Assembly election results 2022: How COVID-19 and farmers’ protests couldn’t stop the Modi juggernaut
Late last year, murmurs spread fast and wide that Narendra Modi’s was losing grip over the voters. However, the wins by the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa have silenced them all
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit it out of the park on Thursday, scoring big wins in four of the five states — Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.
The saffron party bulldozed a resurgent rainbow coalition led by the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, and also retained Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa. The triumph is doubly laudable as there were murmurs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi losing his grip over voters following the alleged mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the farmers’ protest.
But it seems that nothing can stop the BJP juggernaut.
The BJP faced severe criticism of its COVID-19 management, especially in the second wave. Media houses across the world and even within India published report after report of how the Uttar Pradesh government, run by Yogi Adityanath, had utterly failed its people.
Images of mass pyres and bodies buried in river beds and flowing downstream in Uttar Pradesh were flashed everywhere to highlight what a mess the administration had brought on to its people.
When polls were announced and campaigning began, the COVID-19 handling was used by the Samajwadi Party as a point of criticism. The Akhilesh Yadav-led party repeatedly attacked Yogi Adityanath and the BJP on his COVID-19 management.
One of their songs as part of their campaign, sukh-dukh mein sath nibhayenge highlighted the difficulties faced by the people during lockdown and alleged mismanagement by the state government during the second wave of coronavirus. Pictures of last rites and bodies floating in the river was also shared in the song. The song also mentioned the oxygen shortage and people dying allegedly due to shortage of oxygen.
The results, however, belied all these claims of mismanagement and the BJP has come out on top by securing 273 seats in the 403-member Assembly.
Reporting on the BJP’s massive win, the New York Times said, "Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, looks likely to stay in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s hands, despite the ravages of COVID and a plummeting economy.”
Bloomberg said PM Modi’s “support base remains strong despite high inflation, joblessness and a devastating second wave of COVID-19 infection”.
Many political pundits had earlier also predicted that the BJP could suffer heavy losses, especially in the state of Uttar Pradesh, owing to the migrants’ anger.
The national lockdown in 2020 had caused untold misery for migrants all across the nation, with images and reports of them walking thousands of miles being shown continuously on television screens, in newspapers and even in our daily conversations and Whatsapp forwards.
But it appears that the migrant anger wasn’t enough to stop the Modi-led BJP political freight train.
The farmers protest at Delhi borders, which began in 2020, was believed to be another factor that could have hurt the BJP in the polls.
However, on 21 November 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the repeal of three contentious farm laws. "We haven't been able to explain to our farmers. This is not a time to blame anyone. I want to tell you that we have taken the farm laws back," the prime minister had said, urging farmers to return to their homes and fields.
The BJP used the repeal of the contentious farm laws as its modus operandi to deal with popular dissent of farmers, which led to the saffron party emerging largely unscathed in the polls.
In fact, many had thought that the farmers’ anger at the BJP would reflect specifically in the Lakhimpur Kheri district after it had made headlines following local BJP MP and union minister Ajay Mishra's son allegedly mowing down protesters killing eight, including four farmers.
However, on Thursday when the votes were counted, BJP had swept all eight seats in Lakhimpur Kheri. The eight seats in Lakhimpur Kheri are Palia, Nighasan, Gola Gokarnath, Sri Nagar, Dhaurahra, Lakhimpur, Kasta, and Mohammadi.
The saffron party also managed to win 51 of the 76 seats in the 'Jat' dominated districts; it also swept Mathura, Agra besides scoring impressive wins in Muzaffarnagar, Meerut and in the strongholds of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).
Additionally, BJP candidates registered wins in Khatauli, the native village of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leaders Rakesh Tikait and Naresh Tikait, who had publicly opposed the saffron party and extended support to the RLD.
The wins in these elections is sure to give Narendra Modi and his party fresh wind and if the Uttar Pradesh election is any indication of national politics, we can say it will be 'Ab ki baar, Modi Sarkar' in 2024 too.
With inputs from agencies
Click here for latest updates on Assembly Elections 2022
Read all the Latest News, Trending News, Cricket News, Bollywood News,
India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
What is G7? What can we expect from the meet in Japan’s Hiroshima?
The G7 is an informal grouping comprising France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, Canada, and United States. The agenda in Hiroshima for the summit from 19 to 21 May will likely focus on China, Russia, Artificial Intelligence, climate change and the threat of nuclear weapons
Parliament building inauguration: Yogi Adityanath calls Opposition boycott ‘extremely sad, irresponsible’
At least 19 opposition parties led by the Congress called for boycott the event, saying the decision of the PM to inaugurate it himself and “completely sidelining” President Droupadi Murmu is an insults to the high office of President and violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
New Parliament building and the many controversies surrounding the structure
The inauguration of the new Parliament building has snowballed into a political slugfest between the government and the opposition. But this is now the first row over it. From construction during the COVID-19 pandemic to the national emblem sitting atop, the Sansad has triggered many debates