NEW DELHI: The farmer agitation is proving to be a political stunt with no serious bearing on ground realities. The local body elections in Rajasthan, the results of which were announced on Wednesday, saw the BJP doing better than the ruling Congress party, meaning there is no serious discontentment against the Modi government. The BJP won 11 of the 21 district panchayats, and performed better than the Congress in gram panchayat polls too, winning 18300-plus wards against the Congress win a little over 1,700 wards. Over 400 independents won, apart from minor wins for small parties.
BJP national president JP Nadda was quick to tweet that the results meant the renewed confidence of the villagers, farmers and women in the party and the Modi government. In view of the massive support the BJP proved to be having in rural areas in Rajasthan, in the aftermath of the farm reform bills, it is likely that the Modi government will harden its stand against the present farmer agitation and their blockade of the national capital.The elections were held in the last week of November and first week of December. The Congress had won four of the six municipal municipal corporation polls recently.
The polls came in the context of the group fight in the Congress party between CM Ashok Gehlot and senior leader Sachin Pilot. Pilot was about to quit the Congress and join the BJP when the central leadership intervened and averted this. Political analysts point out that, by the present results, the BJP has proven it has massive support in rural areas where farmers and farm labourers form the main bulk of voters. The signals that the results would send to the party is that it can remain firm on the farm reform push that the Modi government has made. The present farmer agitation is masterminded by prominent farmer organisations in Punjab and Haryana against the farm reform legislation.
Perceptions are strong that they are organising the protests with a view to ensuring that their vested interests are not hurt. Small farmer organisations like the All India Kisan Sabha, a CPIM outfit, are also into the protests. Curiously, small fries like CPIM’s Hannan Mollah are trying project the situation as if they are leading the farmer agitation. The CPIM leadership is trying to spread its influence among farmers as it has lost out majorly on the trade union front in recent times, and its unions are shrinking in size because of the weak leadership they provide.
The pro-BJP trade unions are eating into the Left union bases in most states and big cities. the CPIM itself is on its death bed in most states, and are facing serious odds even in its former strongholds like West Bengal and Tripura. Kerala is the only exception where the party and its feeder organisations remain strong. IHN-NNINDIA HERE AND NOW