BJP rightly conceded its defeat in Maharashtra within hours of trends of the election results were out. In Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh, it was already not to be a key player. Saffron party’s performance in Maharashtra thus has much to do with its popularity nationwide, that is to say, in states where it is present. Sadly, despite formally conceding defeat, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance has not stopped crying that Raj Thackeray’s MNS defeated it and ensured victory for Congress. In short, post-May Lok Sabha elections BJP and post-October assembly elections BJP is one and the same in responding to the defeat, conceding it yet not conceding it. The rare opportunity of introspection that Lok Sabha results provided it is at its threshold once again. Spoilers, rivals, or vote-eaters are no consolation; an organization should keep itself in order, and useful to electorates.
If you fail to successfully raise genuine issues during elections being held at a time when a lot is going wrong, politics is certainly not a business you should concern yourself with.
As the largest party of opposition, the BJP has the largest responsibilities to shoulder. Maharashtra assembly results are enough indication that with the current state of things, BJP is hardly going to win any election in future. As a national party, BJP has been unable to come out with a positive agenda to present itself as a viable, competitive, and relatively better alternative to the ruling party. If you fail to successfully raise genuine issues during elections being held at a time when a lot is going wrong, politics is certainly not a business you should concern yourself with. Farmers’ suicide, naxalism, state inactivism on 26/11 follow-up have not been the issues that they couldn’t take to the people.
The saffron party’s other partner, the Shiv Sena, has reacted more disappointingly than the BJP. In its party mouthpiece Saamana, Bal Thackeray went a step ahead of the BJP. He didn’t primarily blame Raj and his MNS, rather held people responsible for sending Maharashtra back to ‘hell’. Why this rage against people in a democracy? They have done nothing wrong, but did a service to you by signaling that they expect some change. Thackeray compares the elections with Mahabharata but differentiates them with the epic, for in election Mahabharata Kauravs have triumphed. Unfortunately, he fails to note that election Mahabharata had one more distinction. It was fought not between Pandavs and Kauravs, but between Kauravs, so winner had naturally to be a Kaurav. Where is the attempt to turn into Pandavs?
The continuing saga with the entire saffron brigade of the country – BJP, Shiv Sena, MNS – is that they have stopped sensing public mood and knowing popular expectations ever since Hindutva ceased to be a miraculous vote-drawer. For them, the science of religious hatred never fails; though it may have failed to win them elections. This is the first assembly elections following RSS taking control of BJP behind doors.