Elections 2024: Mandate & Post Mandate Scenario


Elections 2024: Mandate & Post Mandate Scenario

 
Rahul Gandhi Speech in Parliament Modi Speech in Parliament Elections 2024 Post Mandate Scenario in India
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Before an analysis of events leading to the captioned headline in this post, it is worth considering to take a summarised view of how India has progressed to become the ‘World's largest Democracy’. It is thanks to the leaders of our Independence movement, the founding fathers of our Constitution and a judicial use of the franchise given to our voters during the last 75 years and living up to the trust reposed in them that has driven India to where it is now.

Conditions at the time of Indian Independence

The Indian population that time got freedom after centuries of slavery under different Feudal and Colonial rulers. The freedom was obtained under very trying conditions, that of the partition of India, largest population transfer and large-scale communal violence. However, our leaders at the time were men and women of statures and visions and took the onus on their shoulders to form a government of our own. At that time Free India’s status was that of a dominion state of the British Commonwealth.

In a short period of time, but with due deliberations they gave an enlightening Constitution to the country, which made India a Sovereign Democratic Republic and a Union of States reflecting its cultural diversity. They chose to establish a Parliamentary form of Government at the Center as well as in the States, forming the Union on the pattern of the British Westminster System.

A large Majority of people in India that time were poor, not so educated and untrained as required for a type of government the constitution envisaged for them.

Despite these shortcomings they were, however, given what is known as Rights of Universal Franchise to elect members of their choice to represent them in Parliament and State Legislatures in their respective states. History of innumerable elections, from Panchayats to Parliament level, is witness to the fact that people stood to live up to the trust reposed in them by the Constitution makers and used their franchise judiciously. Although deficient in their understanding of finer points of a Democracy, they have demonstrated their capability of compelling the ruling parties and their rulers to mend ther ways and style of functioning whenever required.

Judicious Use of Mandate

In this context, three occasions of their mandate are noteworthy during this period since independence, where they have demonstrated their wisdom to compel the incumbent rulers to wake up and make amends. The first instance worth noting is the year 1977 when the Indian voters rejected Emergency and ousted late Indira Gandhi. The second such instance was in the year 2004, when they rejected Shining India and unseated the late Vajpayeeji. The recently concluded General Elections may be considered the third instance, when Indian voters rejected the tall claims of the ruling BJP and its leaders by reducing their numbers of winning candidates well below simple majority though giving the same comfortably to the NDA alliance led by the BJP.

Rise of BJP as a Ruling party with absolute majority

Now a brief account of events leading to rise of the BJP as a ruling party and an account of their performance till the onset of elections 2024.

The scenario prior to the 2024 General Election was unique. Analysts viewed it as a rule of ten years dominated by one supreme leader namely Narendraji Modi, ex-Chief Minister of Gujarat -  under the guise of Democracy. In the opinion of the same analysts his rise was a well-planned strategy.

In the year 2014, the BJP rose to power on the shoulders of an RSS sponsored agitation led by Anna Hazare to defame and discredit the Congress led UPA government, the charm of Narendra Modi on the propaganda of his Gujarat model and tall claims made by Modi and the other BJP leaders. None of them were achieved and were recently blown off by none other than by Modiji's right hand man as Election eve Jumlaas.   The Congress party was thoroughly beaten in 2014, so much that it could not get even 53 MPs to facilitate one of them to become the Leader of the Opposition. The party's rank and file got demoralized and many opportunists deserted the party. Modiji declared his vision to eventually project India as "CONGRESS MUKT BHARAT”. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was lampooned as “PAPPU” through massive propaganda, which as per Gandhi himself, cost the BJP and the exchequer thousands of crores of rupees.

During the 2019 General Elections, voters emotion and nationalism were exploited using the Pulwama tragedy and the strike on Balakot, which was termed 'Ghar Mein Ghus ke Maara'. The result was that the General Election gave the BJP a far larger share of seats - 303 MPs in the Lok Sabha and the NDA coalition more than 350 seats, ignoring the adverse effects of Demonitisation and failure of the Government on promised deliverables. Modiji became more powerful and decided to make Indian Parliament (opposition free) "VIPAKSH MUKT BHARAT", albeit silently and by other means unlike his earlier loud slogan of 'Congress Mukt Bharat', which gained more strength because Congress lost badly despite a massive crowd pulling campaign by its President Rahul Gandhi. Rahul resigned as Congress President taking responsibility of its defeat and the party fell to its nadir after the 2019 mandate. Many senior leaders, mostly opportunists, either left the party or deserted.

During these ten years of BJP rule, poisonous religious polarisation, massive propaganda of both personal and self-claimed achievements, questionable ways of use of nationalism, questionable uses of state institutions and agencies and an allegedly biased Election Commission of India together with pliant media are said to be the causes of Modi's success as per the opinion of analysts gatering in the Alternate Media. Alternate Media emerged as a competitor of what is popularly known as GODI MEDIA. In their opinion sweet nothing was achieved other than propaganda. The real issues of poverty, unemployment, corruption, rising prices, financial frauds and communal and institutional divides were all suppressed through propaganda. Only few Industrialists benefitted under this regime where crony capitalism was reintroduced into the Indian political ecosystem. The viewing crowd around the alternate media gathered momentum as the days passed and the viewers were getting more and more convinced by the observations of alternate media.

