There could not have been a clearer mandate in the 2017 civic polls in Maharashtra. Except for Thane, where the Shiv Sena managed a comfortable victory, and Mumbai, where it squeaked ahead of the BJP by two seats, the BJP won every city corporation easily. Of the 1,268 municipal seats, the party won 628, more than tripling its 2012 tally. There could not be a better affirmation [समर्थन/ अभिपुष्टि] of support for the party in power at the State as well as its Chief Minister, who staked [दाँव पर लगा] his political reputation on the polls. Besides fielding competitive candidates in places where the party had a strong base, the BJP’s strategy to woo viable contestants from other parties in places where it was weak yielded strong returns. The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party were reduced to minor players in most of the corporations. In Mumbai, the Shiv Sena has, for the first time since it came to power nearly 25 years ago, seen a close competitor in the BJP; there is now a chance that the mayor could be elected from outside the Sena. While the Marathi-dominated areas of the city helped the regionalist, party consolidate [संघटित करना] support, its reduced win ratio, of only 37% of the seats contested as opposed to over 50% in previous civic polls, suggests that it can no longer count Mumbai as an undisputed stronghold. The politics of regional identity and patronage [संरक्षण/ सहायता] may have helped the Sena become the single largest party in India’s richest municipal corporation. But its reduced win ratio is a reflection of its dismal performance in ensuring civic works, with sanitation, infrastructure, public health and education in poor shape in the city.
The BJP will be content with its strong performance, which has followed civic poll victories in Chandigarh and Madhya Pradesh and in some Legislative Council elections in Uttar Pradesh. This may not reflect a popular endorsement [समर्थन/ पुष्टि] of the demonetisation move, as its supporters argue, but at the very least it suggests that ‘notebandi’ is highly unlikely to hurt the BJP’s prospects in the ongoing Assembly elections. It is impossible to not contrast the BJP’s success with the performance of the Congress in the recent civic polls. Clearly, the BJP has become the central pole of Indian politics, a position the Congress occupied for a long time. This is not only due to the BJP-run Central government’s record. The party has an able corps of regional leaders, Devendra Fadnavis and Shivraj Singh Chouhan among them, which allows for it to compete effectively at the regional level. The Congress, on the other hand, seems lacking not just in a strategy to regain national relevance [प्रासंगिकता/ योग्यता] but also in its ability to revive itself regionally due to the absence of a cache of regional leaders.
Magical Words in the Editorial-
- AFFIRMATION [समर्थन/ अभिपुष्टि] – The action or process of affirming something or being affirmed.
- Synonyms: declaration, statement, assertion, proclamation, confirmation, statement, avouchment
- Example– The girl was silent for a moment, then she nodded, grunting in affirmation.
- Staked [दाँव पर लगा]- Gamble (money or something else of value) on the outcome of a game or race.
- Synonyms: bet, wager, lay, put on, gamble, chance, venture, risk, hazard.
- Example– one gambler staked everything he’d got and lost.
- Consolidate [संघटित करना] – Make (something) physically stronger or more solid.
- Synonyms: combine, unite, merge, integrate, amalgamate.
- Example– The bank wants toconsolidate its 20 Edinburgh offices to a ‘single digit’ on three sites – the city centre, the Gyle and Gogarburn.
- Patronage [संरक्षण/ सहायता] – The support given by a patron.
- Synonyms: sponsorship, backing, funding, financing, promotion.
- Example– Two decisions, both reeking of politicalpatronage, were most important in influencing the control of India’s media.
- Endorsement [समर्थन/ पुष्टि] – An act of giving one’s public approval or support to someone or something.
- Synonyms: support, backing, approval, seal of approval, agreement.
- Example– Any commercial product presented or displayed within the educational activity is not indicative ofendorsement or approval by The Institute.
- Relevance [प्रासंगिकता/ योग्यता]
- Synonyms: appositeness, aptness, associateship, Congruence, contingency.
- Example– Education has morerelevance for young people than ever before.
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