CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy says it’s anti-incumbency that defeated ruling parties in the recent Assembly polls but conceded that the BJP has now “become a dominant national party, replacing the Congress.” He, however, rejected suggestions that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become “invincible” after the BJP’s landslide win in Uttar Pradesh, and that the party is sure to return to power at the Centre in 2019. “If he (Modi) is invincible, what happened to his charisma in Punjab where the BJP lost so badly… (also) in Manipur and Goa?,” Reddy told PTI in an interview.
“In these five state elections, it’s anti-incumbency vote. In every state, the ruling party lost.” Reddy expressed the view that it’s not going to be Modi’s “charisma” and “offensive” of the BJP that would decide the party’s electoral fortune in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“Rising prices of essential commodities, the BJP’s failure to fulfil election promises and generate employment opportunities would create a lot of hardships for the people, leading to vanishing of Modi’s charisma,” he alleged.
“If the charisma was strong, it was not necessary for Narendra Modi to campaign for 45 days in UP. No Prime Minister in this country has left the administration and went for campaigning for one-and-half months,” Reddy said.
“The BJP has become the dominant national party now, replacing the Congress, which has to create confidence among the people and address their problems if it wants to arrest its decline,” he said.
He said a string of corruption cases during the UPA-2 regime, discontent among the people over growing unemployment, and the price rise at that time led to the fall of Congress. “Manmohan Singh is an economist but he was a non-political Prime Minister (during UPA regime) who focused on GDP growth rate and not on issues on which people should be satisfied.”
“They (the UPA under Manmohan Singh) miserably failed to understand the importance of human development index. Poverty, unemployment, price rise and corruption…these caused the decline (of the Congress) and naturally, the biggest opposition party, the BJP, took advantage of it (in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections). Even without Narendra Modi, the BJP would have undoubtedly come to the power (in 2014) because the Congress was declining,” according to him.
“And once the BJP emerged, the corporate houses backed it. I believe it’s political manipulation than the support they got (in the recent assembly elections). They have spent huge amount of money in the last elections… communalism, coupled with the caste politics have helped the BJP emerge as the single biggest party,” Reddy observed.