TSUNAMO 2.0 – Analyzing the wonder and splendor of BJP’s return to power (Part 1)

Even though more than two months have passed since the election results were declared, the extent of the amazing victory continues to sparkle. 

Those who were saying that the 2014 elections were a “black swan” moment, an aberration which couldn’t be repeated were in for a rude shock, as the BJP not just retained but even bettered its position 

The BJP contested 437 seats on its own, and won 303 of them, a strike rate of nearly 70% as well as 46% of the votes on the seats it fought on. If all the 542 seats where elections were held are taken into account, the BJP won 37% of the votes while along with its allies in the NDA, the vote share was 45% and total number of seats 353.

On the way, not only did Modi’s victory vanquish Rahul Gandhi, the only second time that a member of the Gandhi – Nehru family had lost since Indira Gandhi in 1977, but also other “invisibles” such as Jyotiraditya Scindia by over 100,000 votes in Guna. Neither he nor his late father had ever tasted defeat before. 

So powerful was the force of the Modi wave that even the notorious Lalu Singh Yadav, known for his infamous jibe, “jab tak samose mein aaloo hain, tab tak Bihar mein Lalu hain” – couldn’t escape. The samosa  will continue to contain potato, but Modi has ensured a Lalu-mukt  Bihar. His RJD was completely wiped out, none of his family members or henchmen fighting on his behalf survived. Even in the last elections, Lalu and his party could still win 4 seats and take 21% votes, but this time ended up with a big zero – the first time since 1990 – and its vote bank dwindled to a paltry 15%.

It was a strong pro-incumbency vote. The people had seen the decisive way that Modi had ruled the country in 5 years, and saw how BJP’s leadership under Amit Shah worked in a disciplined and organized manner, as compared to opposition parties. 

After the results were declared, a glum faced YS Jagan Reddy of the evangelical friendly YS Congress party disclosed how he had prayed that no party at the center achieve a majority on its own so that it would be forced to take help from parties like his and get their terms dictated. Mayawati, Mamta and other regional parties also hoped for a Majboor party in New Delhi, but people put “cold shoulder” to their dreams by voting for a Mazboot Sarkar.

This article series analyzes the conclusions that can be drawn from this massive victory. Most of the statistics quoted are drawn from the Center for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), one of the country’s leading social science research institutes. The CSDS is widely quoted by left-liberal activists and politicians, and therefore this report widely quotes their findings to examine how people voted. 

The more united the opposition, the greater the fall

Chemistry trumps arithmetic, as uniting rejected leaders of opposing parties on a caste-based negative campaign to attack Modi fails miserably, as seen in some of the states…

In Uttar Pradesh

When BJP swept both the 2014 Lok Sabha and 2017 Vidhan Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, renowned psephologists and media hoodlums lamented that had the two regional parties, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) tied up, the BJP would have never won in those elections. Such “neutral” people, bragging on their expertise in electoral arithmetic, said that a combination of the Yadav, Dalit and Jat vote, supposedly represented by the SP, BSP and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), would prove formidable, and would also attract a majority of the Muslim vote. How could the BJP defeat such a winning combination whose vote bank represented 51% of the electorate? 

As a result, sworn enemies in UP, who wouldn’t otherwise walk on the same street as each other, joined hands just to stop BJP from coming to power, fancifully becoming known as the Mahagathbandhan (MGB). Media outlets went on an overdrive trying to fool its viewers and readers that big crowds were gathering in MGB rallies.“The road to Delhi passes through Lucknow”, so if BJP is defeated in UP, they would not be able to form the next government, so went their reasoning and the special urgency of their perverted mission. 

The end result was nothing short of a fatal heart attack for all such secular liberandos who were denying the possibility of Hindu consolidation, that too including Dalits, who were meant to be angry with Modi. The dalaali of charismatic netas who considered their core vote banks as fixed deposits, was given a big jolt. Even though the BJP lost 9 seats to win 62 of the 80 seats, it was poor comfort to the MGB, since Akhilesh Yadav, SP leader and ex-CM had claimed that the BJP would be restricted to single digits.

When the SP, BSP and RLD fought separately, they garnered 22%, 20% and 1% of the votes respectively – 43% – but this time, their combined vote bank shrunk to below 39%. 

