Just a theory of mine, but I think 2019 will see India, using the protest vote option for the first time.
And the BJP will get it’s first taste of the same in 2017 itself, in Uttar Pradesh.
Mayawati doesn’t look like she will be able to do much damage to the self-destructing Yadav parivar. The Yadavs aren’t in as bad shape as it is being made out to be. They will regroup soon, under some grand coalition and strike hard- strike the BJP that is. If they rule the state, it’s the BJP which as absolute majority in terms of the state’s Lok Sabha seats. BJP is also the ruling party of the country. And Modi has undertaken a rather radical move to fight the black economy. Regardless of which side you are on, the common man isn’t having it easy since the evening of 8th November 2016. It is quite obvious the plan hasn’t been executed very well. Or maybe the plan itself had a lot of holes. Anyway, people are not happy. The ‘soldiers at the border’ thing is weak and dilutes the argument. Ofcourse getting anything done on a national scale in India, isn’t easy. But the excuses given so far are — we need some time to set things right, we need some more time, citizens should bear minor inconvenience for the greater good, etc. All of these fall flat or will fall flat because the poor-those who relied on cash have been hit very hard. They say public memory is short. People will forget about demonetization sooner or later and move on. By that logic, public memory will not retain the positives delivered by NDA government either.
Bottomline is expect a big (read populist) announcement before the UP Elections. Modi still has a lot of lessons to learn in Economics but he sure knows a thing or two about statecraft. He has used the stick, he will bring out the carrots soon. That alone, in my opinion, will bring UP completely under the BJP fold. Hindu-Muslim divide won’t work this time. Demonetization has brought tangible distress to the Bharatiya janata. If he can quickly deliver (or promise) tangible benefits too, UP is his pocket. Otherwise, I can’t think of a reason why the vote bank of Samajwadi Party and BSP would want to move to the Modi camp. UP 2017 will not be a question of BJP over the same old jugalbandi of SP & BSP. It will be a referendum on demonetization. If things go well, expect a surge in BJP’s fortunes like never before. If not, hopefully the Modi government will learn it’s lesson and change course.
2016 was yuuuge and the trappings for an even more erratic year are in place. Watch this space!