One: ‘Mere pass Modi hai. Tumhare paas kya hai?” Amit Shah, president, Bharatiya Janata Party, can ask non-BJP parties after winning the assembly
election handsomely in Haryana and Maharashtra.
It was the Narendra Modi-Shah duo’s first major political
test. They have demonstrated in style that their aim to make
BJP a real pan-India party is on track. The BJP is rising and
riding on Modi’s popularity and Modi is spreading his wings
to become a pan-Indian leader with his party’s help.
Two: In Haryana, the BJP has won an overwhelming and
unthinkable victory by getting the anti-Jat votes where it
matters and even the Jat votes where it was needed.
The stupendous performance has to be credited to Modi as
the state BJP had no local leader and not many senior workers. It hardly had any party structure to speakl of till two
The BJP will rule Haryana with a superb mandate. It has
increased its tally from 4 in 2009 to 48 seats and has
increased its vote tally from 9 per cent to 33.02 percent. The
Modi swing created history in Haryana.
Three: In Maharashtra there is an endless debate over
Modi-Shah’s decision to break the alliance with the Shiv
Sena. Shah’s press conference after the results October 19
showed clearly that the BJP and the Nationalist Congress
Party have done their homework and the BJP is all set to
form the government.
As the single largest party the BJP will be invited by the
governor to form the government in Maharashtra. There
should be no doubt that the BJP will accept the invitation
and declare its chief minister soon.
When political parties win power in a state like
Maharashtra, the NCP’s corrupt image or all what Modi said
against NCP leaders Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar don’t
count. It will be realpolitik only.
Already, Sharad Pawar has moved fast. Shah’s stubborn repetition, at the press conference, that the NCP wants to support the BJP ‘only from outside’ and it is not a BJP-NCP
alliance suggests that the issue of corruption and sensitivity
about such issues will not be taken into account by the BJP.
For the BJP it seems there is no ethical issue obstructing
the way of a political decision to form the government with
the NCP’s outside support.
Four: The BJP won only 46 seats in Maharashtra in the last
election. It is 122 this election. This huge rise would have
been impossible if the BJP had accepted the Sena’s offer of
119 seats. There is little doubt that Modi-Shah were correct
in breaking the alliance.
By doing so they have ended the Shiv Sena’s ‘big brother’
status, resetting the terms. Modi-Shah have rejuvenated the
BJP in the state. The BJP had a 14 per cent vote share in
2009. With Modi’s whirlwind political campaign the party
has a 27.8 percent vote share.
Five: Uddhav Thackeray lost anti-incumbency votes in
many constituencies to the BJP, but he has won the future.
He has proved that in the competition with his cousin Raj
Thackeray, he is the real inheritor of his legendary father’s
legacy. Raj’s perceived edge over Uddhav in leadership qualities have been put to rest now. The Shiv Sena survived its
test in the post-Bal Thackeray era and Uddhav has shown his
mettle by winning 61 seats.
Six: This is not just another defeat for the Congress. In
Maharashtra and Haryana, voters have not even preferred
the party as Leader of the Opposition. If one reads carefully
the names of all the Congress candidates who won the election in Maharashtra it suggests that it is not the party, but
the candidates’ local image and her/his power base that
helped them win.
In the BJP’s case it is the
reverse. In Uttar Pradesh,
during the Lok Sabha polls,
and now in Haryana and
Maharashtra, it is the BJP’s
upward swing that helped
unknown, weak and, in
some cases, even undeserving candidates to win.
Seven: In Haryana and
Maharashtra the geographical divide of political
opinions is very clear. In
Haryana, the BJP sweep
was in north and south
Haryana. The Indian
National Lok Dal was
dominant in central and
In Maharashtra, the BJP
won 24 seats out of
Vidarbha’s 60 seats and 15
of Marathawada’s 48 seats.
Mumbai’s 60 seats saw a
tough contest between the
Sena and the BJP. Some 24
seats went to the BJP while
the Sena won 16 seats. Of
the 60 seats in western
Maharashtra the BJP and
NCP won 17 and 21 seats
Eight: Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra’s tallest leader, did
everything to stop the BJP rule in his home state, when he
failed he offered the party his support.
His party’s announcement of support to the BJP is pragmatic. By doing so he is buying space for his party. He is hitting the Sena hard by reducing its negotiation power vis-à-vis the BJP. Pawar is also buying peace with Modi’s expanding power. It is his acceptance of Modi’s clout.
Nine: In Maharashtra, the BJP won 27.32 percent votes in
the Lok Sabha election while it won 27.8 percent votes in the
assembly election. It won fewer seats if compared to the
same assembly segments in the Lok Sabha election.
The Shiv Sena won 16.26 percent vote share in 2009. It
won 19.3 percent of the vote share five years later — less than
what it won (20.63 percent) in the Lok Sabha election.
If the Shiv Sena and BJP had fought the election together
they would have got more or less the same number of seats.
By fighting it alone, the BJP has got the tremendous
advantage of opening its account all over Maharashtra. It
fought an election for the first time in 160 seats. The BJP had
never contested more than 119 seats in Maharashtra, but by
contesting all 288 seats it has got a party infrastructure
overnight in many places.
Similarly, in Haryana the BJP had never contested more
than 26 seats. It contested all 90 seats this assembly election
and won the highest number of seats in its history. Which is
why Shah said, ‘Is se badhiya vijay ho nahin sakta (there
cannot be a bigger victory than this).’
Ten: The BJP has shown in this election, once more, that it
has increasingly turned into a battle-ready machine to fight
elections. It depends heavily on the Other Backward Classes
and then tries hard to get one more dominant caste, by hook
or crook, in each constituency to make a winning combo.
The fundamentals of the BJP’s election campaign are:
a. Modi’s image of a strong leader who is for development
and who will deliver.
b. The party structure and accessories remains pro-Hindu.
c. All the BJP governments — in the states and now at the
Centre — portray an image of being pro-youth, pro-reforms
with the leadership believing in speedy governance.
d. The organization skill, huge human resources, manipulation of the media and money power are the icing on the
BJP has turned into a
battle-ready machine Sheela Bhatt lists the key takeaways of the election results in Maharashtra and Haryana
BJP supporters in Mumbai celebrate the party’s win.
India Abroad October 31, 2014 A19 INDIA NEWS/BATTLE FOR THE STATES