The cover story in Organiser on the recent assembly election results, in which BJP lost power in three states, claims that a factor contributing to the loss was the poor performance of ministers. Around 20 senior ministers lost in Rajasthan. The article also attributes the party’s poor performance in Shekhawati region to the fact that there has been little visible development in the region over the last few years. Bad roads continue to trouble the masses and unemployment or lack of employment is widespread in the state. In this scenario, “giving tickets” to “old faces without any change proved disastrous for the party”, the article quoted a BJP leader as saying. The article adds that caste equations also played a strong role — SC/ST communities and Muslims joined forces to keep the BJP away from office. In Alwar, the BJP’s tally was reduced to two seats out of 10 because “in this area there is a consolidation of the SC, ST and Muslim vote as this region along with Mewat, houses a huge population of Meo Muslims.”
In the Lok Sabha elections, the article conjectures, the public wants to see capable, dynamic and smart leaders who can work for public. In Rajasthan, NOTA emerged as a major factor in the BJP’s loss as about 4,67,781 lakh votes — 1.3 per cent of the voteshare — were cast in this category. Chhattisgarh, the article says, had the most shocking result, taking even the victorious Congress by surprise. “Here also, BJP lost miserably in the Central Belt, again showing the trend of anti-BJP consolidation in favour of Congress. Everybody expected the Jogi (Ajit)-Mayawati alliance to dent Congress more but on the ground BJP voters seems to have shifted toward the third option (sic),” claims the article.
Backfoot for 2019
An article in Organiser attempts to predict the key political developments likely to take place in the run-up to the 2019 general election. After its victories in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, what the Congress will do now is a “no brainer”. After all, as the Rahul Gandhi-led party will use its newfound political victory to exact a sweet revenge on the Narendra Modi government by engineering an atmosphere of political chaos and uncertainty leading up to the 2019 General Election. The article adds that Rahul Gandhi “will undoubtedly exploit the situation” to further embarrass the Modi-led BJP on various issues and thereby maintain the momentum to regain voters’ confidence. “With the BJP humbled at the polls in Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh by the Congress Party and badly bruised in other states, the Opposition parties will undoubtedly aim to further vilify and influence the voters against Modi and the BJP,” the article asserts and adds that “Save democracy and institutions” will be the main focus of the Opposition parties.
“Of course, other key issues include the Rafale deal, CBI vs CBI, Urjit Patel’s resignation, farmer’s suicides, and so on. The Ram Mandir issue would be the focus of Shiv Sena and the strident members of the BJP. Modi and the BJP will be at their ‘wits end’ or on the defensive in the face of such an onslaught. Also, there may be internal rebellion from the extreme right-wing within the saffron party. A governance paralysis for the next six months will be inevitable. Most disconcerting would be the likelihood of a ‘hung Lok Sabha”that would imply political instability which would be adverse from the national security point of view’,” the article conjectures. It adds that the Modi-led BJP may attempt to counter the Opposition offensive with anti-corruption tirade and even pass the Ram Mandir Bill in the Lok Sabha, to be stalled in the Rajya Sabha, and even cases against those involved in corruption scandals like Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi may be fast-tracked.
While the Delhi Police had estimated that crowd at the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) Dharma Sabha in Delhi on December 9 was around two lakh, an article in Organiser claims that approximately 9 lakh ram bhaktas registered their presence at the sabha. At least a 6-km radius of the Ramlila ground was packed and 3.5 lakh food packets were provided by Delhiites to the devotees. The article also claims that around 2,200 workers were engaged in the arrangements, 14,234 buses reached Delhi with ram bhaktas. That Virat Dharma Sabha was organised to urge the Centre to enact a law for the “reconstruction” of the “Shri Ram Temple at Ayodhya in the winter session of Parliament” itself.