Rajasthan’s Political Canvas: BJP’s Victory Brushstroke, Congress’ Challenge for 2024

Election outcome in Rajasthan becomes a metaphor for BJP's ascendancy, Congress' soul-searching

Kolkata: Two men walking down a congested Kolkata street, quipped, “So, Congress lost all the four state elections.” His friend shook his head and said, “Lost three but won a new territory – Telangana.”

The first one continued cynically, “Well, it doesn’t look all’s well for the INDIA camp.”

Conversations like this were hot not just at the news telecast but also at the tea kiosks across Kolkata after the election results were declared for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana.

Veteran journalists, analysts and social activists were waiting for Rajasthan election results, with bated breath. Quite predictably, by most, the election results for these four states were being seen as the precursor for the 2024 General Elections.

Speaking to eNewsroom, Jaipur-based veteran journalist Narayan Bareth said, “This victory will definitely boost the morale of the BJP leaders and party workers for the Lok Sabha Elections 2024. The election mandate on the other hand made it evident that the Congress needs to take care of its in-fighting. This can’t continue and will only make things difficult for the party.”

Adding to that, former professor, Mohammad Hasan, who is also based in the Pink City said, “It’s a trend in Rajasthan that every five years we rotate the party forming the government. However, this time, many were hopeful about Congress winning the election, as the Ashok Gehlot government had flagged off some exceptionally good welfare schemes. But it seems like people are lured more by speeches that Eulogises the narrative of a resurgent India.”

Yakub Mohammad, a social activist from Udaipur felt that the welfare schemes of the incumbent government failed to make voters vote in their favour, primarily, because of the fact that the BJP leaders were able to polarize the Hindu voters by ‘othering Muslims and projecting Congress as a pro-Muslim political party. “In Rajasthan, polarization worked and made voters reject Gehlot’s welfare schemes,” he said.

So, what does the election results mean for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha Polls? Answering that question, retired professor of Journalism and political observer Rajan Mahan told eNewsroom, “The state elections have a lesson for the opposition parties. They need to understand that they need to come up with campaigns that will take on BJP’s polarizing narratives and new strategies that will help them overcome the caste politics. The propagation of Sanathan dharma and completion of Ram Mandir are an added advantage to the BJP.” He paused and then added, “Unfortunately, I don’t see the Congress recovering from the recent jolt that it got both in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.”

Prof Hasan added, “It’s sad to see journalists only talking about votes and results. Not, many are interested to analyse – How the results are going to affect the social fabric of India. The present regime at the centre has broken the spine of every single institution, so that none can stand up to what’s being done in the country by the fascist regime. I see this victory as a precursor to dark days in store for the minorities in the country.”

Meanwhile, social activist Kavita Srivastava said, “We have to respect the people’s mandate. But we are hoping that whoever is appointed as the net chief minister of the state won’t be divisive or target the minorities and will respect the civil liberties of the citizens.”

On the impact on Lok Sabha elections, she mentioned, “The opposition needs to work together. They didn’t work together as an alliance in the state elections.”

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