The outcome of the just-concluded Assembly elections in five states amply proves that the electorate voted for development, transcending political barriers.
In the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, an incumbent government returned to power after over three decades with the saffron party riding on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s effective implementation of welfare policies to create a “new history”.
In his reaction to the verdict, PM Modi noted that voters have buried the politics of caste and religion in Uttar Pradesh. “…It is a victory for nationalism, good governance, and welfare,” he said. He hailed the victories as an “emphatic endorsement of BJP’s pro-poor and proactive governance” and a “vote for political stability”.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said people have put their stamp of approval on Yogi Adityanath’s good governance, which is free from corruption and fear. “BJP’s grand win in UP is the victory of unshakable faith of the poor and the farmers in PM Modi’s welfare programs,” he said.
It was a clear mandate by the people for development, said Yogi after the results. “The people of UP have buried the dynastic politics and also politics of caste and religion by ensuring victory to the BJP and its allies,” he emphasized.
In fact, the festival of colors – Holi came a week early for the BJP which retained power in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, and Manipur, while the AAP swept Punjab with the three-fourths majority as people voted for all-round development. Riding on the crest of various welfare schemes and ambitious projects, the BJP achieved this remarkable feat, thereby strengthening the impression of being invincible now.
The re-election of Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh and the ‘surprise’ victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttarakhand, along with its commendable performance in Goa and Manipur reflect the advent of an era of political pro-incumbency in the country.
The results that have come in the middle of the PM’s second term in office reflect a reaffirmation of faith in his popularity and cement the BJP’s grip. The party won a resounding close to a two-thirds majority in UP, with 41.4 percent vote share; returned to power in the 70-member Uttarakhand Assembly with 47 seats and 44.3 percent vote share, though the incumbent CM Pushkar Singh Dhami lost his own seat; a clear majority of 32 seats in the 60-member Manipur Assembly and within touching distance of an absolute majority with 20 seats in the 40-member Goa Assembly.
ASSEMBLY POLLS ANALYSIS
The BJP’s performance also indicates that it’s handling of the devastating second wave of Covid last year and the agrarian unrest over the three contentious farm laws, which were subsequently withdrawn, did not have a major impact on its electoral fortunes.
On the other hand, the decline of the Congress is now more than evident with the Grand Old Party has lost among the last of its bastions in Punjab.
The choice of the Aam Adami Party in Punjab not only reflects a change of guard, but it is a commentary on the people switching over their loyalty to Arvind Kejriwal’s party with the hopes of ushering in development, having seen the progress in the national capital of Delhi.
The spectacular rise of AAP outside Delhi, with an unprecedented mandate in Punjab and a toe-hold in Goa where it bagged two seats, foretells a big likely churn in the Opposition camp ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The victory ignited AAP’s ambition of playing a role in national politics, with Kejriwal calling it a “revolution” that will be replicated across the country.
The outcome of the February-March Assembly polls, seen as a barometer to gauge people’s mood ahead of the next Lok Sabha elections, also had the Congress’ epitaph written all over.