Web Analytics
Connect with us

Rise and Fall of Jagan

The 2014 general election in AP is a watershed election in more ways than one. Bifurcation preceded it and the scars of vivisection were too fresh in public memory. Given the complexity of Indian society and the range of factors that are at play during elections it is challenging for the analysts to gauge the public mood correctly and draw solid conclusions about voting patterns. In India voters punished certain parties for their omissions but pardoned them within no time. There are instances when voters were selective in punishing parties for their arrogance and mal administration but soft on others who were of the same ilk. It is therefore a very arduous task to explain the electoral behavior of Indians.

People in Seemaandhra region were thoroughly upset with the way the state was bifurcated. Though they held the Congress and BJP responsible for it, the former became their bete noire overnight. They waited for an opportunity and struck it with unprecedented ferocity in the elections. But what surprises many is the Seemaandhra's acceptance of Modi whose party was primarily responsible for the creation of Telangana. In fact it is the BJP which always championed the cause of small states. Notwithstanding this, Modi along with Chandrababu Naidu (CBN) was seen as the savior of the residuary state. The letters of Jagan and CBN paved way for the bifurcation, but Jagan was quick enough to distance himself from the imbroglio. CBN refused to withdraw his letter and continued to pursue his two eyed theory. All this did not prevent him from winning the elections.

In Mahabharata Karna's death is attributed to a number of causes. Similarly there are numerous factors that caused Jagan's defeat. In other words there are umpteen reasons for CBN's victory. Till March 2014 the YSRCP was riding a wave of popularity. Jagan, Sharmila and Vijayamma were fighting it out with grit and determination. At one point it was a hopeless situation for CBN. The response of the massive crowds to the trio'spunch lines was to be seen to be believed. CBN was finding it difficult to counter their tirade against him. However being a seasoned politician he could assess the general mood of the public all over the country. He foresaw Modi's victory and tried very hard to forge an alliance with the BJP. As usual his fellow caste man Venkaiah Naidu bailed him out. Jagan too knew that Modi's victory was imminent but he was too confident about his victory to even think of any kind of alliance. He made a head start in campaign and his appeal to the masses to vote for Rajanna Rajyam was well received. The mother son daughter trio's campaign resembled the conquest of a medieval army and CBN appeared jittery.

Jagan gradually became overconfident and lost sight of the fact that the proverbial Sword of Damocles in the form of ED cases and charges of corruption of the highest magnitude was hanging on him. Little did he realize that once his wily opponent starts succeeding in convincing the electorate about it would soon turn out to be his nemesis.It would be naive to think that Jagan who is cleverer than CBN in many aspects could not visualize this. But his arrogance did him in. Poll management is another vital factor which decides the outcome. The YSRCP barely had an organization while the TDP is one of the best organized parties in India. Here again Jagan seems to have undermined the utility of organization in the face of a wave. From 25th April to 5th May entire AP waspainted yellow whereas the green and blue flags were a rarity. The TDP workers were seen at every polling booth, but those of YSRCP virtually disappeared from the scene. It is said that the TDP was ahead in distributing money among poor voters, contrary to the belief that the YSRCP had enormous resources.  

Jagan fielded 31 candidates from Kapu caste but Pawan Kalyan neutralized its effect. Jagan never mentioned it in public while CBN declared that he would make a Kapu the Deputy Chief Minister. Throughout the campaign CBN acted according to expediency while Jagan stuck to his one point programme of creating a welfare state. Jagan unveiled an excellent plan for the reconstruction of the new state. But it did not go beyond the readers and viewers of Sakshi . CBN could not have formulated such a plan but the virulent campaign of Eenadu against Jagan came in handy for him. The fortunes of CBN were rising steadily. People started seeing ominous portents in Jagan's victory. The educated first time voters who were enamoured with Modi and his development model (ninety per cent of them would not have visited Gujarat)began to see CBN, Modi and Pawan Kalyan combination as pro development and progressive. Even at this point Jagan did not change his campaign style and offered nothing to the educated middle classes. He neither tried to allay the fears of some sections that his victory would unleash a regime of corruption and repression. Again an overdose of confidence. Cavalier style was losing to craft and the anticipated landslide for the YSRCP got converted into a see saw battle.

The last nail in the coffin of YSRCP was the understanding between the Congress, TDP and the fledgling JSP. Added to it was the lethal combination of Modi and Pawan Kalyan which swung away at least five per cent of votes from him. This grand and hand in glove alliance should have demolished the YSRCP. But it could only defeat him by a narrow margin (1.5 per cent of votes). He fought valiantly but recklessly like the Maratha sardars in the third battle of Panipat while CBN took no chances and organized his campaign meticulously like Robert Clive.Courage and chivalry are only for public consumption, it is only victory that matters. The continuous propaganda by a powerful section of the media, anti-minority campaign, combined might of five parties - one of them led by none other than Modi, the absence of organization and the obstinacy of the leader took heavy toll on the YSRCP. Yet it captured 65 assembly and 8 Lok Sabha seats. Modi and CBN could not decimate the four year old party led by a forty one year old, but only weakened it. Modi certainly would not have relished this hollow victory and for many leaders in the BJP Jagan is mettlesome fighter who defied Sonia Gandhi.It is CBN's luck that people do not elect their chief minister directly. In that case he stands no chance. This election has emphatically proved one point. The son, mother and daughter trio in AP is more articulate, intelligent, competent and aggressive than the trio of the country's top family.   

By Nelambroy

To Top