We all know the story of how a nimble footed David felled the mighty Goliath with nothing but nerves of steel, determination and a lowly slingshot. Come 2014, BJP under the aegis of Mr. Narendra Modi uprooted the grand old party at the Centre and literally seeded out the Congress in many states thereafter. BJP was what David was to Goliath – swift, young, determined and with its back to the wall but armed with knowledge of Congress’ weaknesses and a promise of change. We know well what happened thereafter.
Come 2018, Goliath became David and tables got turned. BJP grew into the very mammoth it once defeated. Call it complacency, anti-incumbency, far removed from reality, unemployment, rising prices, economic hardships etc., but one cannot deny that the chink in the armour got exposed on 11th Dec. And David drove home the mandate!
Will the battle repeat itself with similar results in 2019?
Congress may have won the battle, but the war is far from. It must not mistake assembly elections to a national mandate. Consolidate, learn, strive, repeat. Pick up real issues people face and have a plan to address them.
BJP must accept that a large part of population has dissented and introspect on how to win back the confidence of the electorate like it did in 2014.
But neither should resort to populist measures! India loses, no one gains in that vicious cycle. Farm loan waivers, free stuff, tall promises, religious jingoism etc only make India poorer.
It would certainly be interesting to see what lies ahead. BJP may be dented, but still packs a punch. With a clean track record, blemished by very few allegations and poor executions of some landmark initiatives, BJP still can thwart a combined opposition (Uttar Pradesh assembly elections was a case in point). Rural electrification, cleanliness drive and direct-to-beneficiary public welfare/ public distribution amongst others are have gone down well with rural electorate. GST roll out and demonitisation could have been handled well.
A lion’s roar is as good as it’s bite, more so a wounded one. But one lion, sometimes, is simply not enough. Hang onto your seats, the finale is far from over!