With BJP managing to overwhelm the election campaign with a high dose of masculine nationalism, the narrative in this Haryana polls remained bereft of real issues.
Unemployment, water scarcity, polarization on caste lines, per capita income, the burgeoning state debt, drugs, distress among farmers and other issues prevalent across the state were barely discussed.
According to the reports on Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, Haryana has the highest unemployment rates at 28.7% against the national average of 8.4%. The manufacturing industry is in crisis. The state is in a 1.70 lakh crore debt while water availability in various part is still a major issue. The youth in Haryana are also becoming increasingly addicted to drugs. The entire state is also extremely polarized on castelines, creating a chaos between the Jats and the non-Jats which was further fuels by the revocation of Jat quota back in 2016.
BJP’s entire campaign in Haryana was majorly about Chief Minister Mahohar Lal Khhattar’s rule along with the issues of national security, nationalism, abrogation of Article 370, the Rafael jet advantage and Balakot surgical strikes.
Similar tactics was used by the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections this year which led them to winning wby a major landslide. The voters were enthused with a sense of nationalistic pride and patriotism and overshadowed the more controversial issues such as the SYL canal.
Modi and the other leaders went on to say, ”The twin engine of Modi at the Centre and Khattar in Haryana will propel the engine of growth.”
Instead of addressing the major local issues plaguing the state, many political parties have leveraged these concerns to create a wedge between the factions of the society, just to get votes.
Right now, the Haryana assembly elections are ongoing. Soon, we shall know whether the tactics used to gain power at the Centre also worked on the citizens of Haryana.