Even the Congress which fought separately and drew 6% of the votes, would have just handed an extra 8 seats for the MGB at the most, as the BJP polled a massive 49.56% of the total votes, a gain of 7% from 2014. However, even that is a pure guess at the best, as these elections proved that alliances do not add votes if disparate parties join together. It is more than likely that the core Congress voter who still voted for it would have switched over to BJP rather than voting for MGB. 

Christophe Jaffrelot, supposedly an expert on Bharat and a darling of the left due to his exotic French name and white skin, was quoted by Rajdeep Sardesai that the BJP’s victory in UP was due to playing a “bigger caste game.” However, the statement doesn’t make any sense.

Firstly, despite knowing that the Jatav Dalits would overwhelmingly vote for the BSP, the BJP still gave tickets to 4 Jatav candidates in the 17 reserved constituencies of UP, and won 15 of these 17 seats, making a mockery of supposed Dalit anger. Also, while the MGB kept on canvassing votes in the name of caste, the BJP rarely asked votes on this basis. So the statement is devoid of facts.  

The enormity of the win can be gauged from the fact that not just Rahul Gandhi but even Akhilesh’s wife and powerful cousins lost badly. Stalwarts like Mulayam Singh Yadav did manage to retain their seats in their traditional bastions but with a drastically reduced margin. On the other hand, PM Modi was re-elected from Varanasi with a resounding margin, garnering 64% of the votes polled as compared to 56% in 2014.  

In Jharkhand 

“The more the merrier” seems to have been the motto for the opposition which stitched a near-impossible alliance of 4 powerful parties, led by the Congress, with the sole aim of stopping Modi. It seemed formidable on paper, coupled with what media outlets had been claiming that the tribals, who formed a big chunk of the vote, were very angry.

But the outcome was nothing short of remarkable as the BJP romped home in 11 of the 14 seats, with its sole ally, All Jharkhand Student Union also taking 1 seat and between them the two commanded 55% of the vote. 

Powerful leaders who had in the past made their presence felt when they fought on their own lost badly this time when they came together in a multi-alliance led by the Congress. Two examples can be given, one of veteran tribal leader Babulal Marandi who lost to the BJP by 4.55 lakh votes, as well as Shibu Soren, one of the most senior leaders in Jharkhand, who also couldn’t save his seat in the BJP sweep. 

So much for tribal angst against the BJP, figures reveal 65% Hindu tribals voted for NDA and even 33% Christians (a figure higher than other states).

In Karnataka

Karnataka was one of the few states where the Congress had salvaged some pride in 2014, having won 9 seats, and taken 41% of the vote, and JD(S) that had fought separately won 2 seats taking 11% of the vote. This is the reason that the two parties felt that by fighting together, the BJP would have a rocky road ahead, as in 2014 the party had won 17 seats but was just marginally ahead of the Congress with 43% of the votes polled. However, Karnataka serves as a prime example where amateur Einsteins “got their faces burnt very badly”. Here 2+2 didn’t add up to 4. It didn’t even make 3. 

For while the Cong – JD(S) alliance that had won 11 seats and 52% of the vote bank when they fought separately in 2014, witnessed its combined tally plummet to just 2 seats and vote share of just 41%. The BJP on the other hand, along with an independent candidate it supported, took 26 seats and a whopping 54% of the vote.

While there are no doubts that even if they had fought separately, the BJP would have still won resoundingly, but the party may not have been able to make deep inroads in the Old Mysore area, where it had always been non-existent and the main players had always been the Congress and the JD(S). But with both parties joining hands together, the people who were opposed to the alliance gave their votes to the BJP. And history has shown that whichever area the BJP once enters, it won’t be easily dislodged. 

Thanks to this disastrous alliance, 60% of the powerful Vokkaliga community voted for BJP, when earlier the lion’s share of their vote went either to the Congress or JD(S). Ex-Prime Minister Deve Gowda and family who ran the JD(S) depending on the vote bank of this community, himself lost the elections. 

Most amazingly, the BJP had a 20 percent lead over the Congress among young voters. 

