Between the Lines - A Common Man’s Perspective On The Upcoming Assembly Elections

The political parameters are changing from ‘just promises’ to ‘performance’. The electorate now understands well, the games played by parties to garner votes. The present day young generation carry less, the baggage of caste and other dividing lines. The voter is more aware now.

NewsBharati    09-Jan-2022 13:06:03 PM   
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Election fervor is on. UP, Goa, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Manipur would be going to the polls in the next two months. With this, there is a plethora of surveys, predictions, calculations, opinion polls which give out the possible outcomes of these election. With UP being the largest state and strategically important from the point of view of the 2024 Loksabha elections, poll pundits seem to be concentrating more on this state than any other state and are trying to give their predictions on who would win the UP elections.
I am neither a political analyst nor a political pundit to analyze and give my opinion on the subject. However, I represent the common man who has his eyes and ears wide open to see, hear and analyze the political situation. It is therefore from a common man’s perspective that I am penning down my thoughts on how the scenario looks like and my views on the same.
From the day Modi won the 2014 elections, the opposition parties have been talking about his abilities to run the country and whether he would deliver. However, in the last 7 years that Modi has been in the PM’s chair, he has worked hard in every field and achieved important milestones both in the country and outside the country. Modi’s out of the box ideas seem to have stumped the opposition parties. They have been, more often than not, caught on the wrong foot in judging his moves. His latest, repeal of Agricultural Laws, is the most unexpected decision he has taken and the same seems to have taken the wind out of the opposition’s sails. Abrogation of article 370, Triple Talaq law, the Supreme court ruling on Ram temple and the ‘Bhumipujan’ thereof, the surgical strike, marked improvement in the Road and Waterways infrastructure, GST and other financial reforms, transformation of Railways, successful implementation of Kisan samman yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, PM-JAY and other schemes for the welfare of the downtrodden and deprived class are only few of the many other achievements. Common man has benefitted largely out of these schemes and therefore, does not doubt Modi’s honesty, sincerity and hard work.
However, the opposition parties still seem to be in ‘denial’ mode. They are not seen to be mending their ways to take on Modi. They commonly resort to grossly false propaganda, call him names, which are many times derogatory in nature and hurt the common man. The major opposition party viz. Congress (said to have a national presence and ironically doesn’t have so currently) resorts to age-old methods of protests, in and out of the Parliament. From a common man’s perspective, these protests are made on flimsy grounds. The protest against suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs is the latest example of such protests. All other parties only have a limited regional (and sometimes even local) appeal restricted to their own state.

From a common man’s perspective, the opposition misses on some of the very important points as compared to the ruling party.
One, many of the parties do not have a President and/or an Organizing Secretary who toils day and night for the party for building up a strong team of party workers who in turn, would spend their time and energy for the party. Congress, the major opposition party, has had no President for a long time or even if it has one, he/she has not spent enough time, to build the Congress, analyze the many electoral defeats which the party has faced and come out with measures to revive the party.
Two, the opposition is still working on various equations, which are age-old, like the caste equation, the vote banks and the like. They grossly underestimate the ability of the electorate to read between the lines, rise above the traditional vote bank politics and vote for the performance of a party.
Three, leaders like Asududdin Owaisi, who talk about secular fabric of the country, end themselves up in trying to polarize the voter. Looking at the data so far, it has been proved that voters have cut across this barrier and voted for Modi/BJP in many constituencies which has a preponderance of Muslim voters.
Four, unlike Rajiv Gandhi, who had said that only 15 paisa in a rupee reach the target beneficiaries, Modi has made extensive use of technology and ensured that all the money reaches to the people for whom it is intended for. Other technological advancements have only helped ease the common man’s difficulties and reduce corruption at least to some extent. Toilets, Electricity, Cooking Gas, Housing, Medical aid and so many other schemes have come to be true and the benefits have actually reached the intended group of people. This has contributed to increasing the credibility of the PM and his party. The number of beneficiaries who have got the benefit is huge. A significantly large proportion of these beneficiaries would surely endorse their satisfaction by way of a vote for the ruling party (BJP).
Five, the opposition sees all of Modi’s actions as either show-offs or photo-shoots and trivializes them. When Modi lands on the express way in UP by the biggest cargo aircraft of the IAF, it is a demonstration to the world that he can risk even his life and make the first ever landing on the express way. It is also a demonstration to the world at large of the increased effectiveness of the IAF which is brought about by the express way. When Modi takes a dip in the holy waters of Ganges, he is telling the world that the water quality has improved enough for any person to take the dip without any doubts in his / her mind. When he inaugurates the Kashi Vishwanath corridor, it is a message to all that development can be brought about without harming anybody or without impinging on anyone’s rights, if there is a political will. His act of washing the feet of swachata karmacharis in the Kumbha Mela means lot more to the common man, especially to the downtrodden, than that what meets the eyes. Opposition miserably fails to read these messages.
Six, the breach of security of the Honourable PM in Punjab has happened at a time which most of the opposition parties would not be happy about. Congress, with its immature handling of the situation, have landed itself in a soup. The official and unofficial reactions from the Congressmen were not only a manifestation of petty thoughts, but also a show of how desperate they have become by the success of Modi. The incident has hurt the sentiments of a large section of the population of Punjab. An important point being missed here is that projects worth more than Rs. 42000/- crores stand deferred as of now (till the elections are over). Most importantly, BJP which was as good as, not in the fray in Punjab elections, now becomes a strong contender along with Capt. Amrinder Singh.
Seven, Modi and his party have a well-oiled mechanism to convey the message to the people at large. Leave aside the large gatherings and meetings. BJP has a mechanism wherein the workers reach up to the people, understand their needs and grievances, convey the findings to the leadership and help the leadership in getting a ground level feel of the situation. This reflects well in their actions, manifestos and sincere implementation of the schemes.
The above are just broad points. It will take a long time for the concerned to acknowledge, understand, accept and digest the reality. As I have already said, this is a common man’s perspective. It may sound weird and be nowhere near to the views and opinions expressed by the political analysts and pundits, opposition leaders and workers. I have been watching elections from my youth days. The political parameters are changing from ‘just promises’ to ‘performance’. The electorate now understands well, the games played by parties to garner votes. The present day young generation carry less, the baggage of caste and other dividing lines. The voter is more aware now.
We should not, therefore, be surprised if the BJP betters its performance in the upcoming assembly elections, more particularly UP and also in the 2024 general elections.

Pramod Gosavi

Pramod Gosavi Ji is a Retired Officer from State Bank Of India and has also worked as a Business Analyst in Tata Consultancy Services.
He writes passionately and vividly about various subjects pertaining to an ordinary man's life. His collection so articles about the same has been published as a book in marathi with the name "Nikhal"