Congress is well advised not to shoot itself in the foot in 2019 big battle by being unable to rope in   BSP in to its fold in Madhya Pradesh or elsewhere  by realising the fact that it is Congress that would lose heavily In elections without BSP support rather than vice versa. 

In this regard , Rahul Gandhi should learn more lessons to keep his alliance partners  together even by making electoral sacrifices as he did in a post poll alliance in Karnataka to prevent BJP from manipulating numbers to come to power . No doubt, Rahul Gandhi has become politically more mature now given the fact that he hasn't displayed any degree of arrogance, imperiousness or domineering after his party dislodged BJP from power in three important  states. 

The humility shown by him must be an eye opener for Modi who became highly autocratic with immeasurable level of arrogance  that led to utterances from him and his cohorts who vowed to  eliminate  Congress from the political landscape of India. But , Rahul Gandhi is humble enough to pronounce that he doesn't intend to obliterate BJP from the political map of India. 

Modi became so much dictatorial after 2014 land slide victory by wrongly presuming  the mandate given to his party as a right to destroy the very essence  of diversity of the country by attacking everything that is opposed to his brand of ideology.  Indeed , the days have now begun for Modi to make him to pay heavily for his condescending style of functioning  all these years. It is a concern for all citizens  that Indian democracy is at crossroads now and people are desperately looking at Rahul Gandhi to do something to save the country from the tyranny  of religiously intoxicated and highly intolerant leaders who are bent on to destroy the very existence of  inclusiveness  in all its forms prevalent in India. 

If Rahul Gandhi fails now to live up to the expectations of the people by overcoming and plugging the weaknesses of his party, he would have to curse himself for throwing away the golden opportunity that has the potential to elevate him to the helm of the political leadership of the Nation at a crucial juncture. A point in the case is that he should have thought twice before picking up Kamal Nath for Chief Ministership of MP as most of the  Sikhs still believe that Kamal Nath had masterminded the riots against Sikhs in 1984 that killed thousands of innocent  Sikhs. Henceforth,  Rahul Gandhi needs to make every move judiciously as he is widely perceived by people - especially after capturing 3 vital states from BJP - to be capable of checking Modi Juggernaut. 

It is better for Rahul Gandhi to confront BJP with best political strategy like the one crafted in Gujarat  where he could forge an alliance with all anti BJP parties albeit without success to form the government rather than being fortunate enough to form governments in states like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan with flawed strategy.

Coming to BJP, it must draw most important  lesson from the election results that it can no longer fool the people by bringing religious issues to the fore and by keeping  the crucial problems of the people under the carpet. Obviously , it cannot depend on hard core Hindu leaders in the party like Yogi Adityanath to swing the voters in favour of BJP. It is a great concern for the party that there are no attempts in the party to carry forward the legacy of Vajpayee that accommodates the tolerance towards diversity and difference of opinion as  stalwarts like Advani are pushed to the corner. Issues like cow protection, Sabarimala verdict, bashing of Pakistan, changing names to erase everything related to minorities, magnifying the spectre of urban naxalites and raking up of Ayodhya  issue  would not go down well with the  people and BJP must start working with people to resolve the problems connected with their livelihood and bread earning. Unending religious rhetoric  may boomerang and potentially lead to BJP being politically buried. 

At least now,  BJP is well advised to start damage control exercise to be able to win the hearts of people not by religious gimmicks  but by assiduously putting sincere efforts to resolve burning problems such as agrarian distress, unemployment, attacks against minorities, women, scribes, Dalits, dissenters and persons of independent thinking. Let us hope that whatever political party wins in 2019, it must be a victory of  people and triumph of democracy. 

 - Narne Raveendra Babu, Hyderabad


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