NEW DELHI: Former Minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has been critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the policies of the current government for a while now. He packs long experience in the political arena and is reputed for his honest off-the-bat assessments that tend to be more right than wrong. For these elections also Sinha had predicted as recently as December 10, that the BJP would lose the three Hindi heartland states, Telangana would go to the TRS and the Congress would lose to the Mizo National Front in Mizoram.

In a quick interview to The Citizen after the results were declared Yashwant Sinha is confident that these spell an end to the magic of Modi.


What do the election results portend for PM Modi and the BJP?

Well the Modi magic is certainly over. He will now be like any other leader, no longer invincible. There is nothing like a resounding defeat in elections for the people to realise that you are not invincible, that you can be defeated, and are just one more of the many leaders in the fray. The people have now realised that Modi is not God, that he can be defeated, he is not invincible and they will move away without fear. The downward spiral has started and it will – as it always tends to – start gathering speed rapidly.

Do you think the BJP will start fixing blame for the defeat? For instance on its own president Amit Shah?

No one in the BJP has the courage to do that openly, or ask for Amit Shah’s resignation. No way. They will just dust it off and continue with business as usual.

Will this defeat encourage those in the government and the BJP/ RSS to turn to the Ram Temple as a way-out option?

The BJP will certainly become more communal. That will be their only hope.

But it does not seem to have worked for them in these polls?

Yes it has not. But this seems to be the only option they have left, even though on a very limited basis. They are hoping it will work for them in Uttar Pradesh. This is the most important state for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, with the potential to defeat the BJP.

Can credit for the Congress victory be given to Rahul Gandhi?

Yes, Rahul Gandhi can be given full credit for this. He worked far harder than PM Modi in these Assembly elections.

And all the canards raised against him in the past….

All have gone… He has been trying to give direction to the party. He has been raising relevant issues of unemployment, agrarian distress. All these resonate with the people more than the Rafale deal for example. That is now in the court, and of course if the courts give a favourable ruling it will become a major issue with an impact on the results of the parliamentary elections.