Rajasthan has been out of the news cycle for almost 10 days now, which can feel like the crisis has been resolved. But it hasn’t. Apparently, Ashok Gehlot wants to call an Assembly session because he believes he has the numbers. That should be easy, no?
Not so fast. To call for an Assembly session, the CM needs to request the Governor in writing. They did that…but you see …there were some issues found in the request made. Technical, legal issues perhaps. Everything needs to be perfect, after all. And so the Governor has sent the request back to the CM, so that all the technical issues are sorted out perfectly.
Be patient, Ashok Gehlot ji. Do you remember when a bunch of MLAs resigned in Karnataka last year and the Karnataka speaker needed so much time to study the resignation letters carefully? At that time, Congress and its allies wanted to study the constitution in detail. Allow Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra the same privilege.
Anyway, I trust that the fun in Rajasthan is going to continue for a while before Gehlot inevitably saves his government. This post is about a more curious political development.
Very interesting. The legal argument is that the BSP is a national party and therefore there can be no mergers at the state level with Congress unless there is a merger at the national level.
First of all, do they have a case? No, of course not. The argument is absurd and bound to fail in court. But it is just one more thing for Ashok Gehlot to worry about.
The fun is that this will only further increase the frustration of ‘secular’ forces with BSP. Apparently, Behenji is not playing ball with the liberal dream of a “Dalit-Muslim” axis against the BJP.
I remember that in 2018, a hardcore Islamist anchor for The Dyer had proudly posted a Twitter “poll” asking whether Mayawati should be PM. The options she gave were “Yes” and “Yes.”
The same anchor was on Twitter the other day, writhing with frustration and asking Mayawati to openly join BJP.
What a letdown. LOL. Serves them right for at least two reasons. First, this is what happens when you depend on opportunistic regional parties like BSP to bail out your bankrupt “idea of India.”
Second, these secular forces always looked towards BSP with a “divide and rule” policy against Hindus in mind. You secular forces didn’t care even a little about Dalits. You just wanted to keep Hindus divided and easy to subdue. And Dalits on the ground know this. In fact, given their poverty, Dalits are most often at the receiving end of aggression from members of the ‘secular’ religion. The dream alliance of liberals is a non-starter. Hindu unity on the other hand, is prospering.
With Uttar Pradesh emerging as the hub of Hindu unity, the space for BSP’s politics is disappearing. The last time BSP was in power was Feb 2012. They are reduced to just 19 seats in the UP Assembly. Suffice to say, the BSP is desperately out of resources. It is natural for them to draw closer to the ruling BJP.
What does the BJP get out of this? Closeness to the BJP dents the political constituency of BSP even further.
What will be the shape of political alliances in 2022? Nobody can tell right now. Will BSP go alone or along with SP & Cong in a Mahagathbandhan?
The BJP doesn’t know. So the only thing BJP can do right now is strive for 50%+ in Uttar Pradesh. For this, the BJP has to make it as easy as possible for Hindus of all sections to switch over to the party. Even the seeming closeness between BSP and BJP will make it easier for even more Jatav Dalits to switch to BJP.
Politics is actually a spectrum. Voting is a spectrum. Let me explain what I mean by this.
Even though everyone gets just one vote, people press that button with varying levels of conviction. So the target is to shift the spectrum in your favor. For example, think of a BSP voter who strongly despises BJP. Ultimately, s/he will vote against BJP in 2022.
So is it a total loss? No!
Because that strong BSP voter notices the closeness between BJP and BSP. When s/he is sitting around with other members of their social group, s/he stays silent instead of loudly criticizing BJP. Perhaps if s/he had spoken up, the less committed BSP voters would have swung strongly towards BSP. But now, two of the less committed BSP voters in the group might drift to BJP. Or maybe they won’t care to go out and vote.
See? You win just by shifting the spectrum. This is the indirect effect of the show of closeness between BSP and BJP.
The other objective is totally obvious. As Mayawati hobnobs with BJP, the trust factor in any potential Mahagathbandhan goes down. Remember The Dyer anchor who has lost her passion for Mayawati? The next time SP and BSP sit down to negotiate seats, there will be that much more distrust. If they contest the same number of seats, the negotiations will stretch and they will be bitter. Once they decide on the number, they will fight tooth and nail on the “quality” of the seats : which party is getting the easier seats and which is getting the harder ones. And in the campaign, both will be looking over their shoulders, worried that the other might win more seats and stake claim to the CM post.
There is no doubt that Akhilesh Yadav bent over backwards in front of BSP. The BSP has not returned the favor at all, or even acknowledged it. And now BSP is drawing closer to BJP. Imagine how bitter Akhilesh would be right now.
It is too risky to project so far in advance, but it is really really hard to see how BJP could lose the 2022 election. Something momentous has to happen for them to lose. As of now, they are coasting to victory.