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Akhilesh Yadav and Modi face off in Uttar Pradesh

Dr P Pullarao
In the beginning of 2016 ,BJP was talking about at least 10 years  Government. In 2017 , no one is talking about such ambitions . Nov. 8 ( NoteBan )  started un-imaginable chaos, throwing all the plans of  BJP out of the window  . Narendra  Modi has not heard of  an  ancient Chinese  curse .. When the Chinese   curse you they say “ May you live in interesting times  ‘. This is precisely what is affecting Modi and  BJP. There is  so much controversy  everywhere  that the “BJP is living in interesting times “.
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Modi needed time to finish his agenda and should have created a peaceful  environment .  Modi started excellent programs like Swach Bharat, Ease of Doing Business Index, good relations with foreign countries  and reducing  governmental interference. What should have been smooth sailing  till 2019 has  suddenly turned into a life-death struggle for Modi and  BJP.
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November 8, 2016 will long be remembered  by Indians  as a day when suddenly people  could not  get their money from banks. As former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said “ Show me one country where you cannot withdraw your own money from a bank”.
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BJP made these elections important  by talking too much and challenging everyone. That was  very poor strategy.  The hyper-activity of the BJP has  made  Samajwadi party,  BSP and  Congress  active . The  anti-BJP parties had  realized that there must be a coalition between at least 2 of them to fight the BJP. As a former  British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain said : “ let sleeping dogs lie ‘, meaning why be over-active and  awaken your enemies.  Amit  Shah and Modi have energized their opponents everywhere in India.
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There is no doubt   that Amit Shah is  an extra-ordinary gifted organizer  and there has been no BJP President like him. Shah is very shrewd and tries to win over powerful opposition leaders.  He has  created a great machinery in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere. But Shah made a mistake about Uttar Pradesh as he over-did his canvassing .
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The results of Manipur ,Uttranchal, Punjab and Goa will not matter greatly to Modi. Even if BJP wins all these states but loses Uttar Pradesh , Modi will be damaged .
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Uttar Pradesh :  Uttar Pradesh has 80 MPs and 403 MLAs . BJP won 73 MPs in 2014 and got 40% of the vote.  The BJP felt it had enough time to win over the people and consolidate itself.  But we find that in January, 2017, the situation is still unsettled.
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In 2014, the election was for parliament and  the people supported Narendra Modi. Now it is for the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh  and not for Narendra Modi. BJP has been in power in Delhi for 30 months, but  expectations in Uttar Pradesh have not been met..
In the last 2months , entire focus has been the family fight in Samajwadi party between Mulayam Singh  and Akhilesh Yadav. The fight is a mix of Ramayana and Mahabharata and the people  are transfixed as if it is a TV drama.  People were surprised that the soft spoken Akhilesh  is ruthless  and shrewd and could outplay all his seniors easily. His enemies in the Samajwadi  party were also waiting for elections to be announced to strike.  But the fact is that Akhilesh Yadav was fore-warned and made all preparations . Akhilesh is now the tallest leader in Uttar Pradesh, with great charisma across  castes .
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A UP  Brahmin’s first choice  is the BJP. His second  choice  is Akhilesh Yadav  and not the Congress or  Mayavati. The Vaishyas  are in large  numbers in UP  and  supported  Modi  in  2014 fully. Now they are  not enthusiastic  about Modi  after  the Noteban.  Upper castes  were earlier wary  of  Mulayam. But Akhilesh Yadav  does not worry them .  Akhilesh is an “ AjathaShatru “
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The real test for  BJP and Modi. If BJP loses Uttar Pradesh, it will be in trouble. Modi  will not be able to face parliament and there will be no work  in parliament after that. Internal BJP critics will come out openly. Notice how Shatrughun Sinha and others are quiet for the last 6 months. They are waiting for UP results.  Even today, no senior minister of BJP is defending Modi  with his heart.
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Mayavathi  and Rahul Gandhi are stale . They have been in power for decades  and offer no new solutions. Therefore, the challenge to Modi  is Akhilesh Yadav.  If  Akhilesh did not emerge as the uncrowned King,  Modi would have had it easy. By fighting against his father carefully and throwing out  old corrupt leaders, Akhilesh  has lost all anti-incumbency feeling.  The BJP has no UP leader of equal stature or charisma to Akhilesh Yadav. This is the un-expected problem for Modi.
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The entire plans of BJP for over 30 months in UP are now zero because a new situation has emerged . The BJP prepared a grand wedding dinner but forgot to put up tents against a possible rain. And rain came.
Internal  fights  usually destroy a party. But we must remember  that when Indira Gandhi  split the Congress  party in 1969, everyone said that the opposition will win elections. But by splitting Congress, Indira Gandhi looked like a fresh leader with new ideas. The same applies to Akhilesh Yadav as the split has  increased his image.
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For BJP, UP is a must-win. For Akhilesh Yadav , defeat does not matter. Modi has created danger for himself by talking about UP far too much and for far too long. Every military genius like Sun Tzu  ( China : 2500 years ago ) has said that great victories are possible only by great stealth.
BJP may still win. But a new unexpected national leader in Akhilesh Yadav has emerged. Neither Nitish Kumar, Mamta Banerjee , Naveen Patnaik, Mamta Banerjee ,Mayavathi or Rahul Gandhi  have the aura of newness and they look tired . By 2019, Modi will face new challenges whether BJP wins  or not.
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Since 2014, though BJP is in power, it did not win any new friends. Modi  must understand that being in power means nothing   unless  you  win friends. For 2019, Modi and BJP need new tactics and strategies.

 

 

Dr P Pulla Rao is a Socio-political and Economic analyst

Short URL: http://www.wisdomblow.com/?p=6984

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