During 2019 Lok Sabha Election, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) jointly won only 15 seats out of total 75 seats they both contested. This humiliating defeat for both the parties made them to again move towards their separate path.
However, this election event has given a signal that the post-Mandal era of caste-based politics has run its course. The two parties jointly won only 15 in which the BSP bagging 10 and SP 5 seats. BSP Chief Mayawati has lamented that the SP couldn’t get even its core Yadav supporters to vote for the alliance. SP workers seem to believe that the BSP failed to draw the votes of its Dalit support base. The blame game was very much evident. But the poll results in
Uttar Pradesh make it clear that caste arithmetic alone doesn’t work anymore.
The end of caste based politics would be a magnificent welcome shift in the way the electorate picks their representatives. It helps blur caste differences and reduces tension along such fault-lines. As for minorities, perhaps Modi’s promise of “sabka vishwaas" (everyone’s trust) will have a similar effect. The Modi tsunami of 2019, where for the first time since 1971 a party has come back to power with an absolute majority larger than what it had before, has opened up a new paradigm of politics. The contours of this change need to be understood, especially by Opposition parties, for only then can they analyze the magnitude of the change that confronts them.
In the 2019 elections two main principal were taken away. The first takeaway was the politics of entitlement, and of dynastic politics, has received a major challenge. The political battlefield is littered with failed and fallen dynasties. The one of the biggest setback has gone under the
Congress, the principal Opposition party, where
Rahul Gandhi is at the helm, solely because he is a member of the Gandhi family. Rahul lost his own election from the family region of Amethi. This shows that the Congress party is in urgent need of surgical introspection, and needs a new leadership, a new narrative, a new operational strategy, and a new cadre to focus and carry out their work and maintain their existence.
A second takeaway became an old equation based on the arithmetic of caste which have been overwhelmed by the political chemistry of the “new politics”. In UP, the expectation was that a Gathbandan (Allaince) of Yadavs, Dalits, Jats and
Muslims, would be invincible, purely in terms of the numerical aggregation of caste. In contrast to that, the alliance was decimated very badly. In Bihar, the RJD had thought that it could pose a formidable challenge due to the time-tested coalition of Muslims and Yadavs. That coalition too was decimated.
India is one of the youngest nations of the world, with some 65 per cent of the people below the age of 35. The young are impatient, aspirational and tired of the formulas of the previous political methodology. Even though the concept of “New India” was never spelt out in great detail, the idea was appealing, for it brought into play the possibilities of new avenues, new opportunities, and a new vision of transforming the country. These elements of the narrative were projected and disseminated by a highly motivated, disciplined, and huge cadre and for this the full credit goes to the party President Amit Shah.
After all this the public of India is hoping that the NDA
government will rise to the occasion. In particular, it will continue work towards creating an India of Social Harmony, where there is the fullest respect for all faiths, and the discomforting voices of hate and divisiveness are kept in check.