Now it is no more a secret. The cat is out of the bag. The BJP has got absolute majority in the Lok Sabha elections. Once again Narendra Modi would be the prime minister of the country. The opposition call to the voters, the so-called conscience keepers of the nation, has fallen on deaf ears. The exercise to trace out the reasons and fix the responsibility have already started.
The process may take some time, but the fact cannot be denied that if BSP chief Mayawati was primarily responsible for the creation of this situation, the Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also cannot elude his responsibility. Even before the electoral war bugle was sounded, she had laid the foundation for opposition’s defeat.
The victory of the BJP has really been intriguing. The BJP will perform well was never in doubt as it had pumped huge money and muscle power. But this nature of the victory was not expected. Even the seasoned election watchers are finding it tough to accept this verdict rationally.
They attribute the reason for the shift in the mood of the floating voters. They nurse the hope only after Mayawati decided to go to the polls with Samajwadi Party as the alliance, these floating or non-committal voters shifted their stance.
Mayawati claims that she is a seasoned politician. But it is far from the truth. Had she been really an astute politician she would not have allowed the situation to slip out of her hand. Her action on forming the SP-BSP alliance and keeping the Congress out of it simply reinforced the belief that for fulfilling her self-interest she can go to any extent. It has always been her top priority. Her decision to keep away the Congress from the alliance has inflicted massive damage not only to the Congress but even to her alliance in UP.
She knew that challenging Modi has been a tough proposition and only a united opposition could do it. In her hatred for the Congress, she ignored the ground reality. The 10 per cent of the floating voters who ,usually decide the electoral outcome took her action seriously. For them, it came as a rude shock. The issue of security and development of the country prevailed over the opposition strategy of attacking Modi on the economy.
They turned skeptical of the future of any alliance government with Mayawati as the partner. The floating voters rallied behind the BJP and dumped her and her alliance. Congress has to suffer due to her arrogance and wrong moves. If she had gone for an alliance with SP as well as Congress, it would have a different nature of message among the people.
Mayawati’s greed for power and the top post lies shattered on the Mall Avenue of Lucknow. Her yearning for the office of prime minister was so acute that she even incapacitated the opposition unity against the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Her longing for power could be assessed from the fact that even after exit poll claimed that Modi was the winner, she was goading some opposition leaders who were on the mission to unite the opposition parties, to accept and project her as the next prime minister. She has been angry with Rahul Gandhi and abhorred the idea of presenting Rahul as the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate. True enough she had been having a strained relationship with the Congress on this issue.
As the Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi did not commit to installing her as the prime minister, she refused to accept the Congress as the partner of the alliance she had cobbled with the Samajwadi Party. Take the case of Bihar. Though the RJD leader Tejashvi, son of Lalu, openly projected Rahul as the prime ministerial candidate, he was averse to allow enough space to him.
In private he never treated the Congress and Rahul in a dignified manner. It is an open secret that on the issue of sharing seats he ill-treated Rahul. He even did not take intense electoral campaigning with Rahul. This ill-treatment he meted out to Congress and Rahul did not go unnoticed and simply alienated the people. Initially, Tejashvi had agreed to provide 11 seats to the Congress but later refused to concede so many seats. A humiliated Rahul had to accept this offer of Tejashvi.
In the state, for the first time the strong combination of Muslim-Yadav (MY), the strong base of Lalu Yadav, appears to have completely demolished. Had it not been the case, there was no reason that the opposition would have lost virtually all the seats the BJP. The saffron party mauled the RJD in its own den.
Nevertheless, a deeper analysis would reveal that it is certainly not a clean victory for BJP or Modi. The matter of fact is the opposition has handed over the win to Modi on the platter. Had the opposition came out with a strong alliance the BJP would not have swept the polls. Significantly in the constituencies where the opposition candidates put a stiff challenge the saffron was defeated.
One development is also clearly visible in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The MY combination has broken down. The RJD or Samajwadi Party which had immense control on these communities, now has lost its touch. Mayawati has accused the Congress of the opposition loss. But how to explain that even the constituencies which have quite a high population of M-Y have voted for BJP.
If the Muslims and Yadavs had voted together for the SP and RJD, the situation might have been different. If SP leader Akhilesh is really keen to survive in politics and make his space at the national level he has to keep his eyes on the ground. Even while the Congress and other parties were busy evolving strategy to fight the future BJP dispensation, his Bua was busy extracting a commitment from opposition leaders to install her as the prime minister.
The writer is a freelance journalist. Views are personal.