Elections make and break leaders. They are all about winners who turn into losers and scorned upstarts turning into hallowed heroes overnight. While the winners romp home, the battlefield of democracy is littered with failed politicians. Lok Sabha election 2018 offers these specimen in bundles. Let's take a look at the fallen leaders this time.
1. Rahul Gandhi
If Congress is going to end up with a number hovering in the 50s that's the end of the political track for Rahul Gandhi for all you know. He was the effective Opposition leader of the largest democracy in the world. Rahul was treated by the media and the general public as the rightful challenger to the prime minister's post. He had no paucity of opportunities and political platform. Yet, if he's failing without putting up a fight that will earn him the crown of the biggest loser.
2. HD Deve Gowda
The former prime minister is engaged in a losing battle in Tumakuru constituency in Karnataka. The JD-S strongman had harboured greater ambitions. His supporters believed that he had an outside chance of becoming the PM once again in case of a deeply fractured verdict. It was this hope that prompted the veteran leader to try his hand at electoral politics once again in the twilight of his political life. However, even as he stares at defeat, his JD-S is not seen winning in more than a couple of seats. That's a great fall for a former prime minister.
3. Chandrababu Naidu
The Andhra stalwart will take long to nurse his wounds after the full election results have come. Naidu, who also had large scale ambitions in a fractured post-poll scenario, has realised that he has lost even his home turf. His rival Jaganmohan Reddy of YSRCP has humiliated him in the assembly elections besides winning all but a couple of seats to the Lok Sabha. Naidu had an inkling that his reign in Andhra was about to end. That's why he worked overtime to stitch together an Opposition government at the centre. Now he's back down in the dumps.
4. Pinarayi Vijayan
The Kerala Chief Minister is certain to face a rebellion from within the party. The CPI-M is facing down one of the most humiliating routs in its history in Kerala. The party is leading only in one seat while the rival UDF is leading in 19. As a stunned CPI-M takes stock of the strategic flaws in this election, all fingers will be pointed at only one man - Pinarayi Vijayan. He is easily the fall guy. His Sabarimala policy, horribly ill-judged political positioning, poor leadership qualities displayed at time of calamities and emergencies and the treatment of media, rivals and the public alike that ill-suited his position -- all will bite him back as the cadres review the bitter defeat.
5. Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav
The duo who stood together to fight BJP in its home turf on the plank of the saffron party's divisive politics realised that their strategy lacked momentum. If they can't win a sizeable chunk of seats standing together, it would be a stretch to think about unseating Yogi Adityanath in the next assembly elections. Besides, in the backdrop of the uninspiring show in the LS elections, the alliance has no chance of survival into the next assembly elections. The political star has diminished for both of them.
6. Mamata Banerjee
The lead position as of now predicts that Mamata will win more seats than BJP in West Bengal. But nothing less than a rout of BJP would have satisfied Mamata, considering the stakes she raised in the game against Narendra Modi, especially in the closing chapters of the election campaign. With BJP raising its seat and vote share, Mamata has now a formidable foe to wrestle with in the future. This election result marks her as a loser.