The Congress continues to decline and BJP’s regional rivals are making their presence felt, even in Uttar Pradesh where Samajwadi Party consolidated anti-BJP votes to a large extent.
With UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath set to achieve the maiden feat of an incumbent returning to power in the state after serving a full term, BJP’s emphatic win, if not as sweeping as in 2017, has made him all but first in a shrinking list of his party’s regional satraps, more so as a very few of them symbolise its ideological purity combined with an image of a tough administrator like him.
Also, the wholehearted endorsement of Yogi Adityanath from Modi in a manner that few BJP chief ministers have had during polls, evident from the viral photographs of the Prime Minister taking a stroll with him with hand on his shoulder, creating a buzz around him in political circles, will be reinforced by this victory.
Always admired by the votaries of hardcore Hindutva and nationalism, the 49-year-old leader’s law and order plank has received wide public approval and added to his CV in terms of governance.
However, political observers believe that the most significant message of the polls is also the most obvious and enduring one and that is — Modi remains the most magnetic draw for voters towards the BJP– and is once again highlighted by the party’s all-around winning show in the recent assembly elections except Punjab. BJP is also appears set to return to power in Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur with
Voters may have grievances but a large number of them continue to see the Prime Minister as their best hope to tackle problems confronting the country and do not trust the message of opposition parties, projected by the BJP as symbols of dynastic and corrupt rule.
Significantly, according to the election commission data, the BJP is appeared to have garnered more votes than 2017 in Uttar Pradesh but has not been able to match its 2017 seat tally due to a consolidation of opposition votes in the favour of the Samajwadi Party, which received more seats as against in 2017 but still fell far short of the ruling party.
That the BJP is tipped to gain a strong majority in Uttarakhand and retain power in Goa despite its state governments facing perceived anti-incumbency, only validates the long-held criticism, political watchers believe, that the Congress has become too weak to put up a strong fight against the saffron party where it is the main challenger.
Political strategist Prashant Kishor has consistently cited the Congress’ abysmal scorecard against the BJP in Lok Sabha and state polls to suggest a case for regional satraps to take lead in putting up a united front against the ruling party.
The rise of AAP will only add to the growing noise in the opposition camp against the Congress as the BJP sits pretty.