It was only last month that the Grand Old Party (GOP) of India, the Congress was decimated from the Indian Parliament in an unprecedented way winning just 44 seats out of 543. Such was the precarious situation that 179 candidates of the party lost their deposits, most in Tamil Nadu where 38 out of 39 lost their deposits. Everyone thought that there will be some electric changes in the party. But it is the same old story again and again. The campaign in which the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was the centre-piece had flopped badly and the party instead of doing some retrospection is again at the same position as before i.e. defeat is not due to Rahul, but due to communal polarisation done by the prime-ministerial candidate of the opposing party. Even though Rahul had offered to resign, but the question was whom was he resigning to?? He was resigning to the same central committee whose members are appointed by his mother and matriarch of the party Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. It is obvious how can the sycophants accept the resignation of "yuvraj" and "raj-mata".
I had this hope that this debacle will see Rahul take some responsibility and will be the leader of his party in the Parliament ( and not that of the opposition due to the debacle), but that hope has been dashed again. The party has appointed a party veteran from Karnataka, Mallikarjun Kharge as their leader in the Lok Sabha instead of the future leader and the vice-president of the party, Rahul Gandhi. The reasoning that the party has given is that he will work on the party's reorganization and work with the people in the field. This reasoning is highly questionable. First question is that now there are not much Parliamentary proceedings as we have seen that the Parliament sitting time has been reducing sharply with each Lok Sabha, though the 16th Lok Sabha may see more sittings due to ruling coalition's overwhelming majority. But we have already seen that Rahul in the last Lok Sabha which was, by the way, the worst-performing Lok Sabha of all time had attended a bare 43 percent of the total sittings and a mere 14 percent of the standing committee, he was a member of and to top it all, he hadn't asked a single question ever in the Lok Sabha due to which he was one of the worst performing MPs and was in the bottom 30 MPs in the Parliament.
Rahul has always given importance to party organisation and to make it more transparent and make it more appealing to the youth. He started some new initiatives like polls for organisational posts and US-style primaries for elections, but both proved to be a farce. In the former, there was a lot of violence during the elections and so the step was rescinded back and in the latter the party had changed the candidate who won by primary in Vadodra as it thought a "weak candidate" had won and he won't challenge Mr. Modi. This step was a really bad one as it bursts the bubble of confidence of common party worker who dreams of contesting elections and thinks that no one except a sycophant can contest elections.
We already know that the Congress party can't function without the dynasty as the erstwhile PM Mrs. Indira Gandhi had made the party a one-woman party in her time which is too dependent on the "family" and Mr. Modi is emulating now in the BJP. So, Rahul needs to take the mantle of his organisation in the Parliament by taking the position of the leader of his party in Lok Sabha. By participating in debates and question-hour, he should show what are his plans/suggestions for the govt and provide some concrete ones as Mr. Modi has done. Also he needs to show that it is a robust opposition and not a decimated one and this he owes to his party workers and to the 19.3 percent people who have voted for the party.
But by shirking responsibility again, he doesn't inspire confidence in himself and in the people that why should they vote for him. I have asked this question to myself ever since his first term as MP. But by being a shirker again, he is just eroding the little credibility which is left of hm and is just letting down his party and giving a message that Congress is not going to be a serious/credible opposition.
Check out my blog: http://moviesnopinions.blogspot.in/
I am elated due to the fact that Narendra Modi has finally formed the government. This was a historic election in many ways not only because these elections saw a departure from usual issues of Indian election but also because all dynasties, big and small, were left fighting for survival. I learned two new lessons though. Firstly, to drive a tectonic shift in government legislation, one not only needs presence in Lok Sabha but also in Rajya Sabha. Secondly, forming an opposition is not a challenge worthy of ignorance.
Reducing INC to a tally not sufficient to form an opposition is quite an opportunity that BJP can use to jack-up its Rajya Sabha strength which, as NDA, is just 25% with 5 seats vacant. One particular point of interest for BJP should be that Meira Kumari of INC, who was also the speaker of Lok Sabha, has lost her seat. Thus, a new speaker is required. The constitution states that in case no party can claim the status of opposition, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha decides on it. The Speaker himself/herself is chosen by the members of Lok Sabha.
At the same time, getting support of regional leaders such as Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, and Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Orissa, in Rajya Sabha can work immediate wonders for BJP-led NDA. Firstly, both of them have been able to stand the Tsunamo and, therefore, can't be taken lightly. Secondly, a surface alliance with these people with a secretive business transaction at heart can further boost his public image as an apotheosis for inclusion, leaving Modi-bashing an unprofitable profession, which can really turn tide, if history is any evidence, at times. Thirdly, with virtually no opposition left in the country, Modi can truly serve uninhibited. Fourthly, BJP can dangle to both these persons, the carrot of increased visibility and acknowledgement in Lok Sabha. Amateur analysts must have already got the wind of my proposition.
