What India wants: Jobs, MSP or name changes and mandir
New Delhi, Dec 12: The BJP has lost the elections. However the bigger news is that it lost in the Hindi heartland of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
While many in the BJP say that this would not reflect in the 2019 elections as state issues are different, the fact that there are a host of issues that would be common in both polls.
The Congress would continue to target the BJP on jobs, minimum support price, rising costs etc. The BJP on the other hand would have to introspect whether the people want names of places to change, name calling and also temple politics.
Let us take a look at what the people want and what they don't.
What people want:
One of the main points that has been raised by the opposition is about the lack of jobs created after Narendra Modi came to power. This was one of his biggest planks in 2014 and many feel that he has failed to deliver on that promise. Many are of the view that the BJP ought to have focused more on offering jobs and growth instead of themes such as the Ram temple etc.
Minimum Support Price:
Several analysts say that it is the farmer who would decide the outcome of the 2019 elections. The agrarian crisis has troubled the Modi government not just on the national scene, but also in states such as Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. While the centre has promised to develop rural areas with facilities, the farmers continue to struggle with low crop prices. The farmers at a rally in Delhi recently said give us MSP and not a Ram temple. Another while reacting to the government's claim that it had laid down roads for development said, 'give us better prices, we can't eat the roads.'
Cost of living:
There has been a general complaint that the cost of living has increased sharply. Many among the middle class, especially the women come back from markets/super markets and discuss for hours at home of how the prices have shot up. The opposition too has targeted the Modi government sharply for not being able to control the prices as a result of which the cost of living has sky-rocketed.
No one wants to wake up in the morning to read a headline about mob lynching. The recent incident at Uttar Pradesh in which a cop was killed by a mob is a clear failure of law and order. The BJP has often been accused of being soft on on those involved in such incidents. The fact of the matter is that the people are not interested in such incidents and want to go about their living amidst a peaceful atmosphere.
Money in the pocket:
While the farmers have been constantly complaining about the lack of money in their pocket, there are large sections among the middle class who also have this rant. The new tax system often dubbed as tax terrorism has been a constant talking point among the middle class. The decision to demonetise too led to severe cash shortages.
What people do not want:
The Ram Temple issue has been a election issue for long. While it was at its passionate peak in the 1990s, the traction for the issue has come down drastically. For Hindus, a Ram Temple is an important issue, but not the priority now. People would rather have jobs, more money in their pocket, peace and of course in the case of the farmer, MSP.
Yogi Adityanath has mastered the art of name changing. In fact there was a meme on the social media on Tuesday, where he is suggesting that the name of the Congress be changed to BJP after the defeats in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. While the change of names have been welcomed by some, the bigger question is whether this is a priority, when there are other pressing issues that the common man is facing.
During the Rajasthan campaign, Yogi Adityanath announced that Lord Hanuman was a Dalit and deprived. He further said that Hanuman worked to connect all Indian communities together. Political observers say that the election campaign should have been more centric over development, jobs and farmer related issues.
You win some, you lose some, but in victory humility is the key. Rahul Gandhi had admitted that it was the arrogance that had cost the Congress in the general elections. The BJP too has been accused of being arrogant, not open to suggestions. The allegation is that many who had strived for the party have been sidelined and it is the arrogance that could change their prospects.
The BJP and Congress have been in competition where this one is concerned. Rahul Gandhi has been targeted by the BJP who call him pappu. On the other hand, the Congress had compared the price of petrol to that of Modi's mother's age. The Congress also has resorted to many more comments such as 'who is your father,' neech etc. During the campaign Modi launched a direct attack and said, "I want to ask who was that widow in Congress in whose account all this ill-gotten money was deposited.' Sharad Yadav too was not far behind when he said Vasundhara Raje has become fat these days. The BJP should not burden her with so much work.
The social media has been notorious for spreading fake news. In fact fake news has become such a menace that several websites have started making a living out of busting such news. The fake news has often been used as a tool to cover up a failure. The opposition too has resorted to the same to spread lies against the government. Once again, people would benefit from jobs and better income rather than read fake news.
The rampage in the studios:
There are no debates anymore and let us be honest about that. Spokespersons holding up placards, screaming their guts out, crying crocodile tears etc. Yes if you have not watched the Indian news channels, then we suggest you do to see how the drama unfolds. No debate has any sane conclusion and prime time runs out with the continuous screaming by spokespersons, which is an obvious ploy to deviate from the core issue.