The people give a message

The result of elections for four Lok Sabha and ten Vidhan Sabha seats held across the country has not brought good tidings for the BJP. Out of four Lok Sabha seats it has won only one and out of ten Vidhan Sabha seats it has been able to retain only one.  It has won the Palghar Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra while the Nagaland LS seat has been won by its ally NDPP. In Palghar, its ‘victory’ in fact conceals its defeat. The vote polled by the Shiv Sena, the BahujanVikas Aghadi and the Congress fighting separately is much more than that polled by the BJP. An opposition unity at Palghar would have taken this seat away from the BJP. The worst victim of these by-polls is Nitish Kumar, the Bihar Chief Minister and the leader of the JD(U). The trouncing of his party’s candidate at the hands of the RJD means that from now on the BJP will treat him more shabbily and hold him in greater contempt while he has already burnt his boat to go back to the RJD-Congress gathbandhan. He is going to be the odd man out in Bihar politics.
The people have given two messages through these by-polls – one to the ruling BJP and the other to the opposition parties. The message to the BJP is that the people totally reject the politics of polarization, of hatred, of intolerance and the vigilantism of the gau-rakshaks and love-jihadis. They want to live in peace, amity and social harmony. They want Vikas (development), not Vibhed (divisiveness). To the opposition their clear message is that they must not only unite but remain united – not just for capturing power for power’s sake but for reinforcing the ideals of democracy, equality and secularism – the ideals that are enshrined in the Constitution but which are constant assault now. The opposition leaders must learn to work together as a team, give a better government and provide better governance. They must also learn to subordinate their personal ambitions, keep their egos under check, never indulge in self-aggrandizement and disabuse themselves of the ‘big-party’ syndrome. They have to earn the trust and confidence of the people that they are worthy of being given the charge of running the country and addressing the social and economic ills bedeviling the country, rather than pursuing a majoritarian agenda. The people have given their message. Now it is for the opposition to heed it.

Thursday, 31 May, 2018