The outcome of the assembly bypolls held in neighbouring Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh has come as a blow to a buoyed up BJP that is harbouring dreams of forming next government in Haryana. In the BJP-ruled Rajasthan, the saffron party could win only one seat out of four and in Uttar Pradesh it could only win three out of 11 assembly seats.
The saffron party, which has gained in confidence and standing by winning seven out of the eight Lok Sabha seats in contested in Haryana, was being, for the first time, perceived as a major challenger to the ruling Congress and its key opponent, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).
In fact, sensing that the BJP was on an all-time high, several Congress and INLD leaders dumped their parties to join the saffron party. The intense bickering over the distribution of party tickets, protests and allegations were also an upshot of the BJP cadres sensing power.
However, Tuesday’s bypoll results have left the party cadre and leadership in Haryana anxious and mulling. It has also cut down the excitement build up in the saffron party cadres. The results have also shown that local issues and factors take precedence and matter more in the assembly polls.
“Perception plays an important role in the elections. The impact of the poll results in neighbouring states has definitely given the party leadership a reason to reevaluate their approach,” said a disgruntled BJP contender, who did not wish to be named.
Senior INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala said the formation of BJP-led governments in Hindi-speaking states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and the saffron party’s good showing in Delhi assembly polls had impacted the Lok Sabha results in Haryana. In the same manner, the poor showing of the BJP in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh will have a bearing on the Haryana assembly polls.
“People have given a jolt to the BJP as the party has failed to fulfil the promises it harped upon during its Lok Sabha poll campaign. The so-called Modi magic is no longer evident and the party is losing ground all over. Inflation, dispensing poor procurement prices to farmers, increase in rail fares have contributed to their dismal performance. In Haryana, the BJP is a ‘jugaad’ party. Acche din aaye hain to sirf Ram Bilas Sharma and Krishan Pal Gujjar ke who have been accused of selling party tickets,” Abhay Singh said.
Congress spokesperson and Haryana minister, Randeep Surjewala said the bypoll results unmistakably show that Modi’s achhe din have evaporated and the BJP bubble has burst.
In a span of little over 100 days it has been established that the BJP-led NDA has failed to check prices and provide impetus to the economy. Surjewala said these results were a reflection of this defined truth that has dawned upon the people across the nation. Also, the common man has realised that the BJP government is an autocratic establishment run by one man with neither any direction nor a defined mechanism of governance.
“The BJP in Haryana has become an accumulation of defectors and rejected politicians. Their arrogance triggered the break-up of their alliance with HJC. However, they must answer to the people of Haryana about their new found love and proximity for the INLD whom their national president, Amit Shah has dubbed as party of goons,” he said.
Former Haryana minister and president of Haryana Jan Chetna Party, Venod Sharma said the results reflected the mood of the people across the country. “Haryana cannot remain isolated from this feeling and it will be mirrored in the assembly polls next month.
The BJP is surely losing ground. The results also show that voters have different considerations in the state assembly elections where issues are different. The Modi factor was only for the Lok Sabha polls as people wanted him as prime minister. It has not worked in assembly bypolls,” Sharma said.