By Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi
The sweeping victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand has once again confirmed the presence of a still prevailing undercurrent favouring the political party which emerged victorious in the Lok Sabha elections almost three years ago.
It is perhaps the first assembly election in UP since independence wherein national issues prevailed over the regional ones and people at large rejected all petty allurements or freebies like mobile phones offered by the ruling Samajwadi Party as they have successfully encashed it by offering laptops in the assembly elections of 2012 or even earlier when Mulayam Singh had stolen the show by repealing the anti-copying ordinance that was promulgated by the pervious BJP government of Kalyan Singh.
Similarly, the electors refused to acknowledge the promise of tough and accountable administration in the state by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Supremo Mayawati that she had established in the state during the interregnum between BJP and SP governments as the party could not yet do away with its casteist tag which it continues to suffer from.
The ruling SP suffered the debacle particularly because it failed to deliver on the law and order front with rampant murders, rapes, dacoities and extortions becoming the order of the day and police being compelled to behave as a mute spectator particularly because of its long entrenched association with criminals, culprits and musclemen.
Though the law and order issue is a state subject but given the ever mounting threat of terrorism and religious fundamentalism in every nook and corner of the country and also in the entire world, it has acquired a national-global dimension whereupon a government is expected to crush it with firm determination and iron hand as it is directly concerned with the security of life and property of a common man.
As the BJP has more or less maintained its share of votes this time in UP, though there is a fall of around 3 per cent from that in Lok Sabha elections, yet its number of seats has increased considerably to give it an absolute majority especially because it succeed in convincing the electorate about its firm commitment towards the policy of zero-tolerance over terrorism of all shades and forms -- the memory of surgical strike is still fresh in public memory -- and honest endeavour with innovative approach -- like demonetisation of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 currency notes -- for socio-economic progress ensuring inclusive growth and development.
Thus public security and speedy economic growth with which Prime Minister Narendra Modi stands identified -- the Gujarat Model is still an ideal for countrymen -- and his personal and sincere efforts for inviting huge foreign economic assistance from all around the world for development of infrastructure and industry in a very short span of time have together propelled the common voters in UP towards BJP, irrespective of their divisions along caste, creed, religion or community lines.
Though the BJP did not project any one as Chief Minister of UP during the election campaign, the remarkable electoral success of the political party has confirmed the presence of Modi wave and so-defined leadership, which is characterised as one that of honest, sincere, dedicated, just, benevolent, truth-seeking and promoting national unity and social solidarity -- not only in the state or the country but all over the world.
Indeed these leadership traits are typical characteristics which a political leader must imbibe in his own self and uphold as long as he wishes to remain in public domain.
But none among the political leaders in UP, even the Rahul-Akhilesh combine or Mayawati, could match these salient features of political leadership, which todays’ youth particularly want. And as they constitute a larger segment of voters and have certainly risen above the narrow bonds of caste, creed, community, region and the like, because their dreams are common and alike in almost all respects, they desired political stability, economic progress, social development and above all security of life and property and that altogether favoured the BJP in achieving absolute majority in the state assembly.
Thus the BJP has truly emerged as a unique political party which boldly and fearlessly stands for national interests and welfare of the people. It has indeed become a national political organisation spreading into Goa, Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and even West Bengal.
The success in UP has added to its ever rising glory amidst false charges of manipulation in the EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines). Now the new BJP government will have to prove its mettle not just by slogans or media hype but by the concrete facts of visible environment of security and socio-economic growth of all that PM Modi always proclaims: Sabka saath-Sabka vikas, ie Together with all for development of all.
(The author is Associate Professor of Political Science at M.D.P.G. College, Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh. Comments and suggestions on this article can be sent to email@example.com)