Once again, Modi charisma has helped the BJP to win two states – Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Victory, as the Cover story of this edition goes on, is a victory and hence Modi and his team deserve a pat as Gujarat was a hard fought election.
However, there are quite a few things which have emerged from the assembly polls which may become a trend setter for the forthcoming elections in few other states next year and will lead to the finally forthcoming general elections scheduled in 2019.
Interestingly, winning Gujarat Assembly election this time, no matter it was the sixth consecutive term, was not just a cake walk for the BJP. It was clearly visible by the reduced margin of votes the party won in the state, which is the home state for the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who served as Chief Minister of the state for three consecutive terms in the past.
Most prominent among the issues this time was the acid test the Modi government had to pass through for its two major hasty steps in the past – demonetisation and GST implementation. A clear-cut message has come out that the people have given a thumbs-up to the government despite their having borne the grudges on these otherwise two painful moves by the government.
At the same time, the Congress party has also got an opportunity to pat its own back in the name of its ability to giving a tough fight to the BJP that too on Modi’s home turf. Of course, the part of the credit will go to the newly crowned president of the party, Rahul Gandhi, who can treat this as his pre-gift.
Now, the question is what is the way forward? Well, the BJP has emerged as a big political party in the country. But for a competition’s sake there shouldn’t be much void on the political spectrum and it’s here the Congress party has to reap benefit at a time when it has got a young leader in Rahul Gandhi, unlike the BJP, which is still struggling to have a good number of young leaders at the top. Yes, dynasty is something the Congress has to explain to the electorate. But, it may not be a big debatable issue as long as the party is able to grow its base in the days to come.
Yet another important thing is the defeat of BJP’s CM candidate in Himachal Pradesh and subsequent difficulties being faced by the party in selecting a chief ministerial candidate. Last, but not the least, it’s time, the Opposition took the two state Assembly poll outcomes as a case study before it charts out the future course of action so as to carve out a niche in the forthcoming elections.