“Dogs feast at neighbours’ ceremony” is the popular saying that aptly goes with the Telangana Congress Party leaders who celebrated not their victory but the defeat of BJP led NDA in Bihar general elections yesterday. The jubilant party leaders led by their president Uttam Kumar Reddy celebrated the BJP debacle by distributing sweets among party activists in Gandhi Bhavan.
While analysing the reasons for the BJP’s debacle, Uttam said the Modi’s mantra would not work in Warangal too. Of course, no one has any doubt on the BJP’s prospects in Warangal as it has’t fared well in Telangana even during the peak of Modi’s wave in 2014 general elections. But what is to be looked into here the factors led to the debacle of BJP in Bihar? and what factors that had led to the debacle of Congress in Telangana earlier? and what is going to influence now in Warangal?, are the crux of the issues to ponder over.
As the BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha rightly pointed out, the voters in Bihar have confined to ‘Bihari’ rather than ‘Baahari’. This indicates that the ‘local factor’ has played a predominant role in influencing the voters. The ‘global stance” of BJP did not gel with the voters not only in Bihar now but also in Maharashtra and Delhi on the earlier occasions as well. Shiva Sena in Maharashtra could score over BJP while Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi itself has scuttled BJP’s chances. In both states, again the ‘local factor’ worked predominantly although BJP in Maharashtra was a Shivasena’s alloy, still it failed to work. It only shows the state politics is different from that of national politics.
The scenario is not limited to BJP alone. The Congress too is facing the same music in many states. And most important to name in recent times is Telangana state where in TRS ruled the roost decimating Congress in spite of the fact that it created the new state. Some Congress leaders instead of introspecting, went to the extent of accusing voters for not acknowledging them. A former Union Minister Balram Naik in the erstwhile Congress government has recently threatened the voters, in a public meeting, of merging Telangana back into Andhra Pradesh, if they do not vote for Congress party. This being the attitude of the national parties how the voter could think of them?
There is no denial that Congress has created the new Telangana state? But how and who made it? is the one that the voters are interested in. Keeping the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) aside, Congress and BJP have failed to lead the Telangana movement during the four years of its agitation from 2009-2014. They could hardly participate in the movement due to fear of losing non-settler vote bank. Infact, most of these national party leaders were not willing to recognise the ongoing Telangana movement was a socio-political one. Instead they held a strong view that it was politically motivated by KCR for his personal gains. It was only when the government of India announced its willingness to create the state, they could realise its importance. But by the time they could realise, it was too late. Things have gone out of their hands causing irrepairable loss to their future prospects. Unfortunately, they still continued to reel under the past glory refusing to accept ground realities.
Moreover, the national political parties in India conventionally hold a view of thinking locally and acting globally instead of following the principle of ‘think globally and act locally’. Most of the leaders feel that they are meant for their country and not for their home land to attract the settlers’ vote bank. And because of this half-hearted approach, they have lost public sympathy. This is the reason why the regional parties have a say in local politics like not just TRS in Telangana alone but also in every other state in India. And surely this would repeat once again in Warangal as well.