BJP fails to polarise voters, bites dust in Kairana

Lalit Shastri

New Delhi: Blasting all talk of a “still continuing Modi wave” and digging into the saffron clad UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s 2017 mandate, Tabassum Hasan, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidate, has defeated Mriganka Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party to win the Kairana Parliamentary seat in Uttar Pradesh now ruled by the BJP.

Tabassum was supported by Congress and Samajwadi Party. She also claimed support of Bahujan Samaj Party.

BJP’s defeat in Kairana, should be an eye opener for the ruling BJP which wants to return to power at the Centre by winning the 2019 general election to Parliament.

Tabassum’s victory shows that the Muslim and Hindu votes are no longer polarised on religious lines and are now getting consolidated against the BJP.

In the backdrop is also Sanjiv Balyan a jat leader and BJP and MP from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, who held the Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation portfolios, and was dropped from the Modi Council of Ministers in September 2017. In his place, Satyapal Singh, Member of Parliament from Baghpat in UP and also a representative of the Jat community, was inducted as Minister of State and given the portfolio for Human Resource Development. He has earlier served as Police Commissioner of Mumbai.

Balyan is a mass leader and his popularity can be gauged from the fact that he had won the Muzaffarnagar seat by defeating Kadir Rana of the Bahujan Samaj Party by a margin of more than four 400, 000 votes in the 2014 general election. During that election, the BJP had also managed to polarise votes between the Muslims and Hindus and as a result Balyan’s victory margin had swelled.

The jats in Uttar Pradesh that were earlier with the BJP have distanced from that party after Balyan was dropped from the Union Council of Ministers. They have not been able to digest his exit from the union ministry as it was only to make way for a former cop, who lacks a mass base.

The outcome of the election for the Kairana parliamentary seat in favour of the RLD, which is primarily a party that draws strength from the jat community shows that the electorate in UP is no longer polarised on religious lines.

When the trends were coming in for all the by-elections held across several States indicating that the BJP was on a downward slide, Union Home Minister and BJP strongman from Uttar Pradesh Rajnath Singh told media-persons in Bhopal earlier today (31 May 2018) that for his party that’s aiming for a big leap, it’s a matter of two steps backward. He borrowed this defence from Vladimir Lenin’s famous book “One step forward and two steps back”, obviously without knowing that Lenin had advocated the two steps back theory when his Russian Social Democratic Labour Party was in crisis as a result of its division into the Bolshevik (majority) and Menshevik (minority) units in 1903. The two step back was a considered policy. From the stand taken by Rajnath Singh, question arises, did the BJP opt for defeat in Kairana to take a big leap in 2019?

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