11,992.50-53.3
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Opposition blunts BJP’s emotive planks of CAA and NRC

During campaigns, BJP tried to camouflage voters’ disenchantment with the Raghubar Das regime by carefully playing up the CAA-NRC and Ram temple planks but the opposition has again showed that its strategy of focusing on bread-and-butter issues such as unemployment, inflation and agrarian crisis.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Dec 24, 2019, 07.55 AM IST
0Comments
Agencies
raghubar-das
"It is not BJP’s defeat, it is my defeat," said Das.
Tax Calculator
NEW DELHI: JMM-Congress-RJD alliance’s victory against the ruling BJP in Jharkhand, which has around 85% non-Muslim population, has come right in the middle of the nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC). Also, the first electoral battle after the Supreme Court’s Ram Temple verdict has been won by the opposition.

During campaigns, BJP tried to camouflage voters’ disenchantment with the Raghubar Das regime by carefully playing up the CAA-NRC and Ram temple planks but the opposition has again showed that its strategy of focusing on bread-and-butter issues — such as unemployment, inflation and agrarian crisis — has neutralised the polarisation potential of the emotive issues. The opposition had similarly blunted BJP’s planks of Article 370, triple talaq and Savarkar in Hindu-dominated Maharashtra and Haryana elections.

This victory also means that the opposition will now be more aggressive and confident in the national arena, and BJP’s allies restless during Modi 2.0. During the campaign in Jharkhand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a Dumka rally: “Congress and opposition are trying to spread fire (anti-CAA protests). From the visuals on TV, those setting fire can be identified by their clothes.” Later, at Bhognadin, he dared Congress and its allies to “openly announce that they are ready to give Indian citizenship to all Pakistanis”. In the last phase of campaign, Shah said at Pakur: “Within four months, a sky-high Ram temple will be built in Ayodhya.”

Commenting on the alliance’s victory, Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “The people of Jharkhand have seen through the manner in which the PM and BJP have been making false promises and charges to divert people’s attention from the real issues.”

Jharkhand victory completes opposition’s electoral possession of India’s heartland after last year’s victories in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. Barring BJP-ruled UP, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Goa, Himachal, Uttarakhand, Haryana and northeast states, Congress and its allies and non-NDA parties are in power in most states. This adds a new dimension to the upcoming Delhi polls.

For the Congress rank and file, Sonia Gandhi is once again proving to be their lucky mascot. After taking charge, Sonia has led a resurgent Congress — from Haryana to Maharashtra to Jharkhand. Rahul Gandhi walking out after leading the party to its second consecutive Lok Sabha defeat against the Modiled BJP in 2019 has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Like in Maharashtra and Haryana, Sonia let seniors led by Ahmed Patel to do the behind-the-scenes operations in Jharkhand.

Rahul’s exit also means more cohesiveness in the leadership. Earlier, it was riven by the ‘old vs young’ tension orchestrated by ‘Team Rahul’, including some ‘salaried professionals’. Even as the Congress circles turned reminiscent of the “harmonious team work” Sonia displayed in leading the party and in inking alliances in states in the run-up to the successful 2004 Lok Sabha elections against the Vajpayee regime, globe-trotting Rahul and his “unemployed team members are working on the mother’s sentiments to push for the son’s second coming” — a process that many think could suit the BJP leadership more, given its difficulty in targeting Sonia and “it’s ease in making merry of the Rahul ways”.

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Other useful Links


Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service