When SP and BSP came together for the UP Bypolls, not even the most hopeful would have predicted the results from the BJP’s bastion – Gorakhpur to fall. Praveen Kumar Nishad from Samajwadi Party got 4,56,437 votes – 21,881 more votes than Upendra Dutt Shukla of BJP.
In the last polls, which Yogi Adityanath who was representing BJP had a victory margin of 3,12,783 with SP-BSP polling just 4,02,756 votes among them. For one the lower turn out in the election certainly did not favour BJP, what cannot be discounted is the fact that this constituency was lost by BJP for the first time since 1991, speaks volume of things to come.
There is definitely an under current of anti incumbency that BJP is facing. From Rajsthan to now Bihar and UP, saffron is not the highest flying flag. With some right aligned political commentators already discounting a possible Congress win in Karnataka, BJP may be looking at a bigger electoral challenge in 2019 general election than it would have had envisioned. While BJP already finds lack of favourable issues, we believe its the lack of leadership that may be the prime cause of reversals.
Just last week Devendra Fadnavis had surrendered to Farmers carrying red hammer-n-sickle flags, Vijay Rupani is going to preside over one of the worst droughts situations in Gujarat – without a plan, and Yogi is still finding his feet and learning nuances of governance. All most state level leadership, hand picked by Amit Shah, has no broad base or understanding of the region they preside over. For a diverse country like ours, the very attempt to build a unitary government under Modi, may be the reason for these defeats.
Even the states where Popular leaders are ruling the administration, the hype vs delivery from Modi stands exposed. There is no make in India to see and there is no growth revival. Banks are scared to lend, and businessmen are looked upon as crooks. Make in India has already collapsed under the misadventure of demonetization and the patchy roll out of GST. Add to it the ballooning government debt with no room to provide subsidies there is nothing left for BJP to do which can meaningfully convince electorate, in time for the 2019 elections.
Perhaps our dire are too early as Modi and Shah still have each other with complete backing of the most efficient electioneering machinery in the world however Yogi may not be this lucky. With Gorakhpur he may have lost much more than what meets the eye today.