UP election results 2017: Rejoice or weep, either way we're set for a decade of PM Narendra Modi at the helm

Shubham Ghosh
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The dashing duo of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah has proved that the political blitzkrieg in Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 Lok Sabha election was no fluke.

The two leaders have led the BJP to repeat the same feat in the state in less than three years' time, reducing all opponents to ashes, yet again.

Though the party had some low points in states like Punjab and Goa, the mammoth success in UP eclipsed them, and reiterated the fact that Prime Minister Modi now has a clear path leading to the next Lok Sabha election, scheduled two years from now.

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What implications does the BJP's victory in UP have on the next general election?

To begin with, it has essentially made the next general election an anti-climax. With the massive mandate Modi has received in the middle of his first-ever term, there is very little doubt that he will get a second chance in office. The more important question is about the Opposition: Where they go from here to tackle hurricane Modi?

The federal front will be in a disarray 

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The results in UP delivered a fatal blow to the idea of a federal front, which anti-Modi forces have been eyeing for a while.

The likes of Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal, and Akhilesh Yadav — and let's try not to forget Rahul Gandhi — will find the results in UP very hard to digest for they earnestly hoped that issues like the surgical strike and demonetisation would puncture the Modi phenomenon and give them a platform to build on for Mission 2019.

But Modi has proved that not much has changed since his party swept the 2014 polls and whatever debacles the BJP faced in states like Delhi and Bihar in between, were more state-specific rather than national.

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In fact, the federal front will have very few faces to choose from to lead it against Modi, as none of them can match the appeal the PM has now.

Kejriwal comes close to the PM when it comes to the idea of 'modern politicians', but he is too local to challenge Modi on the bigger stage.

The UP results will also dump the 'pro-people' stance of Mamata, Kejriwal and Rahul while Akhilesh and Mayawati will be now busy saving their own forts from the barbarian hordes.

The UP results have, in effect, put Modi's opponents in disarray and there is very little time now for them to recover. If Modi proves his critics wrong in his home state of Gujarat later in the year, then the issue is even more settled.

The Gandhis could become irrelevant in the next general election

The second implication of the UP election is that it could make the Gandhi factor irrelevant in the next general elections, something that India has not seen very often.

Even after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, when nobody from the family was at the Congress's helm, the party survived on nostalgia (it overcame an electoral challenge in 1991, riding the sympathy vote).

The likes of PV Narasimha Rao and Sitaram Keshri were in charge for a few years before Rajiv's widow Sonia came and took up the baton and has led them in elections since the late 1990s.

But in 2019, the Gandhis could be relegated to non-entity. The ever-declining journey of Rahul Gandhi is certainly going to meet its end in light of this UP disaster. And it will be too much for either an ailing Sonia Gandhi or novice Priyanka Gandhi to brook.

In fact, the loss of face for both regional opponents and the Congress could see Indian democracy turning into a uni-multipolar party system with the BJP holding centrestage.

Modi will grow, just like the Nehrus and Indiras in the past

On the contrary, Modi and hus cult of personality, will only grow larger in stature and one would not be surprised if he bettered Rajiv Gandhi's record of winning 400-plus seats in the 1984 election, in the next general poll.

It would be an even more weighty win than Rajiv's 1984 feat for that was more made possible by Indira Gandhi's assassination. 

BJP will get stronger in Rajya Sabha and it will boost Modi's premiership

The tremedous victories in UP and Uttarakhand will boost the BJP's numbers in the Upper House of Parliament and that will help the Narendra Modi government go ahead passing crucial legislation without facing any obstacles from the Opposition, especially in the labour sector.

This, in turn, will boost the BJP's prospects in the next Lok Sabha elections.

Modi, one cannot deny, has changed the dynamics of Indian politics and not many understand how to deal with him. In the 1950s and 1960s, Jawaharlal Nehru was the leader India was proud of. Then came Indira Gandhi. This is the era of Narendra Modi, and he is making full use of it.

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