BJP storms into Assam

So, by all accounts, the BJP is going to win Assam. Okay…well…we shouldn’t be counting our chickens before they hatch. Having said that, I’ll do precisely what I said I shouldn’t be doing: we’ll dwell on what a victory in Assam means for the party.

For one, the reaction of the RW over Assam will mostly be about relief, after back to back debacles in Delhi and Bihar. The right wing felt that it had its back to the wall and Assam will feel like a green pasture after a long electoral drought. You know what’s awesome about this? That the Right Wing is so hungry for victory. Close your eyes for a moment and count all the electoral victories piled up by the BJP since 2013… given all those wins, it is kind of amazing that the right wing seemed so desperate for a win in Assam. If you look at the other side, the Congress has now been reduced to dust in 9-10 states (depending on how you count Bihar) in a row since 2013 and they are scheduled to lose Kerala and Assam next month!

Yet, the Congress no longer seems hungry for success. In fact, they seem quite content with Kejriwal sweeping Delhi and Congress being the 3rd wheel in Bihar. This massive gap in expectations matters. Those who never aim high never achieve anything. The fact that the Congress no longer dreams big means that it will never again achieve big. This is a tremendous fall for a party that has ruled the country for 55 years! Is there anyone in the Congress who is thinking about getting 272+ seats in 2019? On the other hand, is there anyone on the BJP side who is not obsessed with making sure the party again gets 272+ on its own? 

You can see this attitude on social media itself. Watch the Congress supporters content with being led and shown the way by AAPians…for goodness sake…the AAP rules just 1 state. That Congis on social media so readily surrender to AAP shows the general defeatist, lazy mindset of the party…

Of course, the second big takeaway for the BJP is that a whole new world has just opened up in the Northeast. Anybody who still derides the BJP as a party of Hindi speaking Brahmins and Baniyas needs to go to a mental asylum. In fact, politics has come full circle and it is the BJP which should now be asking if the Congress is a truly national party. The BJP has a massive presence in the North, dominates the West, is the main opposition in Karnataka (sure win in 2018) and is  now going to rule Assam. The Congress is a big zero in the North, a big zero in the East and is far far behind in the West.

Yes, the BJP could not cross the barrier in Bihar. But, remember that the BJP has never had a Chief Minister in Bihar! There are only 3 parties that have ever had Chief Ministers in Bihar: the Congress, the RJD and the JDU. All 3 parties that have ever had CMs in Patna got together to stop the BJP…this time! Can they really hold off the BJP offensive five years from now? What is amazing is that despite 1100 MLAs and 282 Lok Sabha MPs, the BJP is still on the offensivethe seculars didn’t win Bihar, they merely defended it. The BJP is actually still actively expanding its footprint…Congress has long given up on the idea of expanding, or winning back the territories it has been wiped out from.

The Right Wing often gets impatient (including me) and demands that the Prime Minister aggressively implement a core right agenda. Perhaps we are being too harsh here. The system that crushes Hindus was not built in a day…it took 50+ years of seculars at every level from executive to bureaucracy to judiciary to academia to show business to create this system. They have massive reserves, they have extensive patronage networks that have been nurtured over decades. They cannot simply be wished away. Indeed, the first and foremost  thing that Modi must do is ensure a comeback of the BJP in 2019. Everything else is quite secondary. If the BJP fails in 2019, the seculars will quickly repair the breach in their armor. When the Congress came back in 2004, they acted as if the “natural order” has been restored after a gap of 6 years. This time, they might not be so complacent… after the scare they got with the 282-44 thrashing. If the Congress comes back in 2019, they will retaliate…they will punish us all for daring to think of a Congress mukt Bharat.

Indeed, the good thing about Assam is not just the victory, but also that the BJP has quickly internalized the lessons from the ground. Since they realized that the Modi card simply wasn’t working at the state level, they projected a local leader well in time. By Indian standards, it is quite amazing in itself for the party boss to accept his limitations and step back in time. Can you imagine the Congress admitting openly that the Shehzada will play second fiddle to a local Congress leader? This is the kind of “corporatized structure” that the BJP has been able to inculcate within itself, giving priority to results over hierarchy. The BJP won’t just win Assam, it will now have a new local satrap in Sarbananda Sonowal. It is local faces like these that enabled the party to withstand 10 years without power at the Center. In fact, if the BJP loses 2019, it is these regional faces who will act as the shock absorbers : and the BJP will have to generate its fightback from the state capitals. In fact, in the decade from 2004-2014, the “high command” of the BJP became almost completely Congressized. It did not matter, because the BJP’s regional leadership was able to provide the second rung leadership. Ultimately, no one individual matters, not even Modi. If tomorrow Modi turns “secular”, the important thing is that the BJP will have the bench strength to generate another Modi.

