National

Assembly Elections Verdict And Israel’s Escalating War On Gaza

In Outlook’s next issue, we look at the electoral verdict in the five states that went to polls and some key observations that warrant a closer analysis. We also look at how the ongoing war on Gaza has left many with no place to be.

Supporters of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, celebrate early leads in state election
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After a high-octane electoral campaign around welfare schemes, ‘freebies’ and corruption allegations, the national ruling BJP claimed a dominant victory in three state assemblies – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. While the Congress did manage to achieve a comprehensive victory in Telangana by upstaging the BRS which had been in power for over a decade, it would surely feel the loss of support from the ‘Hindi heartland’ states where BJP made strong tailwinds for itself especially ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. 

For voters across the five poll-bound states including Mizoram, the focus was on jobs, social security, access to food, water and other essential resources. People sought for relief amid an ongoing crisis of unemployment, inflation, poverty, and rising inequalities. Hence, the two national parties – BJP and Congress – went to great lengths by promising welfare schemes, both on similar lines such as cash transfers, free rations and affordable gas cylinders. But do welfare schemes change the way people vote? 

Questions also remain about the future of smaller and regional parties like the BRS. With the national parties having an upper hand in terms of resources and personnel during election campaigning, and election contests becoming largely bipolar, does this mean an unequivocal defeat for regional parties?

Meanwhile, as hopes for change run high in these states, thousands of miles away in war-torn Gaza, the seven-day truce between Israel and Hamas did come as a beacon of hope for Palestinians. But as many of them feared, Israel stepped up its attacks seconds within the collapse of the truce. Tiny swatches of land, that had little water or food, were earmarked by Israel as ‘safe zones’ for the thousands of Gazans that were ordered to evacuate. But with Israel now stepping up its attacks in the south of Gaza, which was considered as a ‘safe zone’ earlier, Palestinians in Gaza have virtually nowhere to go. 

In Outlook’s next issue, we look at the electoral verdict in the five states that went to polls and some key observations that warrant a closer analysis. We also look at how the ongoing war on Gaza has left many with no place to be.

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