The results of elections for the 16th Parliament are out. The BJP has scored an outstanding victory. The BJP led by Shri Atal Bihariji had won 182 seats in the 1998 and 1999 elections. Additional 90 seats required to form a stable Government were managed with support from friendly parties which were as diverse as the Shiv Sena from
and the National Conference of J&K. The BJP had its own independent
manifesto for the 1998 elections but had to work out a ‘Common Minimum Program
(CMP)’ with some friendly parties to form a Government. The Government fell
after only 13 months due to uncooperative attitude of one supporting party and
necessitated fresh elections in 1999. The BJP fought the elections with the CMP
(worked out earlier) as its manifesto with its partners but could not increase
its tally beyond 182 seats. However, with the support from friendly parties,
Atal Bihari Bajpayeeji ran an effective stable Government for the next 5 years.
This time the BJP has secured 284 seats on its own, 12 more than necessary to form a stable Government – this is indeed an outstanding historic achievement. The distinctive feature has been that the BJP fought these elections on its own independent manifesto. It included the issues of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, Common Civil Code and Article 370 which had to be left out of the 1999 manifesto (CMP) earlier. Apart from BJP allies the Akali Dal and the Shiv Sena, Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party, Chandrababu Naidu led TDP and some other parties in the south were also part of the NDA. Development and Transparency in Governance were the core issues in these elections – there can be no two opinions about their importance. And though everyone may not agree with the above mentioned three issues included in the BJP manifesto, the very fact that these other parties joined the NDA umbrella indicates that they are not likely to have direct opposition if steps are taken to resolve these concerns within the constitutional and judicial framework.. The BJP led NDA has secured 334 seats, more than 60%, a record breaking triumph, which no other Party or Group can boast of over the last seven elections – almost 30 years, since Rajiv Gandhi won in 1984.
The credit for this exceptional and glorious success of BJP, beyond doubt, goes to Shri Narendrabhai Modi. His relentless hard work, untiring efforts in establishing communication with people – addressing their aspirations and concerns specially his direct connect with the younger generation, has resulted in superb victory for the BJP. This is not to downplay the role of the party organisation or its workers. These existed in 2004 and 2009 too. But the party had suffered reverses nevertheless. That leadership of Narendrabhai Modi infused new life into the party and enthused unbound fresh energy into the workers is now accepted by all.
CONTRIBUTION OF SANGH SWAYAMSEWAKS
The contribution of RSS to this victory also needs to be recognized. The RSS remains away from politics as a rule and is an organisation committed to the good of the entire Society. Politics is one sphere of the social life, but not the only one. Therefore, RSS also has its views on various issues in politics also. In other areas of social life like, education, health & hygiene, religion, industry, agriculture etc, the RSS swayamsewaks also work. Shri Mohanji Bhagwat, Sarsanghchalak, had exhorted all workers and citizens in his Vijaya Dashmi address last October to exercise their right to vote and ensure 100% voting in elections. In follow up the RSS swayamsevaks visited millions of homes creating awareness, motivating and urging people to come out for voting. They did not have to influence the people to vote for someone particular. The people know RSS very well and have faith in its work. These efforts proved very fruitful resulting in extraordinary voting percentages which recorded an exceptional growth [beyond 66%] in these 2014 elections. The swayamsevaks were also driven by the anti “RSS” propaganda let loose by the non-NDA parties, especially the Congress, who propagated that their fight is with the RSS and not with the BJP. Their misguided attempts were always aimed at capturing the Muslim vote en-masse by spreading the imagined fear of RSS amongst them. Therefore, the spiteful role and contribution of such anti BJP parties and the Congress in badmouthing RSS should also not be discounted in this eye-catching success achieved by the BJP.