Hindu unity drowns all caste equations

It was asserted that this concept of Hindu unity had never existed beyond the so-called upper castes and some OBCs. They had claimed that the so-called lower castes and tribal were completely outside the ambit of Hindutva. Even though that claim had proven to be hollow during the 1991 general elections at the height of Ram Janmabhoomi movement and the 2002 Gujarat assembly elections for example, but yet by and large intellectuals discounted those as exceptions that wouldn’t happen again. 

However, what was achieved in 2014 Lok Sabha elections was further strengthened in the 2019 LS elections on a grander scale, when Hindus from all castes and communities voted for the BJP.  

Post-election polls shows that while 36% / 43% of all Hindus voted for BJP / NDA in 2014, this number jumped up to 44% / 52% in 2019. In states like Assam, up to 70% Hindus voted for it.

While nearly 60% of upper castes voted for the NDA, 54% of OBCs voted for it. 

It is important to mention about scheduled castes and tribes over here, as the media had been deliberately lying in these 5 years that there was a lot of hostility among these groups towards the government. But, what do the results show? 

The scheduled castes (SC) or Dalits, considered as the most loyal vote bank of the Congress saw 41% vote for NDA, which is 10% points higher than last time. However, in states like Haryana and West Bengal, the numbers went up to 58% and 61%. In Bihar, along with its allies, the BJP obtained more than 76% of the SC vote.  

Among the tribal (ST), more than 50% of them voted for BJP, and again when taking into account certain states, the numbers are nothing short of mind-boggling for BJP’s foes – 54% in Karnataka, 55% in Rajasthan, 61% in Gujarat and a whopping 86% in Assam when counted with allies.

What’s more in Assam, the tea tribes who were a “bedrock of support” for the Congress, voted overwhelmingly for the BJP this time. No less a hardcore leftist paper, the Wire, was forced to concede that it was the strong RSS work among the tea tribes that reaped such rich benefits for the BJP.

Actually, it is true that for quite a long time, the lower castes and tribal had felt ignored and neglected by mainstream society, however the RSS and its affiliated organizations had been playing a vital role in bridging the divide between the various groups and so called castes of Hindu Samaj.

Dalits and tribals are integral components of Hindu society and the affiliates of Sangh Parivar have been working on this noble and selfless work for decades and have achieved quite a big success. Even those who are antagonistic to the RSS have accepted their influence and impact in all streams of society. 

It is also crucial to shatter another lie that the left-liberals were spreading, namely the anger of the agrarian Patels and Jats towards the BJP. Once again, the results have shown the door to such deceit. 63% of the Patels in Gujarat voted for the BJP, despite the likes of buffoons who doubled up as Congress leaders like Hardik Patel.But especially concerning the Jats, the level of support was astonishing to all those who wrote of their massive bitterness to the BJP, particularly in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Turns out that in the former state, 50% and in the latter an amazing 91% voted for Prime Minister Modi.

It is hard to believe that the media got it wrong; rather it does seem that they were busy “cooking up facts” to make it palatable to their Congress / Leftist buddies while continuing to deny that Hindus could vote as one.

BJP sweep under digvijay Modi

From a party that was in the 1980s only concentrated in a few states in the North, the BJP has emerged as the largest party by far not just in Bharat, but across the world, having a membership of over 1 crore, which has even surpassed the Communist Party of China. The BJP is today the numero uno party in most states and union territories. 

The term digvijay is used to describe a person who emerges “victorious in all directions”. Truly, Narendra Modi is such a digvijay who led the BJP to a successive second full majority victory in 2019. 

In Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi and Chandigarh, the BJP polled more than 50% of the votes on its own, from which in Himachal Pradesh the BJP scored a stunning 69% of the vote, one of the 3 states where the BJP destroyed its opponents by drawing more than 60% of the votes. In 2 states – Uttar Pradesh and Tripura, BJP’s vote share was over 49%. Along with its allies, the NDA achieved over 50% in Maharashtra and Bihar. 

Massive lead among young voters: In the age groups of 18 – 27 years, more than 47% voted for NDA vs 24% for UPA, this lead between the two alliances narrowed down in the age group of 56 years and above where 42% voted for NDA vs 27% for UPA.

