BJP earned a huge victory in the state of Uttar Pradesh well beyond the expectations of all political pundits. But selection of a Chief Minister for India’s largest state turned out to be a very difficult task for the BJP. Ultimately Yogi Adityanad, a controversial politician, was elected CM of UP. The newly appointed CM of UP is known for his communal outbursts against Pakistan and Muslims in general.
How, such a controversial leader will fare as the administrative head of India’s largest state is a matter of speculation. Will his election lead to further polarization of the political landscape of the state only time can tell. Controversial issues like construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya which have been kept in abeyance may once again come into the fore front. So also issues relating to cow slaughter, conversions and so on may vitiate the political climate in the state.
The BJP leaders are in a euphoric mood. They are now viewing the approaching general elections in 2019 with a great deal of confidence. On the other hand the Congress Party and other opposition parties will see the new developments as a matter of great concern.
The AAP which was looking forward to making new inroads in Indian politics received a major setback. For the Congress party, victory in Punjab provides a new lease of life.
Congress also emerged as the single largest party in two states. These are not trivial gains for an ailing party.
While for BJP it is a time for celebration the AAP failed to get the breakthrough it was looking forward to. The Congress party needs to evolve a new strategy to carry the party forward in the emerging scenario. The party faces a number of challenges starting from leadership, organizational issues and working out alliances.
While Sonia Gandhi may not return to politics, Rahul will have to hold the reigns of the Congress Party taking over as the new party president. But the leadership of the party cannot vest solely with one individual. Several leaders like Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, Manish Tiwari, Shashi Tharoor, A Singhvi, J Scindia, Sachin Pilot etc. should be promoted to hold vital positions in the organization structure of the party. While Rahul leads the party as president, a new Prime Ministerial face for the next general elections should be chosen and brought into prominence. An eminently suited choice would be none other than P Chidambaram.
All is not lost for the Congress Party as the victory in Punjab indicates. If an appropriate strategy for working out alliances with like-minded secular parties is evolved and a grand alliance of opposition parties carved out there will still be hope of keeping the BJP at bay in the next general elections of 2019. The frame work for an alliance exist in UP and Bihar. The Bihar alliance emerged successful. The UP alliance could fare better in the next elections if the infighting within the Samajwadi Party is sorted out. The Congress Party should now take leadership for evolving a grand national alliance. This would make the general elections of 2019 a keenly fought one rather than being one-sided.