Opinion

After Twin Debacles In Delhi And West Bengal, Should BJP Be Wary Of Amit Shah’s Aggressive Campaigning Style?

Picture : Twitter / ANI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah carries the adage of Chanakya so far as Indian politics in concerned . He got this tag following his masterminding the BJP’s juggernaut (coming to Power at the Centre) in 2014 Lok Sabha Polls and later on in 2019 Lok Sabha Polls.

The media went gaga over his 24X7 working style and his tours across the length and breadth of the country. And when he scripted wins in polls it was attributed to his midas touch and people connect. Shah according to media could no wrong .

However, despite the media blitz and various adages attached to him – Game Changer, Chanakya, Midas Touch etc by various news channels and their ranting anchors , Shah magic was not visible in Delhi and West Bengal in the respective assembly polls in 2020 and 2021 .

So should be be therefore hence be wary with Amit Shah hitting the campaign trail in the five five poll bound states in 2022 – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur, Punjab? .

The reason for this apprehension is simple . Remember . In Delhi assembly polls 2020 , Amit Shah spearheaded the campaign with 45 rallies. Over 200 plus MP’s and Chief Minister’s of BJP states , Union Cabinet ministers joined the BJP blitz to woo the people of Delhi but all was in vain.

In Delhi 2020, BJP despite Shah’s zeal BJP got get 8 seats in 70 member assembly with AAP of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal bagging 62 seats . In West Bengal, Though BJP improved from 3 in 2016 to 77, TMC demolished the BJP by improving from its earlier tally of 211 to 215 .

In 2021, the Delhi misadventure was repeated in West Bengal assembly polls. Amit Shah left no stone unturned in his quest for Mission West Bengal. And after holding numerous road shows and even learning bits and pieces Bangla, having lunches at villages to woo the masses, Shah termed a slogan abki bar 200 paar during the election campaign . He was confident and reiterated at every press conference during the 8 phase polls that BJP would get 200 seats and would form the government. He even went on extent that Mamata would have to resign on May 2 as the TMC would lose the polls. He used aggressive tone – Hum TMC ko Ukkhad Denge ( We will uproot the TMC). Awestruck TV channels lapped up each of Shah’s jibes as BJP’s Mission Bengal, Amit Shah Thunders at TMC . It was Prime Time Debate hysteria.

The media got swayed by Shah’s confidence and rally- turn-outs and believed that he could pull it off in West Bengal. The huge crowd at rallies gave the BJP the confidence , but little did they realise or for that matter knew the silent mind/ or the inner voice of the voters in Bengal. Between February and April 2021 Amit Shah visited Bengal 17 times . But in vain. Bengal people stood behind Mamata and Trinamool Congress.

It was astonishing to see  post – West Bengal rout, the media was quick to slam Rahul Gandhi  Congress, Dynasty for Congress failure. But  Shah’s monumental failure was not questioned  by news channels. It was conveniently brushed under the carpet.

That Prime Minister Narendra Modi is spearheading the BJP’s campaign in all five states in 2022 assembly polls  shows that there is sense of nervousness in Shah’s style. Though the party will never ever admit  this attribute .

As much is the results of the forthcoming five polls a verdict on Prime Minister Narendra Modi , equally is the verdict on Amit Shah and his election mastery .   With states like Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat scheduled to go to the polls towards the end of 2022, The results of the five and two later on –  seven states will definitely indicate which way 2024 Lok Sabha polls is likely to tilt .

Moreover, the Home minister in- fact has lots to answer as to what has happened to his high decibel issues – CAA, NRC, the promise of statehood and elections in Jammu and Kashmir after scrapping of Article 370 and lifting of the special status, the settlement of Kashmiri Pundits despite Modi led government at the Centre since 2014. And there has been no let up killing of innocent civilians in the kashmir valley despite the government’s boast post surgical strikes there would be no terror strikes .

Moreover, The displaced Kashmiri Pandits observed January 19 as the ‘holocaust day’ to mark the exodus of their community members from the Valley in 1990 due to threats and killings by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists. Several migrant organisations like Panun Kashmir, Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora (GKPD), Kashmir Pandit Sabha (KPS), Youth All India Kashmiri Samaj (YAIKS), Save Sharda Committee (SSC) and All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference (ASKPC) held programmes during the day to pay tributes to the victims and to reaffirm commitment to the cause of the Kashmiri Pandits. Events were also held at Jagti and Muthi migrant camps .

The organisations demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should personally intervene to settle the Kashmir Pandit community, living as refugees in their own country for the past 32 years, in the valley. “We are caught in uncertainty. We do not know our future. We had high hope that the government led by PM Modi will ensure the reversal of genocide by facilitating our return back to the valley. But nothing has happened post the abrogation of Article 370,” Sahil Pandita of the Jagti camp was quoted as saying .

Expressing similar sentiment was Virji Kachroo, a Kashmiri Pandit expressed his resentments against the Central government and asked why is this government not sending us to back our homes in Kashmir valley. “We voted the Central government twice, thinking of that they will take this issue seriously. We do want to ask the government when will we go back to our home?” Kachroo said.

There is the  lingering issue Of AFSPA( Armed Forces Special Powers Act) in Nagaland , where ironically a BJP government’s stance is completely opposite to the Centre.

Further, Shah has kept silent on the remarks made by party MP Tapir Gao from Arunachal Pradesh. Gao had few days back made fresh revelations regarding Arunachal youth Miram Taron. Gao alleged that Tarorn who was handed over to India by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on January 27, days after he went missing, was given electric shock and was beaten up by China’s Peoples Liberation Army.

Hence these are issues Amit Shah has on his plate to deliver but is unfortunately not questioned by news channels. Merely pointing out the flaws Of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and going back to the past of slamming the Congress for all the country’s ills and with hashtag# Amit Shah Roars can give good TRP but is unlikely to sustain for long.

Lastly, Shah and the BJP , who are so obsessed with history and appropriating icons like Sardar Patel and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose,  regularly quote Swami Vivekananda would note that the late Congress Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao ( 1991-1996) then too had an adage – Chanakya ( Like Shah now) for his ability to steer economic and political legislation through the parliament at a time when he headed a minority government. Well , what happened to PV in later years is known to all .

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