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Mainstream, VOL 62 No 24, June 15, 2024

Exciting Ten Days | J P Gadkari

Saturday 15 June 2024, by J P Gadkari


The ten days, starting from 1st June 2024, with the Exit Poll predictions to actual results and the Govt formation, and allocation of portfolios culminating with the severest lashing so far by the RSS chief to Narendra Modi without actually naming him were quite exciting for most of the people who have keen interest in national politics. After a seemingly interminable long period of 47 days of polling spread all over the country, they were to get the first glimpse of what is going to be the likely outcome of the 18th General Election in the country.

As soon as the voting was completed at 6 pm on 1st June, everyone was glued to their TV sets and were surprised when they found that almost every exit poll prediction was against what they were expecting, of course except the blind supporters of Modi and the BJP.

Almost all the YouTube surveys done by different pollsters so far have shown that BJP and its allies will be barely scraping through or even losing the poll. But the exit poll was predicting Modi’s "400 Paar" is going to become a reality. At least four of them had shown even the exact number as 401 for BJP and its allies. Therefore, the attention had now shifted to 4th June, the date for counting of votes and declaring of exact results.

The actual results showed BJP losing its absolute majority and gaining only 240 seats, 32 short of the halfway mark. It has now to depend on the support of its allies to form an NDA Govt. The BJP having two major allies, TDP’s Chandra Babu Naidu with 16 members, with two of his ally Jana Sena Party of actor Pawan Kalyan and Nitish Kumar’s JDU with 12 members and also several other smaller allies of NDA with less than double-digit numbers to form a Govt. That would cobble up the majority of BJP and its allies to 290 and the INDIA alliance total going up to 235 with 18 others. With this tally, it was clear that the BJP and its allies were set to form the Govt to rule the country for the third term.

But surprisingly BJP did not show any sign of remorse for having lost the popular mandate and was not in a position to form the Govt on it own. On the contrary, it continued to act as if it lost nothing and it had the birthright to rule the country whether it has a majority or not. Of course, nobody expected it to have that kind of humble attitude having displayed sheer arrogance all these days when it enjoyed absolute power.

At such a juncture a scathing attack came from none else than BJP’s parent organisation, RSS for displaying its arrogance, resorting to a campaign of lies by utilising modern technology, using objectional language during the election campaign etc.

The head of RSS Mohan Bhagwat singling out Modi as his target. Without naming him even once in his one and half hour lecture to RSS office bearers, pracharaks and important leaders, Bhagwat accused Modi of having a king-size ego, (Ahankar) though he calls himself a "Pradhan Sewak" (principal server) of the country and went on to describe a definition of a real "sevak" (server) by quoting the saying of a saint. During the course lof his lecture Bhagwat also blamed the Modi Govt of not being able to solve the Manipur problem while the State is burning for the last one year and emphasized the need to sort out the problem immediately.

There is no indication as to how Modi or BJP has taken the harsh and open criticism by the Sangh chief so far and how will be the relationship between the two in future. But if one goes by the open public statement of BJP President J P Nadda made some time ago, that BJP "no more needs the support of RSS", one can draw an inference that it will not take it seriously and may also ignore it. In such a situation what will be BJP stand is a subject of speculation. There are signs of disquiet among quite a few BJP leaders in the Govt who are known to be close to RSS.

It is therefore going to be quite interesting to watch the developments in the coming weeks when after taking oath as L S members the third term Modi Govt faces the confidence motion and particularly the Speaker’s election which is due at the end of this month.

June 15, 2024

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