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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Verdict 09

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It's been almost a month since I updated my blog. The primary reason was because now my MBA is over and I had joined my company. Nevertheless I kept myself updated and tried to follow as many blogs as possible. But I had to comeback. The results of the elections forced to me find sometime.

As an NDA supporter, I have to say I am disappointed. Mind you I did not say BJP supporter. Though I have never had friends outside my religion, I wouldn't mind any. I am a strong believes in secularism. This is where I believe BJP lost the plot. Projecting Advani as Prime Minister and more importantly Modi as his heir cost them dearly. Though Advani led the Rath Yatra, but not many people remember it as well as Godhra. So, BJP has to giveup its hindutva agenda and focus on development. Varun Gandhi didn't help either. It is these characters that shifted the debate away from development issues thus allowing UPA to escape.

So how come Congress and UPA came back to power in such comprehensive fashion. There were two or three real masterstrokes played by the Congress soon after it came to power in 2004. First was setting up of Sachar panel to look into the condition of minorities and in particularly that of Muslims. This was clearly aimed at getting the Muslim votebank. Second was NREGA. Though its effectiveness is still being questioned as there is large scale leakage in terms of corruption. Vast majority of the rural people believe that this is a state govt. scheme rather than a central govts. Moreover, its the NDA states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat that have implemented this scheme much better than that of UPA. Third was setting up of the sixth pay commision so that its recommendations do come well in time of the General Elections.

Not all of this can be attributed to an advantage UPA. Ofcourse if you ask any Congressmen, his reason would be simple,its all because of Rahul Baba. While Rahul may be a factor, he cannot be solely responsible to this resurgence. For instance, it may be recalled that even in the assembly in UP, Congress went alone and Rahul baba attracted huge crowds. But Congress hardly won any seats. Perhaps it was more of anti-imcumbancy than of Rahul effect. I won't go into each state but I still believe it was ManMohan Singh's clean imae that helped more than Rahul effect. But in Congress, every victory is attributed to the Gandhis while for every defeat a scapegoat is found. So it wasn't surprising at all when soon after the results there were calls to make him the Prime Minister.

But despite all this, I still believe that there is something to cheer about. Firstly because it is a decisive verdict. With 200 seats, Congress can go ahead and implement their policies without being heldback, provided it wants to. Secondly because finally the left has been cut to size. For a party that hardly has any influence outside three states, it used to have a dispproportionate influence at center. Moreover, finally people of West Bengal have voted for change. Only problem is that its Mamata who lacks any vision for the state and who is determined to keep Bengal the way it is for the last 30 years. But perhaps, Bengal can wait for the development, atleast the rest of the country is no more heldback.

Finally
, this election has been a big thumbs down to caste based politics of Mayawati and Lalu. In an earlier article, I had said that we must not get carried away by Maya's rise. Afterall, left despite representing the common man (and being particularly strong with labour unions) hasn't been able to extend its influence beyond the three states. Maya clearly has hit a roadblock. In the current format where she is the only leader of her party, she cannot hope to extend BSP beyond UP. BSP needs to create more local leaders. Lalu too has been finally rejected by the people of Bihar. Its high time that both these leaders understand that caste-based politics is being slowly rejected by the people.

However, there have been places where such politics has worked. Maharashtra is one such state. The Congress-NCP has been there for almost 9 years and the state has been languishing since then. But these parties have got their caste equations correct. Moreover, the entry of MNS has cut into Sena-BJP votes.

The last five years have full of indecision, where it is on economic front, foreign policy front, reforms front or on terrorism front. But people of India have given Congress benefit of doubt. But this time there aren't going to be any excuses of being heldback.
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2 comments:

  1. Well analysed! This election result has cheered everybody. Left is out and a so is 'caste based politics of Mayawati', and finally Congress 'can implement their policies without being held back'... I also think these results have shown that the Indian voter knows his mind.

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  2. I concur with IHM - very well analyzed...BJP's problem is its communal ideology...Even though Congress is probably as communal as the BJP, atleast it does not state it in its manifesto...

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