ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Gujarat and Himachal Elections

Gujarat and Himachal Elections

While the results were on expected lines, the threat to a progressive politics has only been strengthened.

The Gujarat elections have played out to the script. Never was Narendra Modi’s defeat on the horizon of possibilities. Even the Congress only spoke of reducing Modi’s margin of victory. With the unexpectedly large turnout of voters during the first phase of polling which covered Saurashtra and south Gujarat, some uncertainty crept into post-poll assessments. In the event the higher turnout was a non-factor. Modi’s win was always assured. (It is important to speak in terms of Narendra Modi rather than the Bharatiya Janata Party for in Gujarat the party is only an appendage of Modi.)

That the Gujarat elections were less about the state and more about Narendra Modi’s preparation to foist himself on the BJP as its prime ministerial candidate for 2014 has now almost turned into a fact. It was assumed that Modi had already turned himself into a “national” leader, as distinct from the other BJP chief ministers and if only Modi could manage to maintain his party’s strength in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly it would give him a clear path to leadership of the BJP. Given that the BJP has maintained its position – the loss of two seats being marginal – this part of the script too is being played out. The victory speech delivered by Modi after the results were announced was focused less on the Gujarat electorate and was more of an “address to the nation”. Thus the language too was Hindi! However, as has always been recognised, Modi’s ascent to the national stage will only go to further polarise the political scene and make it that much more difficult for the BJP to add allies to its National Democratic Alliance.

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