Elections in UP might have run just for a month, but the preparations period dragged for more than one and a half years. Parties started gearing up from early months of 2015, their processes picked huge momentum after the Bihar assembly election results were declared. For BJP it was important to prove itself after facing a massive defeat, and other political parties saw a great opportunity to crush the BJP wave which roared in 2014 Lok Sabha election. UP was also important because dominance in UP ensures dominance in the Hindi Heartland and it also carves the path for Lok Sabha elections. During this course of time, political parties applied all the Saam-Daam-Dand-Bhed to win the election.
Political pundits may be singing victory odes for Modi today, but only 3 days back, many of them were laughing at BJP’s chances of winning even 200 seats. UP election has busted many myths and doubts which were confidently served to public through various channels. Let us try to inspect some of such popular notions:
Demonetisation will poorly impact the votes of BJP
Political parties and political analysts overestimated the impact of demonetisation on assembly elections. While the public moved on from the discussions on demonetisation, media houses and political pundits carried the hangover till the last date of election. There is no denying about frustration and anger against inconvenience caused by demonetisation, but it was certainly overplayed and exaggerated, which is very evident from then results. Columnists, psephologists, journalists and analysts claimed that they have interacted with multiple samples of population and figured out that people are not going to vote for BJP because of demonetisation. Demonetisation was expected to harm, if not completely devastate, the chances of BJP in UP. Numbers don’t say so.
Priyanka Gandhi can revive Congress
After Rahul Gandhi got exposed into the public sphere, Congress leaders and supporters created huge hype of Priyanka Gandhi. Before UP election, Priyanka Gandhi was projected as the Ram Van. Sadly, Priyanka couldn’t enjoy the hype for long. Her Khaki sarees couldn’t impress people in towns and villagers and her speeches couldn’t convince people. Instead she got massively trolled when she tried to campaign for Rahul Gandhi. In the middle of election, the so perceived savior of Congress withdrew from campaigns.
The magic of Amit Shah and Narendra Modi is fading
The dismal performance of BJP in Bihar and Bengal was presumed as an attenuation of the Modi Wave. While BJP rivals gained confidence strength, BJP supporters became apprehensive of the future. By 2016, critics concluded that Modi Wave had faded and Amit Shah must be raplaced. The duo has once again silenced them all.
Road shows by Modi will have minimal impact on the voting pattern
One beautiful thing about India is that everyone is an expert here. When Modi was doing road shows, people said that a PM must not do such road shows or Modi is doing road shows because he is afraid of losing his hold in Varanasi. After the results, the it is not only hailed by all, but also acknowledged as the new-age politics. The quantitaive impact of road shows can’t be measured, but it with such results, it can’t be overruled too.
Media understands the pulse of public
Go through columns written by eminent journalists, watch their expert opinions on U.P elections, read tweets posted by anchors and opinion makers. Leave the Modi wave, since 2016 media was discussing that BJP will fall in U.P election. Truth is, BJP thrashed everyone, and there is no “post truth” to it.
Narrative makers think that they understand and control the political course of the nation, but they underestimate the Modi and Shah. Amit Shah has always proved that he can make phenomenal political moves before anyone notices it. He did a phenomenal ground level work in U.P , that too silently.
The election is over now. The craziness will halt at least for some time. It is a good time for political analysts to take a break and then retrospect.