The Congress won three (states) but lost two because the BJP has fulfilled LK Advani’s prophecy that it is Congress Part 2
By Ranjona Banerji
Who won and who lost? Okay, okay, the Bharatiya Janata Party won hands down, outright, no contest in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The BSP lost, the Samajwadi Party and the Congress lost, Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi lost and most likely Amar Singh won and so did some various uncles and aunties of Akhilesh who did not want him to win.
In Uttarakhand, the Congress chief minister lost, the BJP man who frightened the horse won and no one knows who the new BJP chief minister will be. It may not be the man who spent crores on a house nobody wants to live in and it may not be the man who repaired the roads. Rumours abound that it will be a new person altogether. Though in the Uttarakhand BJP, sometimes you can’t tell which person is Congress and which person is BJP because they keep changing places. So maybe a former Congress chief minister could become a current BJP chief minister. Which makes him a new BJP prime minister, see?
This is the straightforward stuff. So on to Punjab where the alliance between the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party lost. I mean really lost. They were in power and they lost. However, according to new rules written into the social media contract of all Indian journalists who are important (i.e. not me), you are not allowed to mention Punjab. If you must, do it in passing: “That’s anti-incumbency, harrumph, but Narendra Modi is the greatest and look at Uttar Pradesh.”
This may or most probably may not guarantee one or two Padma awards for serious media folk in the next season.
In Punjab though, the Congress won. AAP did not win though many said that AAP would win. But AAP still got more seats than SAD-BJP. Everyone knew, however, that SAD-BJP would lose. And this is one of those few times when experts were proved correct. However, no experts as you can see are interested in their foresight because there can be no credit for Modi here. Instead, members of the SAD are now saying that it is BJP’s fault that they lost? How ungrateful. Haven’t they seen the results in UP and Uttarakhand?
Manipur comes next. Now we reach a strange little kink in our journey. What the winners really want to say is who cares about these small states, we won the big one. But they can’t, because, India. The Congress won more seats than any other party but still lost because the BJP jumped in and cobbled together an alliance to try and run the government. How many of you are old enough to have seen this game being played before? Exactly. Whether you call it horse-trading or legitimate nonsense, stitches often come loose and threads unravel. The poor voters of Manipur. No one knows what they really wanted except they certainly did not want their former hero Irom Sharmila to become a politician. But 90 votes? That was a bit mean.
In Goa, India’s defence minister has become the chief minister. Of course, neither he nor his party won the election. In fact the BJP definitely lost the election. The chief minister lost, other ministers lost. The Congress got more seats than anyone else, AAP got no seats at all. The parties that fought on an anti-BJP platform quickly tied up with the BJP because why should they stop Manohar Parrikar from eating Goan fish curry and rice? Everyone should be allowed the chance to eat more Goan fish curry and rice, especially the defence minister who never wanted to be defence minister and in fact did not win the mandate to be chief minister of Goa.
So who won and who lost? Modi won. But did not lose Punjab or Goa because Modi can never lose. AAP won and lost. The Congress won three but lost two because the BJP has fulfilled LK Advani’s prophecy that it is Congress Part 2. And it also lost another one. The BJP lost two but Modi cannot be blamed. Irom Sharmila lost but no one won in Manipur except a number of opportunists including one called the BJP. Yeah. Modi won. The voter lost.
The writer is a senior journalist based in Dehradun.