The final lesson from Assam is for people like Nitish Kumar and Arvind Kejriwal. If they want to be Prime Minister, they will have to create a national party first. This is especially true in the current scenario, where the only stable trend in the last 15 years   is that people want governments with decisive majority. In 2004, the winning party had just 145 seats or so. In 2009, the winning party had a much more formidable 207 seats. In 2014, the winning party had a decisive 282. The party that wins 2019 will have to convince voters that it has a chance of winning 272 seats….at the very least.

For obvious reasons, I don’t want either Kejriwal or Nitish Kumar to absorb the lesson. In fact, I want them to be on the hunt, looking to become PM in case of a  hung mandate. That plan is never going to work, but what it does is prevent the people from coalescing around the Congress as the sole alternative to Modi. Let’s face it…other than Congress, which opposition party can realistically hope to cross 100 seats in 2019? So, I bless these regional leaders hoping to become PM.

So, who else wants to try and enter the PM race? Mayawati, why don’t you give it a try? It is quite another thing that Behenji spent her whole life in UP and never even got 20/80 Lok Sabha seats. Amit Shah spent 9 months in UP and came back with 73/80. Don’t let this reality discourage you Behenji. I think you have a great chance in 2019 of becoming PM 🙂 Who else wants to try? Mulayam? Chautala? How about Lalu ji? Hey…why not Hardik Patel too? Even Kanhaiya Kumar seems like a great prospect 😛

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28 thoughts on “BJP storms into Assam

  1. My wish:1)BJP wins Assam,2)Congress loses Kerala,3)Congress and left don’t win WB,4)Congress and DMK don’t win TN,5)NDA ally wins Pondicherry.1) and 2) seem to be very possible right now.

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    1. Hate Mamata Banerjee, but I must agree. It is better for Trinamool to win Bengal rather than Cong+CPIM. Amma will hold TN rather easily. Of course Congress cannot think of winning Kerala even in its dream..

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  2. Looking ahead:1)Punjab-NDA will most probably lose and I’m hoping that they lose to AAP and not congress(I hate AAP more than congress but congress is the main enemy.AAP is just a 2 party state),2)UP-I actually don’t want BJP to win because anti incumbency against BSP/SP will help BJP in 2019(just like how the Bihar loss will help in 2019 because people will be fed up of Jungle raj),3)Goa-hoping that BJP holds on to it,4)HP-one of Congress’ last bastions and I hope BJP wins(they have a good chance),5)Gujarat-I hope BJP holds on to Gujarat but I am not sure after seeing local body results.Good monsoon might change everything,6)Manipur-BJP could spring a surprise here(they won many seats in a local poll recently).Probably not a win but they can gain many seats,7)MP,Chhattisgarh,Rajasthan and Karnataka-hoping that BJP holds on to the 1st 3 and liberates Karnataka which could end up being the last big congress bastion.I think BJP will win MP,Rajasthan and Karnataka.Not sure about Chhattisgarh.Cong could go into 2019 with just 3 NE states.

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    1. Thank you so much Enigma! I never understand why RW hate Kejriwal so much that many of them wish to lose Punjab to Cong rather than AAP. Cong is main national enemy. If anything, BJP should thank Kejriwal for making Delhi and Punjab Congresss mukt.

      And don’t worry about Gujarat. Modi is a point of personal prestige for Gujaratis. When he hits campaign trail in Gujarat, there is no chance of losing. Already Patidar movement has lost fizz and Cong went back to sleep.

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      1. Agreed cw, no chance for congress in Gujarat. As a worst case scenario bjp will lose few seats in Gujarat elections compared to previous elections when modi was cm. People have mixed reactions about anandiben, but gujaratis will never give a chance to congress.