Both urban and rural voters: Once upon a time, the BJP was considered as primarily an urban / semi-urban party. No more. In 2019, 37.4% of rural Bharat voted for BJP vs 41.1% urban areas, so it’s a gap of just under 4%. Of course, while BJP’s growth in the rural areas grew by nearly 7% points from 2014, its strength in urban areas also grew, as can be witnessed by BJP’s massive victories in almost all urban areas, including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, etc.

Massive growth among the poor and other classes voting for BJP: Congress had always claimed the upper hand as far as getting votes from the poor were concerned. But, this time the BJP’s vote among the poor jumped from 24% in 2014 to 36%, a massive jump in 12% points. Definitely one of the reasons for this growth is due to the effective implementation of the various schemes initiated for the poor by Modi. Among all segments of the population, BJP support grew massively. Among lower classes, from 31% to 36%, middle classes 32% to 38%, and for upper middle classes 38% to 44%.

So much for farmer distress?: 33% of farmers voted for BJP in 2014, but this time it went up to 38%.

Penetrating what were supposed to be impregnable forts

Haryana

Once upon a time, the BJP could only win elections in Haryana by piggybacking on local casteist parties. But since 2014 Vidhan Sabha elections when it fought and formed a simple majority on its own, it has not looked back. The chief minister, Manohar Lal Khattar had been dismissed by the media as being unpopular and irrelevant to the caste-based politics of the state.

This perception found many takers after the violent Jat agitations of 2016, when it did seem that the party was in deep trouble. However, Khattar’s perseverance and hard work saw the party give all its opponents a run for their money. 

BJP swept all the 10 seats, garnering 58.02% of the vote vs a paltry 28% for the Congress, in a state which was once considered by the latter as one of their formidable strongholds, and which they had high hopes of winning. The defeat of their influential ex-CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda by over 1.6 lakh votes was the ultimate humiliation. Two BJP candidates won by margins of more than 6 lakh votes. 

Odisha

Most analysts felt that it was impossible to penetrate the hold that Naveen Patnaik’s BJD held over the voters in Odisha. They had a point, Patnaik’s popularity was astonishing. However, over here also the BJP’s relentless campaigning and the positive outcome of its various projects that had benefited the rural population saw the party make deep inroads in the state during the panchayat polls of 2017 when it proved the only real contender to the BJD, eclipsing the Congress.

This was further enhanced in this year’s polls with the BJP capturing 8 out of the 21 seats and 38% of the vote bank, compared to just 1 seat and 21% of the vote bank.  

However, the BJD was far ahead of the BJP in the Vidhan Sabha polls held simultaneously, which clearly shows that despite the satisfaction of the electorate towards the central government, it is important for the party to strengthen its organization and groom more local leaders in order to win the next assembly elections. 

West Bengal

While experts were confident of the BJP increasing its base in West Bengal and also with the fact that the Left vote bank was shrinking, most of them were not optimistic that the party would be able to make much headway in the state. If nothing else, the famed goondagardi and dadagiri of “Didi” Mamta Banerjee couldn’t be dismissed. Political violence in West Bengal, initiated by the Left when they were in power for 30+ years, had been perfected by Mamta who ruled the state like a mafia don.

Yet, BJP didn’t lose hope and galvanized the forgotten and disillusioned Bengali Hindus, who had been given a raw deal by Mamta’s aggressive “pro-Muslim stand at all cost.” They attended BJP rallies in huge crowds and even though the state government tried its best to prevent Hindus from voting for the BJP, even using violence, they failed to stop the surge of the saffron party.

BJP emerged victorious in 18 out of the 42 seats, taking 40.25% of the votes polled compared to a mere 18% and 2 seats they won in 2014. 

The sorriest figure was cut by the Left, whose vote bank collapsed from the 29% they had still gotten in 2014 to a mere 7% this time.

This was only possible due to the massive Hindu consolidation behind the BJP. So much so that in Muslim majority Malda (Muslims: 51%, Hindus 48%), the BJP still managed to win one of the 2 seats and lost the other by just 8,000 votes. Thus, while Muslim votes split, Hindus voted en masse for the BJP. In fact, 57% Hindus voted for the BJP vs just 32% for Mamta. So in a state where Hindus form more than 70% of the population, Mamta no longer enjoys the confidence of the majority population

Tripura

The growth of the BJP in Tripura should be the story of entrepreneurial schools where students are taught about those who managed to move up the ladder despite innumerable odds – “rags to riches”.

