Tough times ahead for Modi

Amit Kushari, IAS Retd
The Prime Minister is working very hard for winning the election in Bihar. He is a superb orator and he is addressing half a dozen rallies almost everyday in Bihar. Senior ministers are camping in Bihar. However it appears to be a tough fight in Bihar. The two principal regional parties have ganged up against BJP and the Congress has also jumped into their bandwagon. Whenever Congress joins the principal regional party, it can deliver a hard blow to BJP. Congress is the grand old party of India and although it is vastly reduced in strength today, its remarkable feature is that it has some presence at least in almost all the districts of India. In Bihar too Congress has at least 8 to 10% popular support in every constituency. It is estimated that BJP and its allies has 40% support in Bihar, JDU and RJD too have 20% support each. If the two add up their support will be around 35% , and not 40% because some supporters will not vote for the other party in spite of the alliance, given the bitter caste rivalries. They could vote for independents or Left parties, or some could even vote for the NDA. If the Congress voters mostly vote for JDU/RJD, then the total support of the ‘Maha Gathbandhan’ would be around 35+ 8 = 43% . In this scenario, NDA will be defeated in at least 150 constituencies and the NDA tally will not exceed 95. To prevent this the PM has to bridge this gap of 3% vote share through fiery oratory and lofty promises. This is a very difficult task.
In the last one and a half years, NDA was unable to fulfil many of its promises and so the speeches of Narendra Modi have lost their sheen and credibility to a large extent. The secular image of the NDA government has taken a beating because of the communal and  statements of his hindutva allies. Even the Chairman of RSS, who is otherwise a highly respected man, made such utterances that will reduce the vote share of NDA from the backward castes and scheduled castes as well as Muslims/Christians. His comment that reservation laws should be revisited was nothing short of a catastrophe. Even if 2-3 % backward or scheduled castes votes are deflected, because of this inappropriate statement, it will be a fatal blow for NDA. His latest statement that cow slaughter is almost banned in Kenya, an African nation, was not only untrue but laughable also. Now it has been clarified on the media that Kenya is one of the biggest beef exporting countries of Africa and that beef is the staple diet for many African nations. In India beef is the staple diet for most N E states. It is also the staple diet for the crores of Muslims and Christians living in Bihar, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamilnadu. The Chief Minister of  Haryana, who was an RSS ‘pracharak’ appears to be very much against cow slaughter. His public statements are not doing the BJP any good. He had advised all beef eaters of India to go to Pakistan! If his advice could be carried out in reality, half of Kerala, Tamilnadu, Bengal, Bihar , Assam and other NE states would become empty and India’s population would be reduced by 10 crores at least! If cow slaughter is banned, the poor farmers would not be able to make extra income by selling off old bullocks and buffaloes. Banning of cow slaughter would financially harm millions of Hindu farmers.  When the pockets of Hindus are adversely affected they may not vote for BJP even if they respect ‘Gowmata’. Usually human beings give topmost importance to money and income, every thing else comes later.
There is a saying,”Bewaqoof dost se aqalmand dushman behtar”.( An intelligent enemy is better than a foolish friend). NDA has a Minister called V K Singh, a retired army General who is causing embarrassment to the Prime Minister, many a time  through his politically inappropriate comments. Recently when two Dalit babies were killed in Haryana, General V K Singh, while trying to defend the PM, said even if dogs are stoned the Prime Minister is blamed in this country. Perhaps he never intended to compare the Dalit babies with dogs but the opposition took full advantage of his careless comment and said that NDA government was against Dalits. The Home Minister had to step in to warn V K Singh as well as the junior Home Minister, Kiran Rijiju, who had made a fantastic and hilarious comment, ” North Indians are habitual law breakers”.
Modi is surrounded on all sides by political enemies, just as Abhmanyu was surrounded by the Kauravas in the Mahabharata war. They want to take revenge for their 2014 defeat. Let us not forget that in 2014, JDU was reduced to 3 in Lok Sabha, RJD was reduced to 4, BSP and National Conference were reduced to zero, CPI(M) to 9 and Congress to 44. They are all like wounded tigers, seething with rage, waiting for revenge. At the first opportunity they would like to humiliate the BJP. Even BJP’s so called ally of compulsion (Shiv Sena) is trying to humiliate the BJP. In the Maharashtra elections they did not ally with the BJP and suffered huge losses. They allied later on after swallowing the embarrassment. They will also not lose any opportunity to humiliate the BJP. Recently they did not allow the Pakistani ghazal singer, Ghulam Ali, to perform in Mumbai, pretending to be patriotic Indians, hating the Pakistanis. They seem to be unaware that in the field of culture, literature, language and music, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal are one single nation only although they are politically four different nations.   The Shiv Sena forgets that nobody would believe them to be patriotic Indians after the utter contempt they have shown to migrants from UP and Bihar in Mumbai.
With so many sworn enemies and with so many foolish friends and half friends Modi really has to face  very tough times, indeed. If, by sheer chance, he comes out victorious in Bihar he will get some badly needed respite.
(The author is former Financial Commissioner, J&K)
Feedback to the author at 09748635185 or amitkus@hotmail.com or tweet @amitkushari

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