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      2. RW hates Kejrifart more than Congress because Rahul is an idiot. Kejrifart is dangerous. I actually donated in his first election. Very, very able charlatan

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    2. Aaptard army is more dangerous than Congress. Don’t u think? Coming from me. Who actually donated to that aapfart in his first election.

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  3. Read this recent article CW.It talks about how Rahul Gandhi and Internal party problems are helping to achieve Congress Mukt Bharat(doing more damage than BJP is doing).And this line really caught my attention “A senior leader from Uttar Pradesh says he once asked Sonia to take the lead.”She told me she does not have the energy left to lead a fightback”” Music to my ears! http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/sunday-story-congress-xs-rahul-gandhi-sonia-gandhi/

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    1. Indeed, music to my ears too 🙂 Rahul has been fooled into thinking that everything is media propaganda. He is spending too much time on photo ops and no time on hard work of party building.

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  4. Its gr8 that, bjp has bright prospects in Assam. However,I was expecting that, bjp will give s good fight in Bengal. Unfortunately bjp is not taking bengal seriously. Poor bengalis. Will be pissed off again.

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    1. Yes, BJP gave up its post 2014 momentum in Bengal in exchange for RS votes from TMC that never came. Modi-Shah missed a trick there very badly. And now, even Mamata is struggling. BJP should have at least tried. They didnt.

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  5. Even if BJP does not win many state election, if their gain in assemblies is much better than last time, it should help BJP gain majority in Rajsabha. Once BJP/Modi achieves that, all bets are off for the opposition. I have read somewhere that some 600-700 foreign NGOs which were entrenched in various ministries have been ferreted out and removed. These NGOs were guiding government policy during UPA government to the liking of NGO sponsors who don’t have welfare of India in minds.

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  6. CW, how come we forget gr8 “Rahul baba” for giving BJP every chance without much work. We right wingers should be grateful to him. The moment he opens his mouth, Modi becomes more popular. The youth icon has put congress in this stage. It will be our good luck that, he will be there in congress for a longer time. Till then congress has no chances. Sometimes, I believe that, this rahul baba is a mole in congress planted by BJP!!

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  7. The party with lotus symbol may be doing well as per polling statistics in Assam but not the BJP. In fact the BJP of 2016 is increasingly looking and acting like the Congress. Apart from the dynastic structure and paucity of allegations of large scale corruption, on many counts it is indistinguishable from the Congress. So BJP is not making Bharat congress-mukt, but in trying to replace it, BJP has become the congress. It is not my point that lack of dynastic structure and corruption allegations are not significant…. but a party will be judged on how it delivered on its promises. Even if one disregards the promises of article 370, Ram Mandir or uniform civil code, there is hardly a deliverable that has been achieved. We in India tend to appreciate honesty, dedication and work ethic which no doubt Mr Modi seems to have a lot of but where he has been an utter failure is the security situation, economic reforms and ability to provide leadership in the path of development. I am
    no poll analyst but one thing I can wager is that if BJP got a single party majority for one reason, it was because of people being fed up of the weak-knees approach towards terror. While development and Hindutva may be sideshows, the promise of a tough approach inspired the rurban middle class. I seriously doubt that the avatar the BJP has taken for sake of electoral dividends will pay off beyond states where they are in one to one fight with a Congress on the decline, but in doing so they have ensured that BJP will never get another chance to have a single party majority. The TINA factor will not help them do that.

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    1. There can be no doubt that the BJP is fast absorbing many of the ills of the Congress. But I think we need to be a little patient. See, no matter how well BJP implements its agenda, everything will be wiped out if Modi loses 2019. It might be a better idea to go slower and ensure 2019 win first. Personally I think that if BJP gets a majority in 2019, we will have a Congress mukt Bharat. The vested interests who have paid into the Congress patronage network are waiting out these 5 years, but they wont wait 10 years. They will pull out their money and Congress will collapse.

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  8. What I find amazing is that what nearly 1300 years of foreign rule couldn’t do,our beloved sickulars managed to do in 55 years.We were atleast still Hindus during Independence, but now look at the NE!!!And the conversion mafia in the south is equally appaling (Most during Empress Sultana Queen Sonia the Catholics rule).
    On top of that our peaceful populace is also increasing.
    Hopefully,in the next 50 years the trend will be reversed.(Recently some 300 villages in Chattisgarh issued bans on Non-Hindu Missionaries)

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