Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand: Opposition sees national ripples in BJP setbacks | India News

NEW DELHI: Hundreds of miles from Jharkhand, Maharashtra logged the strongest reaction to BJP’s defeat in the tribal state. But even before Congress could give a reaction, Shiv Sena called the verdict a setback for BJP, losing state after state. NCP chief Sharad Pawar was more direct. “It is the defeat of BJP. Those who are leading the party will have to take responsibility for it, be it the PM or the party president,” he said.
The quick reactions in Mumbai to developments in Ranchi gave the impression of a tectonic shift. The result of a small, 81-member assembly could hardly be a national story. But against the backdrop of BJP’s sweep in the 2019 LS polls in May, Jharkhand joined hands with Haryana and Maharashtra in suggesting that state polls are different and the opposition offers more effective alternatives than on the national stage.
If Pawar found Jharkhand consequential enough for a national statement, it is because during 2014-19, states shadowed the Modi-steered Delhi picture and kept falling in BJP’s kitty with unerring regularity.
A buoyant opposition believes pressure from the ground will not only hurt the Modi-led BJP with popular vote but also with partners. Sena bolting to the ‘secular’ camp, it is hoped, can force a reassessment among other parties. The perceived spectrum includes JD(U) of Nitish Kumar or southern outfits like YSRCP, or BJD of Naveen Patnaik — parties with an official or unofficial saffron tilt.
Not all allies may be looking to jump the ship. But their red flag to NRC and CAA itself is a bold statement, marking that they are ready to speak out against the “Hindutva project” of BJP as against Modi 1.0 when they looked the other way.
This is where a wily power player like Pawar spots a sign of “political realignment”.