Jharkhand, another reminder to BJP

Jharkhand, another reminder to BJP

The decisive victory of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-Congress-RJD alliance in the Jharkhand Assembly election is an equally emphatic defeat for the BJP. It was a high-stakes election for the BJP, not just because it had ruled the state for the last five years but because the outcome would provide an indication of the national political mood, too. Despite the big victory at the national level under Narendra Modi in May this year, the BJP has not registered any notable success in states in the last two years. It lost important states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. It failed to win a majority in Haryana and lost an ally and power in Maharashtra. It got electorally diminished in all these states. In Karnataka, it secured power only through dubious means. The loss in Jharkhand has to be seen in this background, as part of a persistent decline of the party. Considering that the BJP had won 11 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state in May, the decline now is steep.  

That Chief Minister Raghubar Das was himself on track to lose in Jamshedpur (East) best exemplifies the severity of the defeat. The BJP’s plank of political stability for the past five years did not appeal to the voters. The common man’s problems of livelihood, jobs and prices and matters like police excesses on sections of people, which the Opposition highlighted, got the better of the mainly divisive issues that the BJP highlighted. Leadership issues and factional problems in the party also worked against it. Alienation of tribal land was another major issue. The BJP tried to counter them with a polarising campaign on issues like Ram temple, Article 370 and the citizenship law. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and other leaders highlighted the citizenship issue in a style and language that stoked the apprehensions and fears of the people. It was in Jharkhand that Modi made his infamous remark that the protesters against the CAA could be identified by their clothes. 

It is debatable whether the nationwide protests against the citizenship law had any impact on the election in Jharkhand. But the party’s shrill campaign over it did not appeal to the state’s people. Modi’s charisma is not helping the BJP win elections in states. Most states in the country are now beyond its pale and many allies have left or are in a rebellious mood. The AJSU, its ally in Jharkhand, had also left before the elections. The Jharkhand result should serve as another reminder to the BJP leadership that governance is about uniting, helping and empowering people and not about dividing, scaring and alienating them. 

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)