BJP’s win in Uttar Pradesh polls is a major electoral boost for Narendra Modi, says policy analyst Deepak Talwar
In the recently concluded Assembly elections held between February and March, many felt it was a mid-course referendum on the popularity of the Narendra Modi Government. However, the results indicate that the Indian Prime Minister’s leadership still enjoys popular support across the country. “The election assumed even more significance since it took place in the backdrop of cancellation of high-value currency notes by the PM in November, and the subsequent turmoil that many citizens faced”, said Deepak Talwar, Principal of DTA Consulting.
Of the five states where Assembly polls were held, the most important was Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state. “In the 2014 general election, Modi-led BJP won 71 out of 80 seats and 73 with alliance partners. The question was, will the state repose similar faith in BJP in the assembly election too? This has great political significance”, mentioned Deepak Talwar.
The BJP, along with its allies, have secured a two-third majority in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh assembly. According to DTA Consulting Principal Deepak Talwar, the election results have revealed several key features of the Indian political scene. First, this has shown that the Indian National Congress (INC) led by Rahul Gandhi is no longer a major force in the most significant political state of Uttar Pradesh. Secondly, the INC win in the sensitive border state of Punjab indicates that the state does not have the appetite for experimenting with the relatively new political outfit Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
“Captain Amarinder Singh, the tall leader of INC in Punjab,” said Deepak Talwar, “received overwhelming support to emerge as the new Chief Minister.” Commenting on the role of AAP, Deepak Talwar felt that the party could not make much impression even in Goa, where the ruling BJP had suffered anti-incumbency. Fourthly and no less important, suggested DTA Principal Talwar, the BJP is emerging as a major force in the north-eastern state Manipur. Clearly, BJP, known as a party from the Hindi heartland, is now spreading its influence to far-flung corners of the country. Finally, BJP’s win in the Himalayan State of Uttarakhand was on the expected line, quoted Deepak Talwar. The ruling INC in Uttarakhand had been facing anti-incumbency as well as internal dissension.
On the possible political-economic impact of the election results, Deepak Talwar drew attention to the following: Prime Minister Modi will now focus aggressively on the tax evaders and also defaulters of bank loans. The relevant laws are all in place. The Government will now act firmly since demonetization, the purported step against black money, received people’s support.
Secondly, the ruling BJP will be in a position to elect a President of its choice in the forthcoming election. BJP will now command sufficient electoral votes, expressed the Principal of DTA Consulting. Thirdly and no less significant, said Deepak Talwar, a veteran observer on Indian economy, “The strong electoral showing by Prime Minister Modi will remove any doubts that foreign investors could have about the future course of economic policy. This will give a boost to the Make in India programme.”
However, about the effect of the assembly polls on the next national elections slated for 2019, Deepak Talwar, Principal DTA Consulting said that it was too early to predict the outcome, as it is still two years away. But right now, it seems BJP is firmly on the saddle.