There is not much the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has achieved in the three years that it has been around, and yet it has set one record after another in the electoral arena.
While the reasons for the BJP’s superlative poll performance can be debated, one among them is established beyond doubt — that its opponents are hopelessly divided. The only time they were not, as in Bihar, the BJP — still led by Mr Modi’s carpet-bombing propaganda and razzmatazz campaign lost badly.
In UP, Mayawati’s BSP and Mulayam-Akhilesh Yadav’s SP were a stick-in-the-mud. Akhilesh agreed to a tie-up with the very weak Congress, but that’s it. The bitter defeat has, however, taught lessons to the two most important regional parties of the country’s most significant state for parliamentary elections.
On Ambedkar’s 126th anniversary last week, Ms Mayawati announced she was ready for a tie-up with anyone to defeat the BJP. Akhilesh responded positively in double-quick time. The data is unambiguous. Their combined strength and that of the Congress would have humbled the BJP last month, but UP’s big regional boys were full of hubris.
Each thought they would romp home alone. Their failure to realise that the BJP has, indeed, become one pole of India’s electoral politics under Mr Modi’s leadership cost them dear.