The undisputed king
The election process in the five states rolled to a screeching halt with the announcement of results on 11th March . Instead of writing political obituaries of Akhilesh , Rahul , Mayawati among the many others , it is better to understand that even after a vitriolic exchange of diatribes in all states , the worst being the high stakes UP , it is only wise to accept that PM Modi is a power to reckon with .
I feel that after elections when all the rhetoric has ended and the outcomes stare you in the eyes, it is always a good strategy to to accept failure and agree that what Modi did was right in terms of strategy in the two states that they won . Instead , Mayawati comes with the strangest if excuses in doubting the credibility of the Electronic Voting Machines in an attempt to rationalise the defeat and the reasons for the debacle.
The fact of the matter is that neither BJP was hoping to get 282 seats on its own in the Lok Sabha 2014 elections neither did it expect the 325 in UP 2017 . Something that they did is right which needs to be appreciated . Something which the others did not do night needs to be introspected . But there are still people in Congress who would absolve Rahul Gandhi from the defeat but would attribute in the same breath if Modi loses elections . Two different reactions to the same outcome. They might be trying to get into the good books of the High Command but are doing a disservice by not accepting defeat , rationalising it and also absolving the leader from the defeat. The party is bound to be in the state it is in right now because of these very reasons . There will be a few muted brave voices who will raise questions on the leadership but they will either be sidelined or some disciplinary action taken for their bravado sending a message that sycophancy is valued and real criticism is punished .
The charisma of Modi is unmatched today. There is no leader in the political horizon who has the courage to accept and play high stakes in an all out political game . Congress had the leaders to take it on but all of them have gone into oblivion or have been sidelined. The rejuvenation of Congress is only possible with accepting realities and searching for performers and not surnames. Sonia Gandhi has to take the call. She has shown the courage earlier by spurning the Prime Minister's seat . She will have to look for young , dynamic , potential leader irrespective of the surname who could gain the confidence of the nation , challenge Modi when required and be more moderate in the approach purely on merit. If she could do it fast , it will fetch results in the 2019 elections. If not, Congress second fiddle to regional parties in states and fights small battles .
All parties like Samajwadi Party, BSP , Congress , RJD will have to stop targeting Modi and start talking on the policies of the government or BJP . The moment they do that , the focus will shift from Modi. By targeting Modi , all parties subconsciously convey to the audience that they don't have issues to address so they target an individual . And when Rahul Gandhi , Laloo , Akhilesh , Mayawati or any other leader attacks Modi , they fail in comparison to him . Rahul Gandhi does it again and again and keeps coming out smaller in comparison. His being away from Punjab was a blessing in disguise for the Congress.
So it has to be a part of the larger strategy for the opposition to unite , discuss issues that are not just secularism , caste and minority appeasement, Modi's past , demonetisation and such lacklustre issues. The UP elections show that the electorate has risen above these issues and have rejected parties that bank on caste and minority politics . So a rethink of a united opposition that challenges the government, makes use of the anti incumbency , reduce infighting and show togetherness leaving aside ambitions to avoid total decimation and bide their time . But this process has to start now and not later which will expose the opportunism if their coming together is just before the elections.