To quote a crusader-gone-mental: It's no rocket science. BJP should make its own Lok Sabha Speaker, which in any case is the norm, and encourage AIADMK-BJD alliance to form an opposition in Lok Sabha in lieu of support in Rajya Sabha. It will not only stifle a Congress-AAP-JDU opposition alliance (I bet AAPtards have no knowledge of the secret negotiations) but also ensure BJP intimidating numbers in Lok Sabha with no practical opposition. Moreover, if the upcoming state elections fall in BJP's lap (which they should), it will possess staggering numbers in Rajya Sabha as well. BJP will also hold the unique advantage of keeping Jayalalithaa under control by playing Patnaik as a remote control of the said alliance, and in case both go berserk, just threaten to snatch the status of opposition from under the feet of both. Finally isolated, we can only hope Mamta Banerjee will come around, else most people have already written-off West Bengal as a state that was.
While the said proposition will rattle the Delhi Based Media of the Queen and the intellectuals of Her Highness, it is really up to the people to judge and trust the man who they have till now. After all, we have been "smart" enough to dedicate this nation, its lives and its generations to the comfort of a family. Just what worse can we do?
As the 13th Prime Minister of India bids adieu, most people would be glad to see the back of the man who led the country for the past 10 years, atleast on paper.
But on closer introspection, one could see that the gentle Sardar, whom the media and political rivals like to label a weak Prime Minister, was infact much more than that. A brilliant academician with Cambridge and Oxford degrees to his name and respected positions like Chief Economic Advisor, Reserve Bank Governor and Planning Commission Chief in his resume, he was easily the highest qualified Prime Minister in the world. An esteemed economist, his biggest achievement of all was how, as Finance Minister in the early 90s, he brought back India from the brink of bankruptcy and laid the way for the country to embark on her journey to becoming an economic powerhouse.
Simply put he was a good man. A good man who had the misfortune of aligning with wrong people at the wrong time. He was always a reluctant politician and never a great leader. He was just what Sanjaya Baru likes to call him – An Accidental Prime Minister. I am glad to see him go, not just because he wasn't the strong leader India needed at the moment but also because it wasn't him but 'The Dynasty' that was running the country, resigning him to the role of a mere puppet in their hands.
Public memory is ephemeral. Contemporary media has been extremely critical of him and the general public dismissive. Comedians have made a career of mocking him and the internet is packed with MMS jokes. Though I, in no way suggesting that the criticism is completely unfounded, still wonder whatever happened of the man that was the architect of so many things that was good for the country. Did the last 10 years of his career completely overshadow the 40 before that?
Dr. Manmohan Singh, I sincerely hope history will be kinder to you. Cos whoever takes the pain to do the research and look back beyond the last decade will know that you were a far better man than you are made out to be
A lot has been written over the glorious debut of AAP. It had taken over the nation by storm. It had got massive support from the middle class and the youth. A few months later with an overall 2.3 % vote share, it's been reduced to a regional party. What went so terribly wrong for the party?
Flashback, the mere rhetoric's, dharnas, giving up the people's mandate in Delhi over a period of 49 days, playing the secular card and appeasement politics, Kashmir referendum, no clear foreign policy, no word on terrorism and naxalism. For sometime, i felt it was the BJP which was in power for the last 10 yrs or perhaps you (AAP) felt Congress was never in the race. You tried to occupy the space of the declining Congress in the Indian political spectrum. Your policies also have more of a Leftist approach. The 4 seats you have won in Punjab is because of the anger against the Akalis, another family run party. Unemployment, drug menace and anti incumbency helped you get through. I must say your candidate selection especially Bhagwat Mann was a good one.
So what AAP should have actually done? It's a known fact that you had become over ambitious with your Prime Ministerial ambitions. You should have continued as the CM of Delhi and provided good governance and met some of your manifesto goals. Even if you had given up the Delhi chief ministership, you should have contested on less no. of seats and mainly for yourself from a Delhi constituency.
You tried to spread your fledgling party too far. You were second to BSP which contested on 526 seats. You went on to contest on 425 seats more than what BJP (415) and Congress (414) contested. In my state of Maharashtra (48 Lok Sabha seats), 47 of your candidates have lost the deposits. The only exception is Medha Patkar.
Election requires muscle power, money and resources. A few of my friends who are AAP supporters had already read the writing on the wall. It would have been wiser, if you would have contested on 100 seats with you being the lead in campaigning. Winning 30 seats would have been a much better story. I admire Kumar Vishwas who went to take on the biggest dynasty symbol but got little support from the party. All the strength of the party was put up in Varanasi. A journalist has rightly stated that it would have been much better to see a Nandan Nilekani, Raj Mohan Gandhi and Harsh Vardhan in the parliament.
PS - This is my first article on PG. From an MBA aspirant who is more interested in politics. Suggestions are welcome :) ________________________________________
A sweeping victory for BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha Polls. The rival 'Congress party' was mauled under the BJP Rath. Out of the 543 seats for elections, BJP and its allies gained a whooping 335, while the Congress and its allies had to make do with a shameful 58. Out of the 336, BJP alone got 284 seats that count to 52.3% of the total seats. The once popular AAP bit the dust by managing to win just 4 seats out of the 434 they had vied for. Thus now the BJP can form a much speculated stable government in India while there's no clarity on which party would be in the opposition.
