Vote-bank politics is the unique invention by Indian political parties to keep their existence meaningful.
Almost every party has cultivated its own vote-bank,
like the Samajwaadi Party has the Muslims and the Yadavs as the vote-bank,
the Bahujan Samajwadi Party has the Jatavs as its trusted vote-bank.Bhartiya Janta Party to a certain extent is the only party bereft of its specialized vote-bank and thrives on the turncoat votes which get repulsed by the particular actions of the incumbent party.
So, each time the BJP goes into the electoral fray, it has to raise issues which are near and dear to the masses.

The unilateral imposition of secularism on the Hindu masses has troubled them since ages.
The removal of Article 370, the Ram Mandir issue, the imposition of the Uniform Civil Code are such issues that are close to almost every Hindu’s heart.

In the wake of 2014 elections, the BJP chose to declare Mr. Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate fully aware that he has the persona that can cause polarization even without speaking a single word.
2 and half years into government and the BJP is shrugging off its shoulders the issues that helped it to achieve absolute majority by saying that it was a mandate for good governance and development.

Let us look around as to how much does this hold merit.
To begin with, Uttar Pradesh fetched the BJP 73 seats which makes up nearly a quarter of its tally of 283.
BJP won even at seats where there was significant Muslim population like that in Moradabad.

BJP routed the regional satraps like Ajit Singh who used to secure 5-6 seats in the western Uttar Pradesh region.
This was the belt that was marked by significant communal tensions in the winters of 2013.

The BJP secured the votes across caste and creed lines.
Polarising figures like Sangeet Singh Som were sharing the dias with the PM designate in his electoral rallies as the party’s mascot.

It is for the first time ever that not even a single Muslim candidate won from Uttar Pradesh, a state that house nearly a quarter of Indian Muslim population.
The party incharge of Uttar Pradesh was even chided by the election commission for his open vitriolic speeches wherein he assured the people that every injustice that was ever done to them will be avenged.

The second hint of retention of Hindutva as the chief vote plank was the symbolic significance of a “Hindu Hriday Samrat” fighting from the sacred land of Varanasi,
and his statement that he chose Varanasi on the call of Ganga Maiyya (Mother Ganga).

Kanpur too has Ganga and is in more dilapidated state and

needs more immediate redressal and
is a more industrial town where the industries too are facing a closure.
If choosing Varanasi was for development then what harm had Kanpur done,
it being an industrial town, makes it ideologically closer to “development”.Thirdly, the BJP state incharge, Mr. Amit Shah started the campaign by visiting the Ayodhya Temple and asked for the blessings of Lord Ram to ouster Congress.
He even assured of a Ram Temple without even referring to the court case while returning from the “darshan” of the Lord.

Fourthly, BJP openly supported the Chaurasi Kos Parikrama that was initiated by the saints of Ayodhya under the leadership of Mahant Gopal Das despite of opposition from the state government in 2013.
At the same time, the district of Faizabad was marked by severe communal riots, so did BJP want riots to come across the “development” of Faizabad?

Fifthly, if “development” was the main poll plank, then
why was the Prime Ministerial candidate moved to tears seeing the support to “pink revolution” and
setting of new abattoirs by the erstwhile UPA regime in Patna rally?
Why didn’t he realize then that more cows are killed by ingesting of plastics or that
the 80% of the Go Rakshaks (Cow protectors) are miscreants?

Sixthly, why did he want a discussion on the Article 370 in his Jammu rally in 370?
Who is he now waiting for? A discussion can be initiated now that he is in power both at the centre and the state.

Seventhly, if development was the main poll plank then what for were the slogans of “Jai Shri Ram” in the 5th May, 2014 election rally at Faizabad, the twin city of Ayodhya and
what was the image of Lord Ram doing in his background?

This was done when he must have been fully aware of the fact that asking for votes by the display of religious symbols can land any candidate into deep trouble, which includes the cancellation of his electoral candidature.

So , if the Prime Minister and his party still feels that they have received the mandate in the name of development, they must take a look back at the history,
to see the result of the “India Shining” campaign in 2004, when the issues were cleverly sidelined for development.

2004 was the first occasion when BJP deserted the issues of the Hindus for development and
saw the decline in its fortune for ever.
It is the same Vidhan Sabha of Uttar Pradesh that gave Kalyan Singh a mind boggling 2/3rd majority in the 1993 elections
once the disputed structure was razed down.

The bad thing with the history is that it repeats itself as a farce and then as a tragedy.
It is upto us to take the appropriate lessons from it.

As for now, it appears to be repeating itself atleast as a farce lest it turns into a tragedy.

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