It's Not a Modi Wave, Just Modi-fication of Numbers - The New Indian Express

It's Not a Modi Wave, Just Modi-fication of Numbers

Published: 12th April 2014 12:44 PM

Last Updated: 12th April 2014 12:44 PM

They are talking about a wave, whereas all I see is rants and raves. Even RSS is now disgruntled with this near-deification of Narendra Modi. So for all the wave claims being tomtommed by analysts, where are they hoping to get these numbers from?

There was a similar “wave” in 2004 with a number of people predicting a victory of over 300 seats for BJP. They ended up with 135; 185 including allies. This time the wave declaimers say BJP alone can get to the magic figure of 272. How?

BJP has a scant or no presence in over 300 seats out of 543. In 2009, Congress had contested on 440 seats and BJP on 433. Congress was on number one and two positions on 350 seats; whereas BJP was number one and two on 226 seats—a difference of over 100 seats.

A lot is being made out of the recent Assembly elections. The Assembly polls prior to the 2009 General Elections also had BJP winning in MP, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat. That never translated into a nationwide wave. Besides, the voting patterns in the Assembly and General Elections are known to be different. Let’s take a region-wise analysis.

For the last 10 years, BJP hasn’t managed more than 10 seats in UP. The people have decisively told them that their hardline Hindutva agenda doesn’t work anymore. BJP had no presence in Bihar. It was only with JD(U) that it made inroads there the last time. With Nitish Kumar having pulled out his support, it’ll be groping in the dark again.

The party practically has no presence in West Bengal (0 out of 42 in 2009) and Northeast. Add to this Odisha (0 out of 21), Andhra (0 out of 42), Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Haryana and J&K. So in 16 out of 28 states, it barely has a presence—now 17 out of 29 factoring in Telangana. At best, it is confined to the north and west. If these states go a little off their voting pattern of the Assembly polls, the party will be in doldrums.

The Congress and BJP were in a direct fight in about 140 seats in 2009. The result: Congress gained 26 seats, with a loss of the same number for BJP. In rest of India, it was Congress versus regional parties.

BJP is out of the running wherever regional parties are strong. In 2009 too, there was a talk of anti-incumbency. With their performance of 138 in 2004, and 116 in 2009, how can they claim 272, all of a sudden?

There are tall claims flying around without logical analysis. The media has been irresponsible in trying to hitch their wagons to an imaginary star. We should never forget that the media needs to set a better example for its posterity.

There’s a certain desperation in the man. The situation is akin to his mentor last time, touted as a strong leader who could provide decisive government. Before that, it was ‘India Shining’. It’s like a bunch of teenagers imagining themselves to be exorcists—that their words will conjure up their ardent wishes. So the BJP leader is a corporate genius; he is also an ex-tea vendor, now he is playing the OBC card, now the Hindu card. He was the temple man, now he’s the toilet man. Of course he is the development man, like the other who calls himself aam aadmi. What the development is in an already developed state, one doesn’t know. Even L K Advani once lauded the Madhya Pradesh CM for his developmental strategies, saying Gujarat was already a developed state. It was a covert jibe at Modi.

Self-styling is the order of the day. Any avatar that will appeal will work. Ambition is not a bad thing, but actions reeking of desperation is another matter. People who know history, remember 2004 well, when someone relinquished the post just because this gang of desperados got jittery.

Sensationalism is perhaps the key to rising TRPs, but not to serious governance. Let’s hope the ballot beats the wallet.  Follow her on Twitter @ArchanaDalmia

Dalmia is chairperson of Grievance Cell,All India Congress Committee

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