Victory and defeat are a part of life in general and of political life in particular. Being jubilant in victory is a common trait but being humble and gracious when one loses is a rare sight. This is especially true in the Indian political arena. Most politicians are sore losers. Right from Mayawati to Kejriwal we saw a string of politicians play the blame game and train their guns on PM Modi and BJP. Allegations ranged from idiotic to ridiculous with the media playing the role of an instigator. However, the sorest losers were Samajwadi Party’s workers. Not only did they not take the verdict in the right spirit but they also targeted innocent villagers whose only fault was voting for BJP.

Two days after election results came out and Samajwadi Party was voted out of power, people who voted for the BJP,which swept into power with 312 seats, had to face the heat; literally and figuratively. Samajwadi Party leaders who couldn’t digest the loss resorted to beating up villagers and setting their houses on fire. It has come to light that in Eastern UP’s Ballia district houses of villagers were set on fire by Samajwadi Party workers because a majority of villagers here had voted for the saffron party. As per CNN-News 18 reports, the brutality and goondagardi didn’t stop here but SP workers also beat up many villagers as a revenge for their defeat.

Once information with regard to violence began trickling in and reached the police officials, they intervened and saved the villagers from the savagery of SP workers. However, several villagers were injured in the violence and a police contingent has been sent there to keep the situation under control. A sense of fear is sure to have gripped the people who simply exercised their democratic rights.

This is not the first time that such incidents of violence has occurred in UP though. Earlier too both Samajwadi and Bahujan Samaj Party workers have been known to indulge in violence when their respective parties failed to get past the post. What is appalling is these parties seem to have no respect for ‘people’s verdict’ which is the supreme one in a democracy. While Mayawati and Kejriwal blamed the EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines), SP goons went about bashing the voters. Such questions weren’t raised during Bihar elections when the entire opposition unitedto fight against BJP and PM Modi. That their strategy failed to impress UP voters has irked this anti-Modi coterie. Elections have happened before and we have seen BJP accept people’s verdict graciously like they did in Punjab this time and Delhi and Bihar earlier. To expect such decency from the opposition would be too much.

It would be an understatement to say that BJP gained majority in the 403 seat strong assembly of UP. It is in fact a saffron tsunami that has drowned the entire opposition and reduced them to insignificance. It is, therefore, important that opposition parties behave graciously in defeat rather than play spoilsport.


Latha Iyer

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