2019 Elections and its aftermath

A few important occurrences took place in the aftermath of 2019 elections:

  • Congress and other political parties took a serious look at their state of affairs on the one hand and the BJP’s ambition of making them irrelevant in Indian politics and introduce a one-party rule in India on line with the one prevailing in China. On the back of their mind was also the fact that the RSS had no love lost for the Indian constitution. With due respect to the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, they recollected that the late leader, though head of a Coalition government, had appointed a review commission for the Constitution.
  • Few leaders and functionaries of the Sangh Parivar were intermittently chanting the slogan of abrogation of the Constitution and creation of Akhand Bharat.
  • The BJP was creating splits in other parties to get rid of inconvenient leaders. Their governments were toppled using the BJPs financial muscle. Along with this, there were supporting statistics that it was mostly because they fought against each other that the BJP was winning.
  • The other parties were also noticing that by cleverly using the democratic channels, the ruling party was marching forward to establish its hegemony.
  • Consolidating all the above they decided to fight jointly and formed a new bloc I.N.D.I.A - Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance. Leaving aside some habitual defectors and deserters known in India as Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram, unpredictable individuals and infiltrators, the alliance gained momentum till the eve of the 2024 general elections. Unfortunately, they neither carried out any propaganda of their formation nor fought jointly in the intervening state elections to test their popularity. This burden was in fact fully taken by Rahul Gandhi. Had they done jointly they could have impacted largely on the results of state elections, which the BJP swept. Despite these shortcomings, they continued to stay together.
  • In the meantime, Congress party elected the energetic Malikarjun Khadge, a non-Gandhi family Congressman, as its President in a democratic way and he decided to rebuild and reorganise the party at least to fight this election.
  • Rahul Gandhi embarked on his historical Bharat Jodo Yatra and took the issues of alleged abrogation of the Constitution, reservation, human rights, rising prices, unemployment, massive poverty and atmosphere of hatred in the public domain from the southernmost tip of Indian peninsula to Ladakh in the north, braving the weather and other hurdles. This made a great impact on the minds of people whom he met, heard, embraced and took them along. His Pappu image evaporated and gave him recognition as a serious politician who cares for them. Even his critics became his admirers.
  • This was followed by his second yatra named Nyay Yatra, through which he expounded the road map of how the INDIA alliance would solve the problems facing the country by taking steps he enumerated in every meeting or rallies that took place enroute.
  • On the eve of declaration of the general elections this road map became the election manifesto of the Congress party as well as of INDIA alliance. Incidentally, Modiji himself propagated this manifesto more than the INDIA alliance, so much so that there were Crores of downloads of this document. BJP’s own Sankalp Patr ‘Modi Ki Guarantee” never became a part of the public discourse.

Under this atmosphere and well-coordinated joint campaigns especially in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, the alliance took part in the 2024 General Elections in the background of:

  • events relating to Ram Mandir at Ayodhya,
  • enormous wealth and organisational strength of BJP,
  • Modiji’s slogan of 'Aabki Baar 400 paar', 5 Trillion economy, Viksit Bharat, coupled with toxic and hate filled references towards the largest minority community, calling Rahul as Shahzada and Rahul and Akhilesh Yadav as ‘ladke’.

In addition, every state agency and even the Election Commission were ready in obedience, leaders and Chief Ministers of the opposition parties were arrested, the accounts of the Congress party were seized. One wonders whether such an atmosphere is allowed in any democratic country elsewhere in the world.

In the end, despite all the advantages and leverage of power, the ruling party neither achieved the targeted four hundred seats, it did not get even a simple majority with 272 seats on its own. On the other hand, the INDIA bloc, with heavy odds against them, achieved nearly the same numbers as that of the mighty BJP.

2024 Mandate

To sum up the outcome of the 2024 General Elections, it is apparent that...

(A) The voters have split their votes betwee the two alliances, viz:

  1. Right Wing, led by the extreme right-wing BJP, giving it enough nunbers to form government and maintain continuity and stability and rule the country as envisaged in the constitution; and
  2. A Left Liberal Alliance led by Congress party, by declining them majority for the time being, perhaps to test their commitment to maintain unity in their ranks. If they hold together under a common minimum program they stand a fair chance to form their own government.

(B) The other outcome of the verdict and the voters expectations or verdict are listed below:

  • First and foremost an unambiguous message given is that Rahul Gandhi has not only emerged as a serious politician but as a suitable competitor to Modiji. He has finally made his stature as a fitting alternative in Indian politics and for the moment, the leader of not only the Congress party, but also Leader of Opposition - a constitutional position kept vacant for the last 10 years, deliberately. He has admirably and forcefully demonstrated his role as Leader of Opposition during the debate on the address of honourable President of India.
  • Modiji is no longer an invincible leader and that his brand value has declined and his arrogance, if there is one really, is misplaced;
  • The Government formed is a minority government and will depend on props to support it, so monopoly is going to be a thing of past;
  • The agenda of Hindutva and Ram Mandir have miserably failed even in Uttar Pradesh. The people of India want an atmosphere of peace and brotherhood as is their ethos;
  • There is a balance of power in the Lok Sabha with a vibrant and confident opposition with a fearless leader in Rahul Gandhi; and
  • BJP being the largest party in the house to form a stable government with the help of its 39 allies in NDA in a democratic way with decent behaviour and respect for the concern of the opposition and taking them along on issues of national importance.

Post Mandate Scenario

Events starting from election of Modiji as leader of NDA and hence Prime Minister for the third consecutive term (his dream coming true), formation of government, appointment of Ministers, allocation of their portfolios, election of Speaker in the Lok Sabha and the proceedings in the parliament till it was prorogued, however, do not give any comfort in the sense that things are moving in the direction expected by the people through their mandate. Modiji seems to have decided to maintain STATUS QUO ANTE - HE IS SUPREME.

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