How to decipher the results of assembly elections?

The pressure will be on Modi to prove.

The whole buzz and hype around five state elections which were part of daily dose for news and analysis for last few months have converted into micro analysis of the impact of these results on national politics.

As pre poll analysis had several colors of opinion with their own perspective and interpretation the micro analysis of post result is equally distributed and influenced with their color of perspective and interpretation. Those who look into the massive victory of BJP in the biggest state of country Uttar Pradesh with ideological prism from either side  describe it   as an ongoing process of saffronisation of country. Those who look towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi as an icon of economic reform with a vision to take country forward describe this victory as an endorsement for his vision and economic initiatives.

Few describe the massive victory in Uttar Pradesh as beginning of an end of traditional politics and they too declare the end of an era in this most populated state when arithmetic of cast and community matters in politics anymore.

Apart from these two perspectives and interpretation there are few other political realities too stand behind the mandate of five state elections?

If we go into the details of the vote share of three major political parties BJP, SP and BSP it narrates something different story. Rather than demolishing the firewall of cast and community the results in elections proved other way   round when traditionally the political parties who were relying on their cast and community since Mandal days were denied from being able to stitch their cast and community arithmetic from BJP and just like general elections in 2014 the micro social engineering with communal overtone again paid for the BJP.  BJP had been successful in stitching the rainbow coalition of Mandal (Consolidation of OBC SC), Kamnadal (Consolidation of Upper cast with Hindu appeal) and Karl Marx (BJP have been able to communicate the under privileged people in state that Noteban is an effort to snatch the wealth from rich and distribute it into poor)

Other interpretation were made out of the results were that the massive mandate is going to change the character of UP politics to take it from lawlessness to good governance and the undercurrent among people were to defeat those political parties and personalities who are supposed to be “Bahubali” but this interpretation too fall flat before the crude realities of those wining candidates who have been described by the media as tainted and criminals. Mukhtar Ansari won from Mau even after Prime Minister Modi holds a rally in his constituency and dared to teach “Bahubalis” a lesson once BJP government comes to power.  Raghuraj Pratap Singh “Raja Bhaiya” had been able to retain his seat with huge margin and the infamous Amanmani Tripathi who was denied ticket from Samajwadi Party won the elections as an independent. Equally interesting was the case of Gaytri Prajapati who became the mascot of lawlessness in ruling party lost to Garima Singh of BJP with very narrow margin of less than 5,000 votes.

These crude realities on ground do not match the high moralistic interpretation of the mandate of UP elections. The five state elections along with UP indicates only one growing phenomenon in Indian politics and that phenomenon is the growing localization of  politics with  highly  localized aspirations  and local issues, and local arithmetic with realpolitik outlook pays wonderful  results in elections.

Those who are reading too much in this mandate and trying to analyze or defining the pan national effect of these results are doing mistake.

The dirty and indecent open family feud among Yadav’s dented their credibility and sincerity as custodian of the people of state and dependence of Mayawati on Muslims for another social coalition with Dalits backfired her because she given too much tickets to Muslims and in some areas most Dalit and other candidates were changed to Muslims in last hours which angered his core constituency who felt cheated and shifted to BJP in reaction.

The biggest advantage for BJP had been its strategy to plan for every leg of election and chalk out the strategy with localized effect. The quantum of BJP victory could help Narendra Modi in his policy initiatives and give more elbow room to act freely but the nature of mandate in every state is different from each other.

Punjab voted on local issues and equally the case were with Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand, If poor people of UP were pumped up for Noteban and they endorsed this idea then how the defeat of Punjab  could be described   could  it be seen as Punjab rejected the same BJP and Modi?  If nationalism and surgical strikes made Modi so popular then how come the home state of defense minister Manohar Parrikker who was part of the decision making of surgical strike could not   retain  his state     with thumping majority?

Those who are reading too much in to the verdict of the people for future are too simplistic. 2019 is too far away and BJP has to go into almost one dozen state elections before general elections and the pattern of the mandate indicates that some of the BJP ruled states will have to go to the extreme scrutiny of people of those states and states those have been ruled by BJP chief ministers cannot expect the repeat of UP and Uttarakhand in the name of Modi Charisma because these states will be judged with their performance not in the name of Modi.

The mandate of these states had put the onus on BJP to prove them and the whole pressure will be on the BJP because opposition has become too weak to go for obstruction politics and in these two years Modi will have less excuse and more expectations.