KAJAL CHATTERJEE, KOLKATA
THE main takeaway the recent assembly elections has thrown up can be best summed up through the adage ‘Pride cometh before the fall’ and of course Newton’s Third Law Motion: to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The 2014 Lok Sabha elections had been won comprehensively in terms of seats. So BJP had every constitutional authority to form the government at Delhi. Dreaming to win various states of the Union is also absolutely no wrong. So a zealous effort to win the assembly polls is absolutely comprehensible. And resultantly the party had won Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat (retained), Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Assam and Tripura. Also managed to be a part of the government in Jammu and Kashmir as well by forming a coalition with PDP. One can obviously question the tactics of communal polarisation, invocation of highly controversial issue of foreigner deportation (Assam) or electoral alignment with a separatist outfit. But democratic election is nothing but “who passes the post first”! So like it or not, the mandate of the largest slice of electorate needs to be acknowledged with BJP holding absolute right to preside from Shimla to Mumbai, Ahmedabad to Agartala. But instead of accepting the mandate humbly and utilising its power to govern the nation and the concerned states with utmost dedication, humility and accountability had yielded place to supreme audacity. Blinded by the pride of lion’s share of seats, the regime of ‘good days’ had forgotten that 69 per cent of the Indian electorate had not voted for BJP in 2014. Yet it projected the victory as not only return of Hindu Raj since the fall of Prithviraj Chauhan, but also as a permanent wiping of Congress or the government of mother-son! What an insult to the electorate who are votaries of Congress and an assault on democratic preference! Don’t forget the attempts to dislodge the Congress government in Uttarakhand, grabbing power in Arunachal Pradesh through ensuring mass defection from the Congress, forming government in Goa and Manipur through backdoor despite the Congress bagging the maximum number of seats! Also the call of ‘Congress/Opposition Mukt Bharat’.