What the AAP tsunami means for Modi and the BJP

Source: IANS

To put it mildly, the BJP has been routed by the AAP tsunami. We look at what the total decimation in Delhi portend for the BJP, and national politics.

  1. It, first and foremost, proves that BJP and Modi are beatable. Make no mistake, it is a clear dent for Narendra Modi.

2.  That is provided some conditions are fulfilled. One of the paramount being that that the Index of Opposition Unity (IOU) is high. Because of the decimation of the Congress, it became a virtual straight fight between the BJP and the AAP. And, the BJP came second best.

3.  This will give a fresh breath to the BJP’s opposition. If all the rivals of the BJP consolidate, the BJP could be in a bind nationally. The first test will be the forthcoming elections in Bihar, where there is already consolidation among the anti-BJP forces, with Laloo Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar, erstwhile rivals, joining forces.

4.  This “regional bipolarity”, if it succeeds in Bihar, will be sought to be replicated by the opposition in the rest of the country.

5.  It is another matter if the BJP’s rivals will cast aside their differences to take on the BJP unitedly. Or, will their personal ambitions work against what is staring them in the face?

6.   At the governance level, it would be very interesting to see what the Modi government reads into the Delhi results. If the reading is that a loss is a result of bad election strategy and tactics, it is one thing.

7.  But if the Modi government reads it as a referendum on the policies of the central government, then it could make the government tentative in taking difficult decisions on the economy, which the forthcoming Union budget in a couple of weeks is slated to unveil.

8.  The Delhi results will also embolden the national media, which has been kept by the prime minister at arm’s length, to take bites at Modi. For the media, it will be retribution time.

9.  Now the big question is will this be the beginning of end of Narendra Modi and the BJP? Very, very unlikely. A point that even AAP leader Yogendra Yadav concedes. The Bihar elections in a few months will test the winds further.

10.  One last point. Is it the beginning  of ‘class politics’ fundamentally devoid of the caste equations? As Yadav colourfully puts it, “this is the first victory of class politics, without the class politics”.