The shadow of demonetisation on the electoral sphere appears to have faded with ground reports suggesting that politicians from across party lines have put the issue on the back burner while seeking votes.
Parties have relied on local issues to woo voters in the run up to the ongoing assembly elections. In Uttar Pradesh, the alliance between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress along with the resurgence of Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) appears to have diluted the political slugfest over demonetisation.
Although the significance of the demonetisation issue as a poll plank appears to have reduced, it oddly still features in political attacks.
“The first 100 days after demonetisation are the biggest disaster in the Indian economy. Till today, we do not know what was the real reason behind conducting this exercise,” Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) member of Parliament (MP) Saugata Roy said.
The course the ongoing assembly elections take could well decide the future of the political discourse on the note ban exercise.
Both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress could take a call on their next course of action on the contentious issue depending on the poll result.
If BJP comes out victorious after the elections then it is likely to project the result as a direct reflection of people’s support for the demonetisation policy. However, a defeat for the party would put it in a tight support as the Opposition would project the verdict as a validation of its anti-demonetisation stand.
The Opposition could also stitch a rare unity against the Narendra Modi government over demonetisation. Political observers feel that this unity has the possibility of turning into a full-fledged alliance.
“We may have differences, but we have decided to come together on this issue,” Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had said last year, indicating to Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who was sitting beside him. The two leaders had come on the same stage in opposition to the Modi government’s November 8 announcement.
The Opposition also managed to get Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar, a key anti-Modi figure, on board despite his initial support for the demonetisation exercise.