Modi, Shah cannot always win state polls: RSS warns BJP

Narendra Modi, Amit Shah cannot always help win state polls: RSS warns BJP

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah wave towards their supporters after the election results at party headquarter in New Delhi. (Reuters Photo)

 Against the backdrop of AAP's resounding victory in the Delhi Assembly elections, the RSS has warned the BJP that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah "cannot always" help win state polls and the only option before the saffron party is to rebuild organisation and address local aspirations.

In an editorial in its mouthpiece 'Organiser', the Sangh fountain-head also felt that the AAP effectively used the "Shaheen Bagh narrative" without directly getting involved in it while asking "how far" Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's chanting of 'Hanuman Chalisa' was "genuine".

It acknowledged that there was “certainly no anti-incumbency visible” against either Kejriwal or his government, which came out with “electricity and water bills doles”, though BJP tried to counter it by the Centre announcing the legalising of unauthorised colonies in the capital.

However, the RSS pointed out that the major reasons for the defeat in a “well-fought out battle” were the “apparent failure” to revitalise BJP's organisational structure at the grassroots after 2015 in the capital and building up of the campaign in the last leg of the elections.

“But Narendra Modi and Amit Shah cannot always help out in the Assembly level elections and there is no option but to rebuild the organisation in Delhi to address the local aspirations of the masses is the clear message,” the editorial by Organiser Editor Prafulla Ketkar said.

While Modi attended two rallies in the capital, Shah had overseen the Delhi campaign with the BJP fielding Chief Ministers, former Chief Ministers and senior leaders from across the country with an aim to capture power in the capital, which has been evading the party for 22 years.

The RSS is also aware of the growing perception that voters are preferring non-BJP parties in states by dethroning BJP governments though Modi returned to power at the Centre. After the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP could not form a government in Maharashtra where its long-time ally Shiv Sena walked out, scrambled to form a coalition government in Haryana after it could not muster a majority on its own and losing Jharkhand to Hemant Soren's JMM-led coalition.

On the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests, it said a “genie of Muslims fundamentalism experimented under the pretext of CAA may create a new testing ground” for Kejriwal.

“How does Kejriwal respond to this danger? How far his chanting of Hanuman Chalisa was genuine? And whether he would address the issue of corruption that have brought APP to this level? These and many other questions Delhiites would ask,” it said.

Analysing the way voters behave in the capital, it said that one needs to find out why does a huge percentage of Delhi voters vote differently in different elections. While between 1998 and 2013, voters favored Congress in Assembly elections while the BJP was favored in municipal polls.

In 2017 civic polls too, the editorial by Organiser Editor Prafulla Ketkar said, the BJP retained the municipal corporations despite AAP being the "dominant ruling" party "did not make any mark".

The editorial said the Congress, which fared well in the 2019 polls with over 22% votes, has been reduced to 4% in the Assembly polls with many could argue that the party transferred the votes to AAP and remained a "reluctant contestant, which to some extent may be true".

"The answer lies in changing character of Delhi, its population and aspirations," the RSS said while referring to the Congress' vote bank of middle-class and slum dwellers it nurtured getting transferred to AAP.

“No single party is able to satisfy the Delhi voter at all levels and therefore, the divergent voting is on the rise is the biggest takeaway of this election,” it said.

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