In 2014, the CPI(M) won both the seats in this state, as well as polling 64% of the total votes. The BJP polled 5.70% of the votes. Yes no mistakes. Just 5.70%.

Yet, supposedly from nowhere, the BJP went on to win the 2018 Vidhan Sabha polls by commanding 43% of the vote bank. From 5.70% to 43% in less than 4 years would be considered as nothing short of a miracle The CPI (M) was however a little behind with 42.7% of the votes, though in number of seats the BJP was far ahead. 

But in these Lok Sabha elections, the BJP not just won both the seats but also took 49% of the votes polled whereas the Left vote share slid to just 17%.

This is a nationwide or rather worldwide phenomenon where voters are consigning the Leftist parties to the dustbin of history.

Telangana

Just a few months before these elections, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) had scored a massive victory in the assembly elections, reducing the BJP to just 1 seat. 

Despite that, the BJP made a big bang entry in the state, triumphing in 4 out of the 17 seats, even managing to defeat the CM’s daughter, Kavitha Kalvakuntla by 70,000 votes. 

Telangana serves as a prime example of how while opponents like the TRS were “resting on their laurels”, confident that no one could shake their stranglehold over the electorate, something that all polls had actually agreed to and which was not even countered by the exit polls, parties like the BJP with a strong leadership and determined karyakartas turned the tables and scripted a new record. 

Only party who is not a dynast

Except for the BJP, all other parties can be considered as dynasts, parties where leadership is hereditary, and is given in viraasat. The only exceptions to this would be the Left parties and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), however both of them are increasingly becoming irrelevant. This dynastic politics is also prominent in most NDA allies, with a few exceptions such as Janata Dal (U).

Of course in the BJP, there are instances of children of popular leaders who have through their hard work and dedication climbed up the ladder, such as Anurag Thakur. Just like a doctor’s son may want to be a doctor, but he still needs to go through all the rigorous medical studies before he could qualify to be a Doctor. So also in the BJP by and large, the proper procedures are followed. Power is not given on a silver platter in the BJP, unlike a Rahul or Priyanka Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav, MK Stalin, etc. whose criteria for succeeding in their parties lies in their family genes. 

While the Congress’s structure remains highly feudal where true non-dynast leaders are few and far between, the contrast with the BJP can be measured from the example of Narendra Modi, the son of a humble chaiwallah who grew within the ranks of the organization of the BJP that he joined in 1985. 

Family connections, muscle and money power and all other kinds of influence are immaterial to how leaders in the organizations that make up Sangh Parivar are identified and prepared. Importance is given primarily to dedication, commitment and moral character of the person. This is the reason that people from all diverse backgrounds and all sections of society join the RSS, BJP and other such patriotic organizations.   

With you, without you, in spite of you

Yes, it can be categorically said that the BJP won these elections without getting substantial Muslim votes, just 8% of them voted for it and additional 1% = total 9% if we regard BJP and allies (NDA).

Left-liberals and secularists may write lengthy pieces in pliable media columns that the BJP didn’t even bother canvassing for the Muslim vote, but the fact remains that they and Muslim leaders played a major role in unleashing vitiated propaganda against the BJP, scaring Muslims into not voting for the BJP.

There can be no other explanation, because surveys have for example shown that in Assam, 31% of Muslims were satisfied with the state BJP government while 32% showed satisfaction with the central BJP government, yet a mere 7% of Muslims voted for NDA in the state this time. How can one blame BJP for it – why didn’t a 30% + satisfaction level translate into a similar proportion of Muslims voting for the party. This proves that Muslims are captive to the whims and fancies of their fanatical leadership.

It is not practical for BJP or any other party to give tickets to Muslims when they will be so determined to vote against it. Besides that it is also true that there is no political party anywhere in the world which is able to procure votes from all communities, classes and groups, even though they may claim to be representing them.

