The elections in Bengal, Assam and Tamil Nadu are due in a few months. How will the story play out in time? Will BJP win? Will it cause any notable impairment of TMC ability? Can the incumbent party win in the three states? The strategies of these parties will be just as interesting. Nationalism, religion, people connect, temple politics and development work are the focus. These in themselves may not win elections, but an innovative strategy that ties them all together into one compelling story will do.
Four types of people make this world. Some are proactive and don’t need anyone to get started. Some are active and will follow a narrative. Some are reactive and some are inactive. However, 90% of them are reactive, the reactions of which are sometimes studied and mostly made up. The political parties are also similar. It is telling that most opposition parties chase after the ruling party’s political narrative. It defines a sharp decline in intellectual capital and values.
When the Bengali Prime Minister shared the podium with the Prime Minister a few days ago on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, she interrupted her speech amid sloganering and allowed the BJP to question its Hindu credentials and patriotism. Netaji Bose, although from Bengal, was a national leader and so restraint was required, but in the end she was against part of the people. A better strategy would have been to continue the speech, to welcome the slogans and slogans and to invoke the principles of all other religions in the spirit of “Sarva Dharm Samabhav”. Reactionary outbursts can never be productive as states and countries are no longer ruled by elected governments but by their political parties and affiliations.
Regardless of the narratives set, technology will continue to disrupt engagements. Engage the public via live video, check facts before posting, count even the younger social platforms, run trustworthy fundraisers, deal effectively with trolls, give people their place as not everyone may be interested in politics, ask relevant questions consistently, visually sharing content and posting daily only positive and impartial contributions are good practices that each party must follow. The question, however, is, will they be in these charged times?
The opposition parties are in a self-destructive mode. When it is necessary for them to come together, they seem to diverge in several directions. Ideologically similar parties, when fighting as separate entities, will only share the votes. Parties like AIMIM are also rising. Is it a response or a challenge to a subtle polarization? The distribution of votes they caused was visible to all in the Bihar elections. Something similar can happen in other states if surveys are carried out in the next few months. While some ideological polarization can take place in all societies, the ambitions of individual leaders can drown them all out. One only has to enlarge the clearly visible cracks to win.
BJP has the great advantage of being in power at the center. They therefore set the narratives as they conceive and execute plans. Be it the massive network they have that extends to the last mile or the financial meat they enjoy, they are in an unenviable position and can defeat any dispensation, however tight. In addition to power, their success stories and the benefits of development for different parts of society, they become invincible. In addition, a very charismatic leader who, according to the metaphor, could probably win “everything under the sun”, binds together the people who pass out in his oratorio. An India Today poll a few days ago gave BJP 327 seats if the elections were held today. It is truly remarkable that some old allies have split up and the party still commands the number. Can the leader deliver in the three states that are voting?
A plan drawn up a year ago is being implemented in all three states. In Bengal, nine districts, Nadia, North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, Kolkata, South 24 Parganas, Bardhaman, Birbhum and East Medinipur, provided 19 out of 22 seats for the Trinamool Congress, which is 138 seats, or two-thirds of the TMC’s footprint The last parliamentary elections took place in 2016. This time, every MLA and MP from those places switched sides. BJP’s studied onslaught and brute strength are impressive. TMC can react and say that the leaders had no consequence. Would the replacements be as effective as the originals in an anti-incumbency state? The strategy should have been to see the storm winds and take remedial action instead of reacting irritably because TMC has everything to lose and BJP has everything to gain
The INC car sped toward a cliff in Assam. After losing to BJP the last time, they have to reinvent themselves. Your strategy has to be a disruptive innovation if you have to dent the BJP citadel. However, their alignment with AIUDF and four other political parties is neither disruptive nor innovative. The BJP strategists promise no flooding or infiltration when they return to power. It will surely be great if they get even half of what is promised. Earthquakes, landslides, bank erosion, man-made dams uphill, some of them in China, interventions and a non-starter of a project to dredge nearly 900 km are causing flooding in Assam. How reasonable, then, is it that the Assam flood can be stopped? Even the promised industries in her last stay didn’t show up. The charisma of the Modi must save them this time, despite a big step to honor a well-deserved Tarun Gogoi with the second highest civilian award in the country.
Tamil Nadu is a unique case where two large groups, DMK and AIADMK, vie for prey. Both seem to be going nowhere without a public or charismatic figure in hand. The Rajnikant factor is a non-runner, although its tacit support could upset the balance. The Kamalahaasan factor can be disruptive. In this hand-to-hand combat, BJP would try to penetrate the southern state that has never been theirs. You will need the indulgence of one of the Dravidian parties to be successful. AIADMK has stretched its muscles without an ear on the floor. The puzzle only gets more fascinating with Sasikala out of prison. Will the AIADMK share with a part that agrees with it? Will DMK also share around the Alagiri axis? Who will the BJP team up with for share of power? Is someone going to construct a third front with the two breakaway Dravidian groups citing Tamil ‘Asmita’, Rajnikant the X-Factor and Vijay the Dalapathy “? The dilemma for BJP is really that of a kingmaker or the king himself.
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