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Modi played a trump card by appointing Mohan Yadav as CM: Dr Chandra

Explaining how Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav is a trump card, whose impact lies way beyond the borders of MP and extends easily into UP and Bihar, Dr Jagdeesh Chandra lays bare how PM Narendra Modi obliterated Rahul Gandhi’s OBC politics and caste census narrative with just one move. Dr Chandra also reveals how Mohan Yadav will easily win over Akhilesh Yadav in getting ‘Yadav votes’ for BJP and how he may face some difficulties in trouncing Lalu Yadav and family in Bihar, why Mohan Yadav’s elevation as CM hurt Rajasthan MLA Mahant Balaknath and how ED action on Akhilesh, Lalu and Hemant Soren will not hurt BJP’s chances in the respective states. Excerpts… (Part I)

  • Is Mohan Yadav’s ‘crowning’ as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh a ‘trump card’ played by PM Narendra Modi?
    Dr Jagdeesh Chandra:
    I agree with this concept, with this philosophy, and with this idea. There is not an iota of doubt that Mohan Yadav’s crowning was Modi’s trump card and there are many reasons to it. The first reason is that BJP wants to give a message to the people of the nation that it is no longer the party of the upper cast, rather it belongs to SC, ST, OBCs, Dalits, and all others. This means that the party is now trying to broaden in vote bank and base. In that regard, a new step has been taken to attract the ‘Yadav’ vote bank. The second reason is that the party wants to end the hegemony of Akhilesh Yadav and Lalu Yadav families in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar respectively. It is the strategic demand of the BJP to demolish the ‘Yadav vote bank’ of these two parties in Lucknow and Patna. Thirdly, Lalu Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav are renowned faces of the INDIA Alliance and if they become weak, then the Opposition alliance, which is already lacking unity, will further weaken. Thus, these are some of the strategic reasons, why it is being said that Mohan Yadav is Modi’s ‘trump card.’
  • So does that mean that this ‘trump card’ will completely obliterate Rahul Gandhi and INDI Alliance’s case census rhetoric and the OBC card played by it?
    Absolutely. It is perhaps Rahul Gandhi’s political destiny that whatever new idea or slogan he brings forth, Modi kills it almost immediately. If you remember there was a time, when the ‘Chowkidaar Chor hai’ jibe was used to target Modi, but that got killed. Then Lalu Yadav used the ‘Modi’s family’ jibe and as a result of that, the alliance faced a backlash from people. They played the OBC and caste census card, which also got wiped out. So, whatever the Opposition cooks up, Modi kills it all ruthlessly. Secondly, no one from the Congress wants to contest the election anymore and the party is facing a huge difficulty in finding candidates. For example, in Rajasthan, the party asked Ashok Gehlot to contest polls and he said that his son, Vaibhav Gehlot would contest instead. In turn, Pilot and Dotasra have conveyed that when Ashok Gehlot himself isn’t contesting, then why should they? Hence, this means that contesting on Congress’ ticket is akin to taking a huge risk. Just imagine, a leader like Sachin Pilot, who is considered to be a good leader and a genuine crowd puller, is in double minds to contest or not or to get his nominee contest election since the party has given him a completely ‘free hand’ in matters related to Tonk constituency, then one can understand the situation, Similarly, on the other hand, neither Gehlot nor Dotasra wants to contest the polls. Moreover, within the Opposition Alliance, parties or leaders are frequently departing, exacerbating its fragmentation. Recently Mehbooba Mufti of PDP left it. So overall, it appears that there is some circumstance or chance that Rahul Gandhi’s leadership does not get established in the Congress and the party is slowly falling apart. The steps BJP has taken with Mohan Yadav’s election is a serious set back to Rahul Gandhi and Lalu in UP and Bihar respectively.
  • How successful will the ‘Mohan Yadav card’ be in Akhilesh’s Yadav voters in Uttar Pradesh?
    This is where the challenge lies for BJP. Overall, Yadav voters constitute eight percent of all voters in UP and there are 44 seats, where their ratio reaches nine percent. Then there are ten constituencies, where their ratio is ten percent and in totality, there are 50 areas, where Yadav’s play a ‘decisive’ role. In those areas, Akhilesh Yadav is a well-known and popular face, who is taking ahead Mulayam Yadav’s legacy. Mulayam contested from Mainpuri and spent their entire life there so that family has a good base there. With the Mulayam-Akhilesh family’s clout decreasing, will Mohan Yadav still have an impact? Well, he has been to UP thrice and visited Azamgarh, Ayodhya, and Lucknow. When he visited Lucknow, there was a clarion call to hold a ‘Mahakumbh’ of sorts during which someone coined the slogan ‘Yadav chala Mohan Ke Saath’. But then again, impact takes time. You are trying to breach a dam and that effort takes time to yield favourable results. So in the long run of five years or more, the ‘Yadav vote bank’ that traditionally goes with the Samajwadi Party, may be diverted towards the BJP owing to Modi and Shah’s strategy and Mohan Yadav’s face.
