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ET View: The lesson for Rahul and Mamata from Lok Sabha 2019

The opposition has done better than it did in 2014, but nowhere on the scale it hoped for, except in Kerala and TN.

ET Bureau|
Updated: May 23, 2019, 04.50 PM IST
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It is a resounding victory for Narendra Modi, organised, sustained campaigns over poll-eve mobilisation and a national narrative over regional and sectional loyalties. BJP seems poised to secure a majority on its own, and two years down the line, will have a majority in the Rajya Sabha and be in a position to legislate as it pleases.

The Opposition has done better than it did in 2014, but nowhere on the scale it hoped for, except in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. In Kerala, the BJP has made its presence felt in an unprecedented fashion, however.

For the Congress, it is especially galling that it has fared poorly in the states in which it won power as recently as in December 2018. In Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, where the state machinery is under reasonably tight monitoring by the Congress and its functionaries, even if not under their control, thanks to the writ of the Election Commission, it is difficult for election officials to carry out or permit hanky-panky with electronic voting machines. The popular mandate has gone to Narendra Modi.

Orissa voters provide proof that Indian voters can think differently about state-level and national politics. They would appear to have resoundingly favoured Naveen Patnaik for a fifth term as chief minister, even as being relatively more generous towards the BJP.

For Mamata Banerjee, the voters of Bengal have delivered a sobering lesson. Shrill protestations and playing the minority card can get you only so far. You need a constructive agenda to retain the support of the people.

The present elections mark the near-obliteration of the Left from national politics.

For the victorious BJP and its Modi-Shah leadership, the message should not be that they are invincible but that efforts to get the economy going and generating jobs in earnest would win them even larger support.
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