Editorial: Poll Season Ending, No Wave Discernible

Editorial: Poll Season Ending, No Wave Discernible

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Monday, May 20, 2024, 10:18 PM IST
article-image
Representative Pic | File/ANI

As two thirds of India’s inordinately stretched-out general election has been completed, a general sense of fatigue has set in. With another two phases left and nearly a fortnight to go for the results to be declared, this is perhaps the lengthiest electoral exercise India has witnessed. The fifth phase of the seven-phase election has just been completed and therefore there should be a sense of which way the wind is blowing, but social media has changed the name of the game. There is a wide disparity in the results being projected by YouTubers and independent analysts as compared to television channels, who have been dubbed mouthpieces of the government. In 2014 the people’s disillusionment with the various scams allegedly perpetrated by the UPA government was apparent and there was a general mood for change among the electorate. Therefore, Narendra Modi’s victory was not at all unexpected even if the extent of his win surprised some. In 2019 the election was too difficult to gauge till Pulwama happened. The horrific deaths of 40 CRPF jawans in a deadly terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir changed the trajectory of the election, followed as it was by India’s ‘muscular’ response of striking inside Pakistani territory. National pride won the day and the BJP was seen as a strong party that did not hesitate to take on the enemy. After that the saffron party’s 300-plus seats performance was par for the course.

This year, however, the situation is different. While the BJP was banking on the consecration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on 22 January by Prime Minster Modi creating the kind of euphoria that would see it through in the hustings, the fact is that public memory is relatively short. Even the number of visitors to the Ayodhya temple has dwindled and the BJP can no longer bank on Ram to help it electorally. Modi has not hesitated to raise the issue in his campaign speeches even going to the extent of saying that the Congress would bulldoze the temple if it came to power. Whether this will have any resonance with voters remains to be seen. There is no single narrative being peddled by the BJP as is evident from the Prime Minister’s speeches harking on Muslim appeasement, caste configurations and even ‘Ambani Adani’. The development agenda of ‘Viksit Bharat’ is nowhere in sight in the campaign speeches of BJP leaders who have all embarked on a divisive rant be it Yogi Adityanath or Himanta Biswa Sarma. While the INDIA bloc is trying to focus on bread-and-butter issues such as price rise and unemployment, this election is a waveless one and as of now, despite a rigorous campaign by the Opposition, it appears to be advantage NDA though ‘400 paar’ is still a distant dream.

RECENT STORIES

What India Can Learn From The Streets Of Bangkok And Beaches In Bali

What India Can Learn From The Streets Of Bangkok And Beaches In Bali

Neighbourhood Diplomacy: Dhaka, India’s Only Best Friend?

Neighbourhood Diplomacy: Dhaka, India’s Only Best Friend?

Editorial: More Debate Needed On Overcoming Caste Inequalities

Editorial: More Debate Needed On Overcoming Caste Inequalities

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE?

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE?

What Is Keeping Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde So Busy?

What Is Keeping Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde So Busy?