It is evident that there was a wave of modes in the landslide victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in this year's general election. While there is little doubt that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's political genius and the incredible reach of the BJP's political machinery, led by party leader Amit Shah, mattered, as I tried to explain in another post, there was more to it than you think. It had something to do with the national mood. The seeds, the water and the fertilizer are important for the growth of a plant, but also the soil. I like to think that the national mood is comparable to the ground.
Election policy is a complex business in which parties and leaders try to capture a range of factors and feelings in a way that results in a single voter pressing a symbol in a nationwide mammoth exercise. This makes predictions difficult. Post facto analyzes, however, often show interesting patterns. I assume there was something in the national mood this year that not only preferred modes but also others that had characteristics similar to him. I would like to say that this year's Modi Wave was a subset of a nationwide "leadership wave" in which the parties that performed well were perceived as strong leaders – not in a political sense, but in terms of administrative skills. This requires a strong (and strange) mix of determination, empathy, and concern for topics.
Now let's take a look at who other than the BJP were, who held up relatively well in terms of seats as a proportion of the seats they accounted for. The final results table shows that the DMK won 23 out of 39 seats in Tamil Nadu, the Biju Janata Dal 12 out of 21 seats in Odisha, the All India Trinamool Congress with 22 out of 42 in West Bengal and the YSR Congress 22 out of 25 seats in Andhra Pradesh did remarkable.
Odisha Chief Minister Biju Patnaik and Jagan Reddy, Chair of Andhra Pradesh's YSR Congress, stayed away from both the NDA and UPA, yet performed credibly and managed to stem the wave of modes that swept across the country , DMK's MK Stalin had the power of Dravidian ideology and a strong party organization to support him, but like Patnaik and Reddy, he worked hard to be the strongest local leader with an active interest in local issues.
I think these guides could do some magic because, despite their different styles, they were sensitive to the locals and articulated about local issues.
Trinamool's Mamata Banerjee was faced with difficult factors, such as illegal border border infiltration, which benefited the BJP's Hindutva policies. Her own militant style also worked against her, while at the same time she showed strong administrative skills as Prime Minister. However, like Delhi's Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi party, she showed signs of vulnerability because she played the victim instead of projecting herself as a master.
Patnaik, Reddy and Stalin exuded positive energy and ability to govern – despite their individual differences. In this sense, these men were just like modes. I believe that ideology was less important this year than immediate problems and a positive leadership style. That's why I call it a leadership wave.
Now look at Punjab. The Indian National Congress won 8 out of 13 state seats and helped the great old party, led by Rahul Gandhi, bring the national balance sheet to 52. I would like to thank Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh for this.
What do Patnaik, Reddy, Stalin and Captain Singh have in common? They are all articulated men who don't complain much. They understand local aspirations and demonstrate the ability to govern. Patnaik is not a demagogue, but has demonstrated a tremendous ability to show sensitivity in listening and designing programs, such as the KALIA model project for agriculture, which encompasses landowners, partners and landless people.
In relation to these men, Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee appeared more as demonstrators than as government officials. Modi's sharp speeches against Congress showed him in a similar light in media reports, but it's important to note that after the Balakot air strikes in Pakistan, he exuded strength and the BJP machinery worked together to demonstrate his development plans. The congress had a solid manifesto, but the leadership style, like that of Mamata and Kejriwal, was more like "you are bad" than "we are cool".
Leadership is a complex business, but I firmly believe that the national mood favors positive leadership. The ones who managed to check modes were exactly the ones who, like him, understood how to combine politics with governance while taking a confident, methodical approach. Modi turned the parliamentary elections into a presidential competition. Those who could hire him showed similar characteristics.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL.)