Much anticipated Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat’s elections are over. As I said yesterday, the race to 2019 has begun. We as political observers should keenly watch what happened in Gujarat. Himachal Pradesh was a foregone conclusion that people voted against Congress as they were not happy about the Congress government’s performance. But in Gujarat, it was BJP’s rule for 22 years, so with good governance, there should have been no worries for BJP to get one more chance.
But the case was not so.
Congress this time, like every time played a very divisive role, roped in Hardik Patel, there were numerous powers went behind Congress. Rahul also tried to appease the Hindu majority by visiting temples. In fact, he has realized that Congress was marked as a minority appeasement party (their actions when they were ruling didn’t help), which BJP utilized and successfully used it to get votes, was a bigger challenge for Rahul and he did well to break that jinks by getting more seats this time.
BJP has street-smart leaders. Amit Shah realized much earlier that Patels might let them down, and started attacking the Tribal areas, which was Congress bastion for long. He knew that if BJP can get tribal votes, they will get through. That miracle happened this time. Congress lost truly here. BJP gained majority seats from tribal areas and that become the differentiator for BJP’s victory.
If tribals voted for Congress, BJP would not have won this election at all.
Why I am bringing this in this article is to let the masses know, that election is won based on strong strategy and street smart implementation and flexibility to change strategy based on the ground reality.
BJP is far ahead in this area.
In Congress, I am seeing this massive rally and close fight in Gujarat as a true revival and morale booster for them and their president Rahul Gandhi. Now he needs to strategize and start working towards 2019. What I would love to see from Congress is
1. Drop all the poverty line, minority, divisive politics, use them only if your opposition is using them.
2. Talk more about how they will develop this nation, what plans they have, development is the key. Rahul should clearly come out with a strategy on how he is going to take forward this country.
3. Be apologetic. There is nothing wrong with accepting that things didn’t go well in Manmohan Singh’s era and Congress has learned their lessons to not to repeat them, will help them to change people’s mindset and also break BJP’s strategy on these lines.
4. DO NOT talk to Chinese or Pakistanis without letting the government and public know well in advance. Whatever reason they have to connect with them, should be made public and Rahul has to be extremely transparent, or else, this will be one point BJP will utilize to it’s fullest to brand Congress and it’s leaders as anti-national.
I hope now being president of India’s oldest party, Rahul will raise his standard and put up a good fight to get more seats and get an opportunity to become a responsible opposition. I do not see Congress getting to the pole on 2019, but 2024, yes very much possibility is there.
For BJP, all they have to do is do what they are doing right now, control all fringe elements and loose talking personalities. Trust me, whatever good Modiji is doing is getting undone by these nonsensical folks. Also in Gujarat, only Urban Patels voted for BJP. Patels from villages and townships jumped ship to Congress. Our economy is in our villages. Make sure every farmer or small businessmen from our villages are happy, else there will be major vote transfer from BJP to Congress.
But I am sure BJP folks would have realized the same by now and started putting a strategy for 2019.