DEFEAT OF CASTEIST POLITICS
Another distinctive feature of these elections has been the defeat of casteist politics. Hindu society is the majority community in our nation. “People are the Nation” is a universally accepted concept. Similarities in cultural and social values, customs and more importantly “roots” of the people are the true benchmarks for defining the homogeneousness, unity and nationality of a people. Therefore we consider ‘Hindu’ a Nation – a ‘Rashtra’. The Hindu society is made up of many castes, sub-castes, creeds etc having many common features among their practices and beliefs with their distinctive lifestyles. However many narrow minded politicians and groups with lofty sounding names have been trying to achieve ungainly power through dubious means. They actively engage in magnifying the differences and inciting injudicious feelings of injustice. This results in creating wedges and spread hatred amongst the people rather than strengthening the common features that bind the society. These elections have been a resounding slap in the face of such casteist political parties and leaders which they will remember a lifetime. Mayawati’s BSP, a front runner in politics of the Dalits, had won 20 seats in UP alone during the 2009 elections. In this election BSP has been totally wiped out, whereas the BJP has won all the 17 seats reserved in Scheduled Caste category, in U.P. The Samajwadi Party of Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav, which had won maximum parliamentary seats in UP in 2009 has been restricted to just five seats [Mulayam & family members only] out of 80 this time. The SP had not only won the assembly elections in 2009 with a vast majority but is also in power in UP today The voters of UP have totally rejected politicians engaged in castereligion based politics as also the politics of equation of votebanks like “Muslim-Dalit” or ‘Yadav-Muslim’ etc. The outstanding success achieved by the BJP in winning 71 out of 80 seats in UP the credit goes to Amit Shah who has worked himself into the hearts of people making UP almost his home.
The Congress party has been thoroughly decimated in these elections. A party boasting a tradition of 125 years, which had won 206 seats on its own in the previous election 5 years back, could not even secure 50 seats – it got just 46. What could be more shameful that it has been completely wiped out in 12 states – J&K, HIMACHAL PRADESH, UTTARAKHAND, RAJASTHAN,
GUJARAT, GOA, TAMILNADU, ODISHA, JHARKHAND and
TRIPURA. In fact, in some of these states the Congress is the ruling party.
There could have been no greater disgrace for the party than this shocking
In my opinion this is matter of great concern and worry. Not only for the Congress party, but also in terms of the democratic system we follow. There are a large number of smaller parties. But they are restricted more or less to a region or a state or two. Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, BJD in Odisha, JD(S) in Karnataka, Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, SP/BSP in UP, AIDMK/DMK in Tamilnadu, Akalis in Punjab etc. They have neither the all
national presence or nor
views, reach and policies towards external affairs or defence in entirety. If
at all, the TNC views would be limited to Bangla Desh, DMK/AIDMKs to India . CPM
has a much larger presence, in three states, with an independent take on
external/foreign affairs and economic agenda. However its total dependance on
already failed outdated Marxist philosophy would find fewer and fewer takers as
we move ahead in time. That leaves us with just the two parties, the BJP and
the CONGRESS, that not only have a holistic view of national situation and
clear policies towards all issues but more or less also have a historical
geographical presence and spread across the country. It is extremely necessary
for a healthy democratic system that two parties, more or less equally
balanced, are at the core. The Sri Lanka USA
has the Democrats and the Republicans, has the Labour Party and the
Conservatives. Power keeps changing hands between such two parties over years
and allows healthy democracy to grow. That is why we also need such two healthy
competitors and for that the Congress has to wake up, take stock and revive
REVIVING THE CONGRESS
The Congress party is presently fully dependent on the Gandhi Family, Sonia – Rahul – Priyanka Vadra and has no other leaders willing to stand up and be counted. This will not help in its revival. The younger generation is fed up and set against family fiefdoms in politics. What, if any, are the political achievements of either Sonia or Rahul that show up their leadership or acumen? Nothing, Other than being the daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi and wife of Rajiv Gandhi what does she have to her credit? After spending ten years in Parliament has she ever spoken effectively on any important issue? Same is the case with Rahul. It is time to put aside claims of over-sixty generation and the likes of Digvijay, Chidambaram, Antony, Gehlot etc and give charge in the hands of Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, Ajay Maken, Dipendra Huda, Milind Deora, Rajendra Mulak, Mukul Wasnik, Meenakshi Natarajan etc. Even Rahul and Priyanka could be part of such new formation. They should chalk out a complete plan for revival and form organizational policies anew, taking care that meaning of secularism is not limited to being “anti-Hindu” and pro-others. Appeasement of none and progress to all should become the core factors of revival. Approach should be towards positivity, climbing above the politics of caste, creed, religion etc and move towards redefining the fundamental philosophy of the party.
Of course there is no fault in treating elder leaders with due respect, recognizing their contributions and giving them due honour, but the leadership should remain now with the young generation. Now is the time for the younger lot to come together and do some brainstorming in the right direction – I feel that is the only way forward for the Congress.
M G VAIDYA
18 MAY 2014