Are semi-finals of 2022 a trend setter for 2024?

Whether results of the elections to the state assemblies of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur , Goa and Punjab could be termed as trend setters to a larger extent for how 2024 Lok Sabha general elections would be shaped depends upon many factors. Political analysts can come out with different opinions but the crux of such opinions, if divergent to some extent, could converge on the importance of political idiom of “Path to New Delhi passes through Uttar Pradesh” or the decisive factor of sending valuable highest 80 elected members into the House of 543 members. Maharashtra with 48 followed by West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh with 42 each too, matter a lot in shaping the strength of the Lok Sabha. In other words that denotes that the spectacular win in Uttarakhand by the BJP followed by Manipur and Goa would have not contributed much in altering the scenario at the national level as was accomplished by the BJP winning the state of UP with 7.35 more vote share as compared to 2017 though losing 49 seats on comparative basis.
Two most important virtual ”feats” have surfaced in the recent assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and in Punjab. While people of Punjab have rejected the political parties like Congress, BJP, Akali Dal as also BSP, at the same time , they have given a massive mandate to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with as many as 92 candidates elected out of the total strength of 117 seats or nearly 79 % of total seats. Has AAP sounded its march towards reserving a niche for itself as an emerging player for having a role to play as a formidable opposition party at the national level is quite premature to assess with precision, at the moment . The state where all concerned political ”eyes” are fixed at – Uttar Pradesh – AAP contested all the 403 seat but failed miserably in not getting a single seat, instead it is learnt that its vote share was less than even the total NOTA as also in Uttarakhand, it did not even open its account.
The results of Uttar Pradesh have not only surprised many political Pandits, different political projections and assessments but built new records – that of a full 5 year serving Chief Minister returning to power with a massive 273 in the house of 403 seats or 68 percent, anti incumbency not playing any of its influencing role in determining the choice of the vote, almost all of the opposition parties fighting on the plank and cause of the “failures on all fronts” of the Yogi Government not taken by the electorate, caste- religion factors not making any much headway , allurement of different freebies and promising of financial benefits etc not making any sort of dent, Lakhimpur Kheri unfortunate incident even not influencing the vote against the incumbent Government and last but not least, surprisingly though, more than one year long Farmers’ stir not affecting the vote against the BJP Government . That factor , on the other hand, created havoc even in Punjab with all the prospects of the frontal Kissan leader of formidable Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM) drawing a total blank and even losing security deposit in the Punjab polls. It may be noted that the SSM will be remembered for humbling the central Government for full one year on account of the prolonged sit-in-protests against the three Farm Laws , later repealed by the Government.
Regional parties like the Samajwadi Party and even Bahujan Samaj Party must introspect on whether with the same old political rhetoric of theirs , their aim to defeat the BJP can be accomplished besides blaming the EVMs for loss notwithstanding. The poll results are undoubtedly superlative in that the BJP retains all the four states it fought and expected only better but it got the best may rightly be attributed to its pro- poor factor and pro active governance ensuring accruable benefits reaching the targeted sections direct. If there is any political hara-kiri in respect of any political party of much significance , it is the Congress party which stands virtually decimated at the national level losing Punjab , drawing just 2 in UP out of 403 seats and in the rest two states performing of no significance . BSP with a huge electoral base and following finishing with just 1 seat or 18 seats less than the last elections in UP too needs to do a big analysis of the causes of such a debacle.
That old stalwarts and considered political ”big wigs” cannot be seen losing in any circumstances too have proven to be a myth in these elections as seen in Punjab where Badals , the Captain, the outgoing CM, the state Congress President etc , in Uttrakhand outgoing CM and previous CM and the like losing elections can all be traced to the changing electoral scenario and people’s mood and preference for development only. The Prime Minister congratulating AAP leadership for winning Punjab polls and assuring all help and cooperation while expressing gratitude to voters “mothers, sisters, youth and first time voters” for favourable poll outcome, is all in high traditions of democratic values as also taking victory with humility and opportunity to serve the people with more dedication. Self -reliance, ameliorating the lot of the poor and more employment opportunities for the unemployed must remain on top of priorities of the new Governments of the five states which will be in office shortly.