Yes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi The game is over. BJP won the game but…
Abracadabra By K. B. Ganapathy, Columns, Top Stories

Yes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi The game is over. BJP won the game but…

June 5, 2024

Bharat Mata Ki Jai. We the people of India, that is Bharat, have spoken. No single political party has got 272 seats, that magical number, out of 543 seats when the result was announced yesterday, 4th June 2024.

In a country with multiple political parties, only two parties have pan-India presence — Congress and BJP. Not confident of facing the electoral battle alone, both the parties chose their own Coalition Partners of like-minded regional parties which gave birth to two National Coalitions. One of BJP known as NDA (National Democratic Alliance) and the other of Congress known as I.N.D.I.A (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance).

Now the result is before we the people of India but the mandate is highly fractured going by the seats won. Congress by itself got 99 seats and BJP got 240 seats. However, with the support of the Coalition Partners, BJP (NDA) got 293 seats and the Congress (I.N.D.I.A) got 234 seats.

The real game begins now.  Both NDA and I.N.D.I.A vehemently staking its right to form the government, but advantage BJP going by the numbers. It has already declared its decision to crown Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister for the third time in succession that had happened only once with the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

However, looking back at Modi’s political journey to the Prime Minister’s Office one gets the feeling that it has not been an easy journey. Specially the  2024 Parliamentary election has been the most difficult journey like the one Jesus Christ made Via Dolorosa, carrying the heavy burden of the Cross in the old city of Jerusalem. In this election, Modi seemed to be carrying the Cross for the sake of finding salvation to this long suffering ancient land of ours for which he has been working since 2014.

In the past we have seen ‘horse trading’ and ‘resort politics’ with elected representatives turning, what Y.B. Chavan, former Defence Minister, famously said, ‘Aaya Rams and Gaya Rams.’

An attempt at this kind of unethical politics, foul and sinister, was made according to some TV Channels, when I.N.D.I.  Alliance led by Congress sent emissaries to meet NDA Coalition Partners — Nitish Kumar of JD(U) and N. Chandrababu Naidu of TDP. However, both of these NDA partners, with whose support alone a stable government could be formed, stood by their pre-poll commitment paving way for NDA to form the government with Modi as PM.  But  knowing the past political game these two have played while forming coalition governments at the Centre, it can be assumed they are still playable and can be lured to walk out of NDA coalition. We must recall 1996, 1989 and 2004.

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So, Yes, Prime Minister Modi, you are on a sticky wicket. One is reminded of the popular British TV serial, a satirical sitcom (situation comedy) where it makes you laugh and laugh, as a comedy. But nowhere in India it is neither a satire nor a comedy but a political battle for Modi to become a hat-trick Prime Minister and for the country a blessing for a seamless, sustained development.  After all, it was Modi who put in place this model in 2014. At stake are our country’s defence, internal security, total integration of Jammu and Kashmir, discarding the despicable colonial laws, wiping out the stigma and vestiges of a 1,000-year foreign rule by reclaiming our heritage, places of worship and bringing in new laws — CAA, UCC, One Nation, One Election etc. Therefore, this third term Modi somehow has to finish the unfinished job of Atal Bihari Vajpayee to make India shine!

Be that as it may, the first lesson I learnt, as a journalist and a senior citizen of this 76-year-old Democracy, is not to trust astrology and exit poll to forecast the election results. I think both are bunk because they are based on insufficient and wrong data.

I had mentioned in this column of 15th May 2024 that Modi was almost at the threshold of entering the Prime Minister’s Office for the third time after the 2024 Parliamentary Election. I hope, in spite of the staggering election result and challenges from I.N.D.I Alliance, Modi will cross the golden threshold and enter the Prime Minister’s Office.

As I reflect on the present election scenario and smell the scent of voters’ preference to elect their representatives, I would like the new incumbent in the Prime Minister’s Office to ponder over the wisdom of American law-makers, who amended the Constitution on Feb. 27, 1951 and restricted the term of Presidency to just two terms for an individual. Now no one individual can hold the Office of American President for more than two terms.

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Since ours is a Parliamentary form of Democracy, unlike America’s Presidential form, we could restrict an individual from holding the Office of Prime Minister for more than two terms. To recall, Pandit Nehru had spoken of this idea when he was chosen as Prime Minister for the third term but the sycophants around him dismissed the great Nehruvian idea to Nehru’s hidden inner happiness and secret ambition!

Tail-piece: The only ‘astrologer’ and exit poll expert, whose prediction proved 100% correct, was Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, the Congress Parliamentary Party Chief. When she was asked on Monday about her expectations from the results to be announced on Tuesday, yesterday, in the context of the exit polls that predicted a great victory to BJP in the Parliamentary election, she said: “We are very hopeful that our results are completely opposite to what the exit polls are showing.” Indeed, she has hit the bull’s eye.           

This time, it is likely that the government formation will be a long-drawn-out war of attrition.  Hard bargaining.

Congress lost. But, for BJP it was a pyrrhic victory. I guess, the game is not over. The game has just begun.

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