Controversial Gujarat MLA and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani has sought to downplay the super-sized victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections. Speaking to Aaj Tak, Mevani who represents Vadgam in Gujarat Legislative Assembly, said that Modi may have retained the power another term, but 50% people have still voted against his leadership and they questioning his promise of two crore jobs.
On CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar’s drubbing against BJP’s Giriraj Singh in Begusarai, he said that the former JNUSU president should not lose his confidence and introspect. “About my friend Kanhaiya, he campaigned very well and we all were with him and sought support for him. Now the verdict is out, will introspect and identify out mistakes and definitely fight again. I feel Kanhaiya, Hardik and me are very young. We are here for a long race… one-two win or lose shouldn’t make any difference to us,” he said.
“Again Modiji has become the Prime Minister and this time with a huge margin. But still, people are asking questions about his promise of two crore jobs. This question is still there,” he added.
Mevani had campaigned aggressively for Kanhaiya Kumar in Bihar’s Begusarai. But BJP’s Giriraj Singh pulled off a stunning win, beating the CPI leader by over 4.40 lakh votes. While Giriraj secured 6,92,193 votes, Kumar, a co-accused in the 2016 JNU sedition, pocketed just 2,69,976 seats.
Mevani also accused the BJP of running a campaign where it sharply divided people on caste and communal lines. He said that while his political friends and himself were taking about agrarian distress, jobs, inflation, and other issues, the BJP was running its campaign to divide votes into religious lines.
When asked about BJP’s nationalism narrative during the campaign, he replied, “We were also concerned about the national security and it is a reality that the opposition has lost and again it is a reality that it is a grand success of Modi.”
“But it is also a reality that 50% of India is still not with him (Narendra Modi)… it is a fact. He (Modi) should also introspect why 50% voted against him. We will also introspect why the 50% of India voted in his favour,” he added.
According to Election Commission data, the BJP secured 303 seats on its own, 21 more than its 2014 tally. The BJP-led NDA pocketed 352 seats in 543-member Lok Sabha, which translates into 44.86% (approximately) of the total vote share. Congress led by Rahul Gandhi, on the other hand, won just 52 seats. The data also show that BJP’s vote share jumped over 50% in as many as 17 states this election including in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan where the saffron party had lost power to the Congress in December last year.