2019 Verdict and First Reactions and ideas for discussion and replication by other opinion holders and political analysts as well as political parties.
Modi has got a bigger mandate than 2014 but NDA may not match last election’s success and fall short by couple seats entirely due to loss of seats by AIADMK.
Congress has not gained from BJP but has taken seats away from the Left as is evident from the Kerala results, and has cornered a smaller number from non-BJP parties.
- An agreement with BSP at all-India level would have added to its vote share by anywhere between 3-7 % in different states and also provided a flip to the Mahagathbandan in UP. For instance it would have benefited Congress in MP, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi and Punjab too. It may have also created an impression among the minds of non-BSP Dalit supporters that Congress is open to include them in its scheme of things.
- A coalition with the Left in West Bengal, apart from adding its own seats, could have arrested BJP’s surge in the state, both in terms of number of seats and percentage of votes. Voters against the TMC went to BJP as they felt that Left and Congress were not a viable alternative.However,as a combination they would have attracted more support and dented BJP’s chances.
- A well-established formula of joining hands where best performing coalition partner in the last election gets to challenge the other opponents was, for some reasons, not adhered to by Congress as is evident in UP and West Bengal. In these two states Congress wanted to contest from seats where it had come second against SP, BSP or Left parties.
- Congress’ inclusion of repealing AFSPA and changing sedition laws provided a handle to Modi to attack Congress’ nationalistic/patriotic intentions and label it a pro-Pakistan party that supports terrorists.
- The Soft Hindutvaallegiance failed, as voters felt that theyalready had a better version with larger memory and faster RAM, so why should they choose slow and obsolete desktops.
- Dilly dallying with the issue of Priyanka Gandhi contesting against Modior not, shook the confidence of voters about the sincerity of Congress’ challenge.
- A statement from the Congress that in some places they want to dent the BJP and help Gathbandhan actually backfired for both.
- Mayawati’s demand for a disproportionate number of seats,much higher than the share of votes BSP commands, proved a setback for that alliance.
- Mayawati’s ambition to become PM was a huge factor in taking away whatever uppercast support the Gathbandhan could have got,as also votes of some OBC, etc.
- AAP’s insincere attitude towards coalition forming with Congress. Hundreds of statements by all sorts of AAP’s leaders to put pressure on Congress and its failure of reaching out to Sheila Dixit for a rapprochement.
- Insecurities of leaders like TejasviYadav. It appears thatTejasvi was more interested in getting Kanhaiya Kumar defeated than in winning Begusarai, and this resulted in the fragmentation of opposition votes.
These are points of reflection for anybody interested in analyzing the outcome of this election, and the thumping defeat of the Congress and coalition.
(Nawed Akhter is a political analyst and satirist based in Gurgaon.)