On Election Results: No Political Party is Infallible
The verdict of the assembly elections in five states, considered by many to be a ‘semi-final’ and prelude to next year’s crucial Lok Sabha polls, is finally out. Winning in these elections is important especially for two major national parties namely the Bharatiya Janata Party and Indian National Congress, not only because these states have 83 parliamentarians but the results will also give a much-needed moral boost to them ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, which are just a few months away.
The BJP went into the elections after enjoying a dream run since it stormed the national politics with a convincing win in the previous general elections, conquering one state after another amid criticism. In the meantime, it was at stake of losing its power in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, while the Congress had nothing to lose. After the aggressive campaigning filled with political slugfest and bickering, the citizens voted to decide the fate of hundreds of contestants and several national and regional parties. In this election, the Congress is the clear winner. The party conceded defeat to the Mizo National Front (MNF), which is part of the North East Democratic Alliance that was formed by BJP along with regional parties of north-eastern states, and failed to capture the power from Telangana Rashtra Samithi in Telangana (TRS) but it has got the bigger pie with a convincing performance in three states previously ruled by its arch-rival.
Whether or not the assembly polls result indicates the ‘mood’ of the public, it is surely a litmus test for both the major national parties and the mandate of the people speaks volumes. The Congress will walk away with its head held high after completely losing grip in some of its strongholds in the past few years but it has a lot to do with more than half of the states still under the BJP. Also, the state elections do not necessarily reflect the possible outcome of the general elections. It will face an uphill climb to claim power at the centre. On the other hand, the BJP will have to ask many questions after the debacle in the recently concluded polls whether anti-incumbency factor or overconfidence or policies or other factors have affected its performance. It needs to find the reasons for the dismal show and seriously work on them before it is too late. The assembly election results have clearly sent out a message that no party is infallible. The unpredictable nature of Indian political waves is obvious.