- INC outshines BJP in Chhattisgarh. MP’s battle went down the wire. Rajasthan played as expected; changed the incumbent government after a term.
- INC got a shot in the arm. Rahul Gandhi finally passed the leadership test with flying colors?
- Positive signs for a Mahagathbandan. BSP and SP extending support is a welcome sign from INC’s perspective.
- BJP has a lot to ponder. However, this could act as a wake-up call for them.
“Winning or losing is less important than strengthening the country” – Indira Gandhi. Every time there is an election, our belief in democracy strengthens. It is truly a wonderful way to make politicians accountable to the people. This time we are talking about the recent assembly elections with a major focus on hindi heartland states – Chhattisgarh, MP and Rajasthan. We will not get into the misses and hits for the political parties (better left to political pundits) and try to view the election results through an optimistic lens.
Some see these elections as a semifinal to the general elections, some as a wave of change, however, these elections have far reaching ramifications. This is one semifinal where neither the losing party is knocked out of the competition nor the winning party can think that they are through to the finals. In our opinion, this election was much more important for INC, as a loss in this would have put them out of the race in 2019. Election results have come at an opportune time for INC and they have managed to pluck the lotus out of the three states. More than a victory in the elections, it is the moral victory for INC that will give the necessary confidence to face the finale in 2019. Rahul Gandhi was touted as the non – serious entity by the opposition and a question mark was put on his leadership abilities. The victory in the assembly elections will help him get the support of other political parties under the INC umbrella in the upcoming general elections.
This was a battle which has something for both the sides – INC got the victory and the much-needed boost before the general elections. We can say this was just what the doctor ordered from INC’s perspective. On the other hand, BJP even by losing the elections have few positives which can work to their advantage in the final face-off in 2019. Firstly, internal party politics of INC which unfolded in choosing the CM of the three states could play a spoil sport for them ahead of the general elections. In events like this, there are chances of party being split into two halves and the workers feeling alienated. Now only time will tell how INC will make sure that the rank and file of the party is united and function as a team in the run up to the 2019 Elections. Secondly, all the parties make over promises during the election campaigns to get votes, but they are put to test when they get the reign. This is going to be a far more challenging task for the INC given there are hardly 4-5 months to fulfill those promises.
Paul Collier famously said, “Elections determine who is in power, but they do not determine how power is used”. We can only say that the way you use this power determines the outcome of the next one.