The decision to demonetise Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes indicates the BJP’s desire to break away from its dependence on the core support base of middle class and small businessmen, and gain access to the much larger votebank of the poor.
The long queues at banks and the dry ATMs may have inconvenienced the middle-class but look who is happy with it – the poor. Though there may be some among the poor who may be worried about their saving, the larger votebank will swing to the BJP for blasting through one of the key differentiators that distinguish the poor from the middle class – higher liquidity. There is a large amount of schadenfreude on the part of the poor in this assumption but why should one deny that the poorest of the poor will not be perversely happy at this. That the rich and the snooty who swished by, have their dreams and their ideas at demolition point with this decision. The poor, who have been trampled on so often by the middle class that they say thank you each time, are the happiest and carefree lot in the country at this given moment.
With this decision the BJP has cracked the new votebank which is mighty pleased with the demonetisation. The poor will henceforth vote for the BJP even if they have been voting for the Congress, the SP or the BSP (since Uttar Pradesh is going to be the first state to go to polls after this decision). But the BJP can forget the rest of its votebank apart from the poor and the Hindutva-RSS votebank. Possibly why BJP president Amit Shah was subdued even when he put up a spirited defence of the decision, wishing bad times on black money hoarders, hawala operators (but not the equally harmed hundi traders – the Patels), the Congress, the SP, the BSP leaving an olive branch for Mamata Banerjee.