Take for example the fact that black voters have overwhelmingly voted Democratic since at least the 1940s, peaking when 93% of blacks voted for Obama when he was the Democratic candidate. Even when Hillary was the presidential contender, 88% blacks voted Democratic. Similarly, in the UK while 85% of the Muslims voted for Labor party vs 11% for the ruling Conservatives, just 26% of the Jews voted Labor.

The BJP won a sizeable number of Muslim votes in states that they had ruled for a long period of time, such as Gujarat where they garnered 25% of the vote, and Madhya Pradesh where 33% voted for it, perhaps the highest figure. However, let the BJP not be complacent in thinking that this means that Muslims have supported them in big numbers. Fact remains that in these states, Muslims form between 6 – 10% of the population, and the BJP won between 58% – 62% of the vote share there, meaning that even without this substantial Muslim vote, the party would have still won handsomely.

However, in states that Muslim votes do matter where they form anywhere between 20% – 35% of the electorate say Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam, the proportion of Muslims who voted for BJP/NDA was just 8%, 4% and 7% respectively. And yet despite that, the BJP scored spectacularly in these 3 states.

So this electoral verdict punctures all such arguments that without Muslim support, it is impossible for any party to gain a majority on its own. It happened in 2014 and once again this time. If Hindus are united, a nationalistic party will surely win. 

Herein also lies the lesson for the BJP. Many a times they’ve also attempted to appease the minority vote, as can be seen how right after the election results, they granted scholarships to just 5 crore minority students, or have kept relatively quiet on incidences of Muslim goondagardi, killing of Hindus in UP. Fact remains that such kind of policies will never yield them any extra Muslim vote, but may well make them lose Hindu votes. 

But all said and done, one hopes that Muslims also will vote for the BJP, but without any pre-conditions and just like other Bharatiyas do.

The tough challengers or paper tigers 

Besides the fall of the titans, we also reveal how the media played a dubious role in carving a “bigger than life” role for some of the contenders, whom they dubbed as tough challengers. Only that they instead turned out to be paper tigers.

Kanhaiya Kumar, the darling of the left-liberal press and the JNU “tukde tukde” gang,  former president of JNUSU, whose campaigns drew colorful celebrities with waning appeal, failed politicians and fellow anarchists such as Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Swara Bhaskar, Jignesh Mewani, Hardik Patel and Shehla Rashid.

The media had full spotlight on him, saying that the crowds flocking to Kanhaiya’s rallies meant that he had either a great chance winning or at least making a big dent in the BJP’s victory. But, results showed how much out of touch the mainstream media was with reality. Kanhaiya lost to Giriraj Singh by more than 420,000 votes. Even if his CPI had allied with Lalu’s RJD, the combined votes wouldn’t have ruffle any feathers in BJP’s victory.  

Atishi Marlena is another media sweetheart, someone who was supposedly doing wonders for Delhi by reforming the educational sector, a dynamic young leader who had captured people’s imagination, the media had done a free PR to build up her image. One may wonder why so much praise for Atishi and not for other AAP leader and the answer is that her parents were ardent Communists, and that was enough for our liberandos to go ecstatic over her.

Though they conceded that even she would find it challenging to face a resurgent BJP in Delhi, but they told us that the “brave lady’ would give a tough fight. Well, the results showed that not only did she lose miserably, but also turned up in 3rd place behind Congress’s Arvinder Singh Lovely. BJP’s Gautam Gambhir, former test cricketer, emerged victorious taking more than 55% of the votes. Was it even a contest? 

Prakash Raj is one more big joker who had delusions of his grandeur and fame outside the celluloid world had declared that he had high hopes of being victorious from Bangalore Central, where he stood as an Independent. The media was more pragmatic but said he would surely make his presence felt. However, the results were a big slap on this face, as he himself accepted. Prakash could get just 28,000 votes, or just 3% of votes polled, while the BJP’s PC Mohan, whom Prakash claimed was facing massive anger bagged more than 50% of the votes. 

(To be continued…)


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About the Author

Nirmal Laungani
NIRMAL LAUNGANI is a Hong Kong businessman, vice president of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Hong Kong, and chief editor of Sandesh Bharati. Email: [email protected]