PM Narendra Modi Betrays Panic Between Hope And Frustration | Arabian Weekly


By Dr. Gyan Pathak

Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remark on ‘Sanatan Dharm’ has been caught in controversy in no time. It reaches even to the top to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who clutched at it like a drowning man. Neither Udhayanidhi, nor PM Modi is a religious man. They are political species and bent upon extracting maximum political benefit out of it.

PM Narendra Modi has called for “appropriate response” asked the BJP-RSS clan to slow down on Bharat vs India controversy, which he himself had brought to the fore on the eve of G20 meet. Politically speaking, ‘Sanatan Dharm controversy’ suits RSS-BJP clan’s Hindutva politics better than ‘Bharat vs India controversy’. No wonder the clan is out to fanning religious fanaticism among the Hindus. Udhayanidhi’s father MK Stalin has clarified that his son never used the word ‘genocide’ and even alleged that PM Modi is responding to ‘lies’.

Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai has in response explained ‘DMK’ as the short form of “Dengu, Maleria, Kosu”. Udhayanidhi had equated Sanatan Dharma to “malaria and dengue” and opined it to be eradicated. He clarified later that he never meant the followers of Santana Dharm should be eradicated. Congress, TMC and other INDIA alliance constituents have distanced themselves from the Udhayanidhi’s statement. Wisdom suggests, the issue should be dropped now from both sides for the larger interest of the people. However, RSS-BJP clan does not seem to drop this politically hot cake for them. They should also keep in mind when they said “Congress Mukta Bharat” they did not mean “genocide of the followers of the Congress,” and Congress did not over-reacted on BJP’s statement as RSS-BJP clan is now over-reacting on Udhayanidhi’s statement. It is totally unfair.

Even if the clan vigorously rakes the issue for political polarization, it May not be able to derive political mileage in the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha election of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh scheduled to be held later in 2023, or in the Lok Sabha election in 2024 in which PM Narendra Modi will be seeking to win for the third term.

PM Modi has been seen suffering from his mood swing, if changing slogans and accentuating his campaign materials to the level of sensationalization are of any indication. He betrays his oscillation between hope and frustration. Every assessment and survey up to August 2023 has suggested fall in political prospects of the BJP and NDA – BJP maximum 287 and NDA partners 19 seats as against they have won 303 and 353 seats in 2019 Lok Sabha election. It means BJP will be almost on its own.

Uttar Pradesh still offers the biggest hope to PM Modi and the BJP, though the party has been on the decline since 2014 Lok Sabha election when party had bagged 71 seats out of 80. Within five years it lost much of its ground and could win only 62 seats in 2019, and in 16 seats it was runner up. Out of these 16, BSP had won 10, SP 5 and Congress 1 seat. SP and BSP had contested the 2019 election jointly, but as of now, BSP is not part of INDIA alliance.

Though it has generated great hope among the BJP rank and file, PM Modi can see through the impending threat arising from the latest political development in the state which included spectacular rise of Samajwadi Party (SP) in the 2022 Vidhan Sabha election and corresponding fall in the political fortune of the BSP and the Congress. SP’s share of votes rose to 32.06 per cent from just 18.11 per cent in 2019. The disturbing element is that SP’s share of votes rose when it contested without BSP. Vote share of BSP even declined from 19.43 per cent in 2019 to 12.88 per cent in 2022, when the party contested alone. Congress vote share also declined to 2.33 per cent from 6.31 per cent.

All these indicate that Uttar Pradesh was going to have one-on-one fight  in all seats, and the emergence of INDIA alliance has made it more certain. Electorate are sharply polarized either in favour of SP led INDIA alliance in the state or in favour of BJP led NDA. A bigger chunk of BSP’s share of votes would shift to the INDIA alliance candidate. The scenario is frustrating for the BJP, because it is a serious threat for 20 seats that the party had won with less than 1,00,000 margin of votes, and will see closer contest in 7 others that it had won with less than 1,20,000 margin of votes. On the other hand, BJP can hope to win only 7 seats on which it was runner up, if the same yardstick is applied. BJP’s net loss may be over 12 seats from Uttar Pradesh.

BJP had won 28 seats in Madhya Pradesh in 2019, 26 in Gujarat, 25 in Karnataka, 24 in Rajasthan, 23 in Maharashtra, 18 in West Bengal, 17 in Bihar, 11 in Jharkhand, 10 in Haryana, 9 in Assam, 9 in Chhattisgarh, 8 in Odisha, 7 in NCT Delhi, 5 in Uttarakhand, 4 in Himachal Pradesh, 4 in Telangana, 3 in Jammu and Kashmir, 2 each in Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Tripura, and one each in Goa, Manipur, Chandigarh, and Daman & Diu.

BJP has little to lose in Gujarat, as of now, but Congress has emerged a threat on its own for BJP in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Himachal Pradesh. Its spectacular win in Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh has already rendered humiliating defeat to BJP. In Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh, BJP could not even put CM face due to infighting at its worst. PM Modi’s charisma does not seem to work in these states and hence BJP is running a risk of losing considerable number of seats that it had won in 2019.

Former NDA ally Shiv Sena in Maharashtra had enabled BJP to win 23 seats in 2019, but it later quit NDA to joint MVA. After split in Shiv Sena, Shinde group is with NDA, while Uddhav Thackeray group is part of INDIA alliance. NCP has also suffered a split, and Ajit group had joined NDA while Sharad Pawar is with INDIA alliance. BJP would therefore find it tough to even retain its all seats from the state.

JD(U) in Bihar had enabled BJP to win 17 seats from the state, but now JD(U) is part of INDIA alliance along with RJD and Congress. Therefore, BJP is set to lose majority of seats from the state. BJP still seems to be strong in Haryana, though cracks in NDA are seen recently. INDIA alliance in West Bengal have threatened BJP’s all the 18 seats from the state.

In 50 seats it was runner up in 2019 – 16 from Uttar Pradesh, 11 from Odisha, 5 from Tamil Nadu, 2 each from Telangana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh, and1 each from Punjab, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Assam, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It can hope to win only a few, because of emergence of INDIA alliance.

In 40 seats BJP had won by a margin of less than 50,000 votes while in 37 seats it had won by a margin between 50,000 and 1,00,000. BJP central leadership has identified 160 seats where the party will be in direct tougher one-on-one fight with INDIA alliance.

Raking the Sanatan Dharm controversy may cause the South to open its door for BJP, as we can see from the political mood in Karnataka where Congress has recently served the BJP a humiliating defeat in the Vidhan Sabha election. Out of 25 seats in Karnataka BJP had won in 2019, it can lose 17 as the Vidhan Sabha election result indicates.

As for the North India, BJP running a risk to lose considerably in Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Bihar, and Jharkhand. Additionally, the prospect of loss to NDA partners has multiplied their frustration. No wonder, PM Modi and RSS-BJP clan is trying to clutch “Sanatan Dharm Controversy” as a drowning man clutches at a straw. (IPA Service)

The post PM Narendra Modi Betrays Panic Between Hope And Frustration first appeared on Latest India news, analysis and reports on IPA Newspack.

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