Gujarat is set to face the Assembly elections on December 9 and 14. Here’s my interpretation of what we might see on our television screens from December 18.
First, I wish to elucidate that I strongly oppose some of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decisions. But, we have to accept the truth. The outcome of Gujarat’s Assembly elections would be clear by the time sun reaches its highest point in the day on December 18, 2017. I am confident that if Congress loses, it’s an open secret that they would call a press conference and blame the following six factors for their defeat.
1. BJP used money power for stealing mandate in Gujarat
These days, voters are wise enough to decide which party spends money on campaigning and which doesn’t. Logically, if the BJP spends handsomely during their election campaign, who has stopped the Congress Party from doing so?
2. BJP used goons and government machinery to win polls
This is probably the most widely used rationale by parties to justify their defeat. However, the fact is that due to technological evolution, threatening or putting pressure on voters and getting away is not easy anymore. No matter if it’s a police officer demanding a bribe or a hooligan demanding protection money, these days, people can easily use phones to record voice, videos of the individuals who issue threats and then release the material in public to expose the hooligans. Thus, winning an entire state with the help of government machinery or goons does not sound feasible.
3. The Bhartiya Janta Party used its caste and communal card to win polls
I never saw the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi visiting temples before elections. But during Gujarat’s campaign, he was seen visiting temples with red tilaka or sandalwood paste applied on his forehead. Indeed, this is a welcome move. Plus, the Congress Party has also kept its strategist Ahmed Patel away from the limelight. So, voters are smart enough to understand which parties are using their caste and communal card. Every political outfit plays these cards to bring disgruntled voters under their umbrella and blame others for using the same tactics.
4. BJP used doctored sex CD to win elections and reached a new low
I feel that if the concerned CDs were doctored, Hardik would have had approached the court immediately to file a defamation case against the people who released the footage. But, the point to be noted is that the young leader did not initiate any legal action.
5. Faulty EVMs helped the BJP
I am an instrumentation and control engineer by qualification. Before few months, I use to believe in the EVM tampering possibility. However, my perspective on this issue changed after June 3, 2017. The Election Commission had invited representatives from all the political parties in its Hackathon EVM challenge. Only the Nationalist Congress Party and Aam Admi Party decided to participate. AAP took a U-Turn on June 3 and stayed away from the event, while the CPM; NCP’s representative attended the event to understand the process. Thus, political parties should stop blaming the EVMs for their defeat as they have lost moral rights to do so on June 3, 2017. Anyway, the EC is using VVPAT during Gujarat polls.
6. The saffron party put pressure on the administration by asking CMs and even the PM to campaign in Gujarat
First, I appeal all the political analysts to point out one rule set by the Election Commission that prohibits chief ministers of other states and the prime minister from campaigning. The constitution allows the prime minister to even participate in his party’s campaigns for Gram Panchayat elections.
Congress party claims it has never asked its PM or CMs to campaign like the BJP. They are right, and perhaps, that’s the reason Congress is about to immerse.
Congress, as well as other opposition parties, are still stuck somewhere in 1970-80s. On the other hand, Narendra Modi is helping the BJP to grow by leaps and bounds while approaching 2018. Opponents, including Congress, have developed a tendency to lose. But, BJP makes its grassroots workers and leaders work extremely hard during elections. Such hard work is key to Modi’s success record.
Gandhi would possibly opt for a quick visit to Italy (or abroad, somewhere else) after December 18. On the other hand, Shah and Modi would probably take a flight to Karnataka after attending the oath-taking ceremony of next Gujarat chief minister.
Be ready to play all the formats of the game
To interpret in terms of cricket, PM Modi has become a proficient player for T20, ODI, and Test matches. Unfortunately, his opponents always remain in Test match mode.
On 7th June 1975 first International world cup match was played in between England and India. In that game, England scored mammoth 334 runs with the help of Denis Amis’s brilliant 137 runs. On the other hand, India scored only 132 runs at the loss of just three wickets. India had seven wickets in hand still India lost the match because Indian players played it like a Test match. Especially, little master Sunil Gavaskar who scored unbeaten 36 runs but for that score, he used 174 deliveries. If it were a Test match, it would have drawn, but it was one day, so India lost by 202 runs. Likewise, opposition parties including Congress are in the era of test cricket; they are not ready to accept it is 2017; here you should be well versed for all formats of the game, i.e., Test, ODI & T20.
Change is inevitable, and now it has struck Indian politics. Congress needs to acknowledge and transform itself according to the situation to survive. Else, its decimation is unavoidable.
Every political analyst might look at Gujarat Assembly polls verdict with a different lens. The unquestionable truth is that BJP will get a majority in Gujarat polls. My opinion is that the BJP would have to interpret its performance even if the INC manages to retain its 60 seats that it won in 2012. Retaining its seats can help Congress in its revival plans. Now, let’s wait and watch until December 18.
This article is written by Aniruddha Joshi in Marathi language and translated by Nitten Gokhaley in English language.
Aniruddha Joshi is based in Parli town (Beed district) in Maharashtra. He works as a sub-editor in a renowned Marathi Daily. You can get in touch with him on his mobile number-8983555657.