  • And what about Bihar? Will Mohan Yadav be successful in breaking up the Yadav voters from Lalu and Tejashwi?
    The challenge in Bihar is far more complex than the challenge posed by Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh simply because Lalu and Tejashwi wield significantly greater influence over ‘Yadavs’ in Bihar compared to Akhilesh. There are 14 percent Yadav votes in Bihar and though BJP has 17 MPs of which 3 are Yadavs, but they do not have that great of an impact. Similarly, that party has 78 MLAs in Bihar and many of them are ‘Yadavs,’ but they do not have any impact on the people. So, there is a great challenge before the BJP and therefore, Nand Kishore Yadav has been made Speaker to offset some of the challenge. Moreover, Mohan Yadav also has travelled to Bihar over the past few days and When he visited Bihar, he received a much ‘grand welcome’ than he typically does in his home state of Madhya Pradesh. It is natural that a Chief Minister, who has the blessings of the High Command, if he goes anywhere, it will have a significant impact. So the same situation, as in UP, prevails in Bihar also and the BJP is trying to make inroads, and only future will reveal how effective were these factors again Lalu and the family. Lalu and his family still have some charisma amongst people as was evident from the crowd at a rally in Patna recently. Regardless of the reasons, it’s undeniable that he still maintains an impact. Just imagine, Despite numerous filed cases against him, his impact remains unabated. Hence, Mohan Yadav is a major step by ModiShah in this direction to end the impact or hegemony of the ‘Lalu Yadav’ family.
  • Why is Rajasthan MLA Mahant Balaknath sad or demotivated with Mohan Yadav’s elevation to the post of CM?
    He possibly mentioned to a politician in Parliament, maybe Mohan Yadav, that had he not become CM, Balaknath might have. With Mohan Yadav assuming the CM post in MP, the opportunity for another ‘Yadav’ to become CM seems to have concluded. When the search for the Rajasthan CM was going on, Balaknath’s name was also being floated around and it was said that an OBC Chief Minister had to be appointed, but then an OBC CM was chosen for Madhya Pradesh. Perhaps he harbored a belief that, had circumstances been different, he could have ascended to the Chief Minister’s position. Balaknath, a respected leader, may find a place in the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle, being a close ally of Yogi Adityanath and known for his integrity.
  • Do you think that despite ED and CBI actions against Akhilesh, Lalu and Hemant Soren, the Yadavs and tribals vote for BJP?
    This is a complex question and it surely appears that this action should have been taken. BJP government does not control ED directly and decisions are taken on merit, but in public opinion, a rhetoric is floating that actions are being taken under political pressure. In that purview, it should harm the BJP, but it does not. Firstly, the people have become indifferent and the voter reads about the cases that are related to corruption. As such the cases that ED forms, are ‘foolproof’ since they have telephone details, call details, WhatsApp chats, and everything else, thus, one can not deny their involvement in corruption. Therefore, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) boasts a prosecution rate of 90%. As for Hemant Soren, he stands out as a wealthy tribal compared to others in the State. Unlike Sibu Soren, he doesn’t abandon everything to retreat to the forest. And now they have given a tribal Chief Minister in Chhattisgarh, so, Amit Shah and JP Nadda ‘balance out’ every possible issue that can befall the Saffron Party. While it may seem on paper that this could affect the BJP, the reality on the ground suggests otherwise, with the likelihood of the BJP facing any repercussions being almost negligible because the entire election is being contested on the face of Narendra Modi and Ramlalla.
  • Is the Yadav community getting divided into two parts in UP and will BJP benefit from it?
    Of course. They say everything is fair in war and politics is akin to war. Two groups have been formed in UP and one group has aligned itself with BJP. Dinesh Yadav, a Minister in UP with independent charge, has become quite effective. Then there is Ragunath Yadav and the third is Harnath Yadav, who has been sent to the Rajya Sabha. Thus, a group of about half a dozen individuals has been formed, who will stand with Mohan Yadav, when he goes to UP. When Mohan Yadav last visited UP, the turnout wasn’t as significant due to inadequate groundwork. Clearly, there are distinct factions at play, and undoubtedly, the BJP stands to gain from this fragmentation.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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