The BJP ‘Star Campaigner’ Yogi Failed Juggernaut Modi-Shah Team
The 15th Vidhansabha election results in the five states were a little hard to digest for the BJP-led NDA. As the party despite having ‘the star campaigner’ Yogi Adityanath, party president Amit Shah and their supreme leader Prime Minister Modi relentlessly conducting multiple campaigns, did not perform as they had claimed or had expected.
The setback for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was quite evident in these assembly elections. BJP got routed in Chhattisgarh, where the party was in power for three consecutive elections. In Rajasthan, the ‘unpopular’ Vasundhara Raje government had to face defeat. While in Madhya Pradesh, the party did manage to have a tough fight, however, it eventually got lost in the game of number, which was bagged by Congress with 116 plus one seat (from Samajwadi Party). In the youngest state of India, Telangana, where Yogi Adityanath’s promise to change Hyderabad’s name, was not enough to please the voters. The party managed to get only one seat out of the 119 seats in the state. The conditions for BJP was not any different in Northen Eastern state Mizoram where the number of seats won remained the same as Telangana, that is one out of the 40 seats.
Even in Rajasthan, where Yogi Adityanath addressed 26, the maximum rallies, the party could not help itself from sinking.
On November 27 at Malakheda in Alwar district Rajasthan, Yogi Adityanath addressed the gathering by stating Lord Hanuman was deprived and a Dalit, who worked to connect the Indian communities. “Hanuman was a forest dweller, deprived and a Dalit. Bajrang Bali worked to connect all Indian communities together, from north to south and east to west,” he said.
Though this statement of Adityanath did not go quite well with many people prompting a right-wing group from Rajasthan to send a legal notice to Adityanath for addressing Hindu god, Hanuman as a Dalit.
According to The Print, many slammed Adityanath for “binding” Lord Hanuman in religion, gotra and caste. A spiritual leader from Gujarat, Morari Bapu, who is also known to be respected by PM Narendra Modi criticized the BJP government and said that because of BJP’s selfish reasons, “India has come in harm’s way”.
Yogi’s high voltage campaign in Rajasthan had little effect, clear from the results announced on December 11, with BJP’s loss. The party got 73 seats out of the 199 seats.
In Chhattisgarh, the UP CM did at least 23 rallies. However, the party did lose comprehensively in the sate. In the state where BJP had its stronghold from the last 15 years, the Congress made its way ahead.
In Chhattisgarh campaign also Adityanath claimed hanuman to be “one of the most prominent tribal”, as reported by The Times of India. He added that Hanuman helped the localities by protecting them from demons and similarly, BJP is trying to bring up safe and secured Ram Rajya in the state.
In another rally, CM Yogi made a jibe on the Congress vice-president Sonia Gandhi, saying, “Italy se ayatit saudagar” (agents imported from Italy), undertook “anti-national” activities like the conversion of tribals in the state. Adityanath’s “Italy se”(from Italy) reference was for Sonia Gandhi, as reported by News18.
In the 90-seat assembly, the Congress, with 64 seats was way ahead of the 46 majority mark needed to form the government. The BJP could only manage to secure a total of 17 seats.
— ANI (@ANI) December 11, 2018
In Madhya Pradesh
The state where BJP president Amit Shah did his maximum rallies and his ‘comrade’ Adityanath was present in 17 rallies, did manage to put up a good fight. However, the party eventually fell short. Its vote-share also came down from nearly 45 per cent to just above 41 per cent. The Mahant (priest )of Gorakhpur Mandir and Uttar Pradesh CM, Yogi Adityanath in many places used Hindutva rhetoric and Ram Mandir reference to sway the voter.
In another Yogi said, “Maine Congress ke netaon se kaha…ki bhaiyya tum logon ko Ali mubarak ho, hamare liye Banjrangbali hamare saath me hai (I told Congress leaders, you keep your Ali, Bajrangbali is there with us).”
Yogi in many rallies also raised the Ram Mandir issue. In one of his rally, he was quoted as saying, “Congress’s politics of appeasement is creating a hurdle in the construction of Ram temple which is an emblem of India’s faith,” as reported by Moneycontrol. However, PM Modi tried to maintain a distance from the Ram Minder issue.
“If you are keen to rename Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar, then vote for BJP,” said Adityanath in one of his rallies in Telangana. He added, “All terror attacks have some link with Hyderabad. Had Muslim appeasement not been part of our politics, such terrorist activities would not have taken place,” as reported by MoneyControl.
The voters did not seem to be impressed but irked. In Telangana where Yogi addressed eight rallies, Amit Shah five and Modi ten, the BJP party managed to get one out of the 119-seat strong assembly. The only candidate who got a seat in Hyderabad is Raja Singh from Goshamahal constituency.
Yogi’s rallies in these states triggered controversies. Where a responsible leader should refrain from hurting and provoking religious harmony, CM Yogi did quite opposite of that. He time and again brought an element of Hindutva to the rhetoric, evoked Lord Ram and alleged minority appeasement by Congress.