BY : TANVEER JAFRI : People of India have given their mandate for 15th general elections. Many views are being expressed about this mandate. Some analysts feel that this mandate is against the narrow mindedness of regional parties & in favour of national parties. Some feel that this mandate is for a stable Union government. But in spite of all this, all political analysts have this collective view that through this mandate the people of India have buried the communal, egoistic & boastful politics of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In the last general elections where the BJP was having 138 seats, the Congress had 145 Members of Parliament. This time the tally of the BJP is reduced to 116 while the Congress has increased its tally to 205. That is, the gain of 60 seats for the Congress & loss of 22 seats for the BJP. The BJP used different propagandas to win the 15th general elections. It continuously attacked the Congress led-UPA government in aggressive manner. Think tanks of the BJP made war like strategies. Accordingly, Lal Krishna Advani was declared as the ‘Prime Minister in Waiting’ of the BJP. Besides, the slogan ‘Strong Leader, Decisive Government’ was publicised. Along with this slogan, Advani started targeting the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh by calling him a ‘weak Prime Minister’. This compelled the Prime Minister, in the last hours of election campaign, to remind the people of the country regarding the Kandahar plane hijack & terrorist attack on Parliament during the regime of Advani as the Home Minister of India.
Another leader to lead the campaign of the party was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. During the whole election campaign, Modi seemed to be drowned in the ego of ‘ruling Gujarat’. While Advani was given the tag of ‘Loh Purush’(Iron Man) by the BJP people, Modi too was given titles of Vikaas Purush(Man of Development), Hindu hriday samrat, second Chanakya & chhote Sardar Patel etc. In this very ego, Modi addressed about 200 public meetings, out of which the party managed to win only 18 seats outside Gujarat. Even in Gujarat, the party’s performance was lower than expected. For the purpose of polishing the persona of Modi & more polarization of the Hindu votes, a minor row was caused by projecting Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate next to Advani. But all this rhetoric failed to impress the Indian voters.
Modi, the star campaigner of the BJP, was too made the party in charge of Maharashtra & Goa. In both these states, the party performed worse than before. In Haryana & Punjab, the party lost all those seats where Modi campaigned. In contrast, in Bihar, where Modi was ‘prohibited’ to enter by the ally of the BJP, the party along with the Janata Dal (United), performed better. Indeed the people have completely rejected the egoistic, rhetorical & venomous communal speeches of Narendra Modi. Modi may praise himself by watching his speeches & styles on TV screen, but the voter of India was watching all this with his third Eye, the level of speeches by the future ‘Prime Minister in Waiting’.
It is to be noted that during the general elections of 2004, Narendra Modi said vis-à-vis Rahul Gandhi that nobody would like to employ him as a driver. Regarding Sonia Gandhi, this ‘Vikaas Purush’ said that nobody would give her a room on rent. During current elections, this ‘modern Chanakya’ of the BJP once again spewed shoddy & cheap words. One day he called the Congress-an old woman, the other day- a doll. He compared the members of the Gandhi family with the fish of aquarium & himself as a leader capable to face the ‘Tsunami’. While Modi tried to communalise the issue of terrorism & Afzal Guru, in the NDA rally in Ludhiana he sympathized with the killer terrorists of General Vaid. What Modi wanted to make out of this churning, didn’t get either in Ludhiana, Delhi, Punjab or Haryana. Moreover, the awakened people of the country understood the double standards of Narendra Modi on terrorism.
During the 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai while the whole nation was feeling scared, at the same time Mr. Modi visited the Taj Hotel & tried to make political mileage of it. During the whole election campaign, neither Mr. Modi had any model for the development of the country, nor did he talk about it. He was so lost in his special clothing & new aggressive style that he couldn’t see anything beyond his firebrand speeches, negative thoughts, and verbal attacks on opposition in general & Nehru-Gandhi family in particular. Sometimes he was seen enraged by Media & sometimes he decided to be quiet & drink water, instead of replying the relevant questions of media. The whole nation watched this.
In contrast to this, Rahul Gandhi tried to make people dream of ‘Young India’. He put the agenda of development before the country. He talked about national integration. He resolved to protect the secular values of the Congress party. He stressed on the need of communal harmony in the country. Both Sonia Gandhi & Rahul Gandhi gave the message that for all round development of the nation, the biggest prerequisite is unity & communal & social harmony. India can never progress in a tensed atmosphere. Indian voters felt this right & good. The acceptability of Rahul Gandhi can be understood from the fact that he campaigned in 106 constituencies of the country, out of which the party won 65 seats. Voters too saw & recognised the honesty & hard work of Dr. Manmohan Singh.
We have to admit that the majority of voters of India, which we think are illiterate, uneducated & backward, are now politically much aware & day to day is getting more aware. In this age of politics of uncertainty & communalism, giving & stable & secular government is the biggest evidence of the awareness of Indian voters.