The retreat of the secular brigade

The retreat of the secular brigade

Till yesterday, the ‘secular brigade’ which dominates the television debates across channels, was not ready to accept that there was a ‘Modi wave’ in the country. Even after the exit polls clearly predicted a BJP-led NDA victory, the secular brigade kept saying that the exit polls had failed both in 2004 and 2009 and the Modi wave was only a media creation.

The results flowing in so far (4.30 pm) indicate that it was not just a Modi wave but it was a Modi sunami, which, nobody, even the BJP expected about the force and intensity with which it has hit the nation. Throughout his campaign, Narendra Modi targeted the Congress led by Sonia Dynasty and it has been decimated. Look at the consequences:

The Congress is down from 205 seats in 2009 to less than 50, which is its worst performance in six decades. If the Congress does not get at least 55 seats (10 per cent of the Lok Sabha), it is in danger of not having its leader being recognised as Leader of Opposition in the Lower House.

Interestingly, wherever there were strong regional leaders they have been able to stop the Modi sunami and hold their own: Jayalalitha in Tamil Nadu, Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal and Naveen Patnaik in Odisha. But the Modi wave was so strong in the Hindi heartland that Mayawati and Mulayam Singh in Uttar Pradesh and Nitish Kumar in Bihar have been decimated.

BJP is expected to make a clean sweep of all the seats on offer in Modi’s home state of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Delhi. It is breaking all past records in the two big states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. And breaking new ground in West Bengal.

The BJP has become the first party in 30 years to become the single largest party to gain majority on its own winning more than 272 seats, but it is likely that it will still go for a coalition government by taking on board some alliance partners.

Narendra Modi will become the first prime minister from a backward class community and a very humble background of a ‘Chaiwala.’ His biggest challenge will be to take all sections, especially the minorities together, and make them feel that his development and growth agenda includes all of them.

Tackling price rise, boosting industrial activities and agriculture, taming the runaway bureaucracy and making all the chief ministers feel that they get a fair treatment and are not discriminated against will have to be his priorities.