2014 Election And The Myth Of 272 And How Bjp Achieved It
Everyone knew that the Modi led BJP and the NDA would somehow get past the indomitable figure of 272 and form the government at the center. But no one in India, no seasoned political pundit could have predicted the BJP in itself would cross the 272 mark. This has not been achieved since 1984, when Rajiv Gandhi romped to victory. It took 30 years for a party to get a full mandate from the citizenry. What does it mean for India and what the BJP can achieve in the coming 5 years because there can be no pressure which could be excreted from the outside. No hidden agenda, no demand for crucial portfolios in the cabinet. No one can threaten Modi and his administration. So what can they do?
How did BJP manage to achieve this impossible target and why no one could predict it? To find out one has to do state by state analysis. The first state is Utter Pradesh (UP). In Indian politics any party which will win most number of seats in UP will win the election and by winning 71 seats the BJP has set a new record in our contemporary political history. They will probably end up at 72 when Mulayam Singh Yadav will have to give up one if his seats will be the Azamghar constituency, reducing the Samajwadi party to a paltry 4 seats.
Modi Campaigned all over India, but the BJP think-tank had a very simple strategy which was not wasting too much time in the state of Gujarat which has 26 seats, Madhya Pradesh (MP) has 27, and Rajasthan 25 because BJP was going to win anyway. It is a case of simple mathematics. The combined seats in all the three states are 78. BJP knew all too well not to spend too much time since they have already done exceedingly will in the recently held assembly elections. So why spend too much time, let the Modi wave reach both Rajasthan and MP and let the nature take its course.
But the bordering state of Maharashtra was the key out west. With a strong partner in Shiv Sena whose leader Uddhav Thackrey is more amenable then his father Bal Thackrey was to BJP. It was clear campaign of targeting the UPA government of Maharashtra, with 48 seats to fill parliament, Maharashtra is the second biggest state, seat wise in India. Let us also not forget the likes of Ajit Pawar from NCP and other leaders from congress making insensitive statements which did nothing but tilt the population towards the BJP. It was as if they were hell-bent on destroying themselves or the arrogance had blinded them.
Now the most time and political capital spent by Modi and the Political machinery of BJP was in the state of UP and Bihar. But it was mostly UP because the BJP has not done well in this state for a very long time and with 80 seats up for grabs; they went “go for broke”. It was very clear; the congress party had no footing and the SP and BSP party only intention was to get leverage in the center and get a fat and juice cabinet post. While the SP was busy playing the politics of religion and honking the horn of secularism and the BSP only concentrating on caste politics, BJP saw a unique opportunity to target the middle i.e. the young. His speeches did not target one particular community or religion, though the opposition portrayed him as anti Muslim. His strategy of talking about the development in Gujarat and the jobs that has been created resonated more with the voters of UP. Also the Muslim vote got split between SP and BSP. Also in Bihar, similar strategy was used.
The main goal was UP and only UP. Winning most numbers of the seats here was going to be the most important job in the entire campaign. As it turned out by winning 71 seats it solidified the overall count. Up amounts to 39% of seats in parliament for BJP from the overall count of 281. The development of UP will be the key to win the re-election in 5 years time. Now that the dream of “Ab kie baar modi sarkar” has became a reality. What Mr Modi and his cohorts will do to improve the economy, internal security, defense and border integrity is something only time will tell. The BJP administration has a lot to do to develop confidence and trust with the minorities. It has to make sure that the hardliners in the party and their affiliates do not run wild with their sticks and agendas. If winning the election was a tall climb, governing is going to be even more challenging and the decisions of this administration will shape the next 50 years of the world’s biggest democracy.