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HomeOpinionGurdaspur, Vengara bypolls have no national impact, but have lessons for BJP...

Gurdaspur, Vengara bypolls have no national impact, but have lessons for BJP & Congress

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What’s more worrying for the BJP is the losing streak of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, this time in the Allahabad University on Sunday.

The Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat in Punjab and Vengara, an assembly segment in Malappuram district in Kerala suddenly caught the national imagination Sunday. Is the tide finally turning in favour of the Opposition? Doesn’t this augur brilliantly for the Congress, just as it heads for a probable organisational face-shift?

The tendency to hurriedly extrapolate often blurs the bigger picture and, quite frankly, it is to the disadvantage of the winner, who tends to get carried away by all the attention.

Let’s be clear: there’s no big national impact here, but there are some very important political lessons to be drawn by both the national parties.

The defeat in Gurdaspur, a seat held by Vinod Khanna until his death, drives home the fundamental problem the Bharatiya Janata Party faces playing second fiddle to the Akali Dal in the state.

Also, the competitive influence among Hindu seers in the selection of the BJP candidate, shows what the party is getting wrong in this state, even as it ensures the law is adhered to for the likes of Guru Ram Rahim in neighbouring Haryana. The Narendra Modi effect is not felt in this state much to the detriment of the BJP.

And while that’s a minus for the BJP, the waning effect of party leadership is turning out to be a big plus for the Congress. With a well-earned free hand, the party’s charismatic Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is delivering for the Congress against all odds, thus showing up some fundamental problems in the core of the party’s central leadership.

Judging the BJP’s prospects in Kerala through its performance in Vengara would be unfair. This is a traditional stronghold for the Muslim League. The only debate was the margin, which actually came down by nearly 15,000 votes for the IUML candidate.

More interesting, perhaps, is the losing streak of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, RSS’s student wing, in recent university union elections. It went down Sunday, this time in Allahabad University. This should worry the BJP more than the odd by-election.

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