What went wrong for the Congress? Congress is present in free India since 1947. BJP in comparison is a relatively new party. It was in power from 1998 to 2004 after which Congress took over again. Throughout the history of Independent India, Congress party has been in power for all but two terms. Immediately after Independence, most of the India was marred with extreme poverty, illiteracy and religious divide. Most of the population lived in villages and lacked means to satisfy even the most basic of the needs viz. food, clothing and shelter. The policies formed back then were aimed at ensuring the betterment of such people. Few were concerned about competing economically globally. The congress at that lime launched various schemes for the upliftment of the poor and the backward. Over the course of years, as the Congress lost its main political leaders who were replaced by arguably morally lesser individuals, the poverty and divisions in the Society became trump cards for votes for the Congress. People fell for the false promises initially but as the schemes rarely benefited the end user, given the rampant corruption among the middlemen, they started losing their faith in Congress Party. But the biggest insulation for the party was the absence of any other credible party to challenge them. BJP, the next big party, had Hindutva as its agenda, it being the political wing of the RSS. It wasn't considered as secular and thus had almost no support from the biggest minority of India – Muslims. Congress, on the other hand, always maintained a 'secular' agenda thus garnering support from the populous Muslim community.
Post the economic reforms of 1991, the economy got a tremendous boost. Foreign investments started pouring in resulting in creation of jobs and increase in per capita income. The middle class was rising. Common people started taking interest in the economy of the Nation and became aware of how their own economic gains were based upon it. Their materialistic ambitions increased. Television, internet, mobile phones connected them to the world and gave them a Global outlook. The media gave them updates of everything that happened around them and in the world. Education made them aware of their rights and responsibilities in the society and their capacity as wealth generators. Today more than 70% of India's population is under the age of 35. By 2020, the median age for India will be just 29, as per the recent report by UN. These youths are the driving force of the India today. They demand good and affordable education, equality in opportunity, good governance, good jobs and good infrastructure. They want to see India in the forefront in the race for Global economic supremacy.
Congress failed to realize where India had come. It failed to realize what the people want. It became complacent and assumed that people were too weak to show them the door. It failed to realize that the aspirations of the public had changed drastically from the needs to the wants. It still tried to handle the people with its old rusty strategy of making the same old promises which people were sick of listening to. They held themselves as the Nazi officers in the concentration camps and the public as the helpless Jews who were at the mercy of the officers for their survival. They failed to realize the gravity of the threat looking them in their face, that of the NaMo. They failed to realize how all this time they had come to the power only because of the lack of any better alternative with the people. With NaMo, the situation was no longer the same. NaMo appealed to the desires of the people to see India as the Superpower. While Rahul Gandhi couldn't speak beyond food security, secularism and women empowerment in his childish speeches, Modi addressed all the different issues which lie in the path of achieving the national dream of economic prosperity. His popular 'Gujarat Model', was the brightest feather in his cap. He promised efforts for the economic prosperity for all and went beyond the stale, hollow promises of the past. Rahul Gandhi, by the time, continued to falter and show his ignorance, proving his inability as a prospective successful administrator. He who calls himself a youth leader and a youth icon is well beyond the upper age limit of 'youth'. Congress thus, made the mistake of fielding in one of its weakest candidates against the BJP's most popular one, thus digging half of its grave.
The numerous scandals that marred the UPA-1 and UPA-2 proved to be the final nails in the coffin. The coal scam, the 2G spectrum scam, the chopper scam, the Commonwealth games scam, the Tatra truck scam, the cash-for-vote scam, the Adarsh scam and many other scams bombed the nation during UPA rule. These 'achievements' in the Congress's resume rendered them unemployable.
Today, the nation hopes that NaMo does not take it for granted as the UPA did and deliver realistically on most, if not every, of the promises made. The people of the nation, for the first time ever in the history of India, have come in support of one Individual who they see as the final hope of this Great Country.
First of all the things I would like to congratulate one & all for this show of democratic strength. This election result certainly has many learnings to be taken from it. The decisive national mood. The support for change of national guard. The need to throw away the pseudo secularism clout and vote to build a nation was just witnessed as the results reflected.
It's a wakeup call for all the politicians that no longer can the people be fooled ( :no: no ullu banaying :no: ) with just empty vows & false promises. If you perform you are here to stay. We will re-elect you, otherwise pack your bags. We will not bear complacency on your part. The numerous so called political stalwarts who lost in this election are a proof that.
The most amazing thing which I see in this result is that people rose above caste, creed & religion to vote for their Nation. Gone are the days when people used to vote for these things. The astounding number of seats which BJP has secured shows that it is not coming from one side only. The wave is there from all fronts. The people of India have voted for a better developed nation in the coming years rather than sticking to the old age haggles. This change is highly positive & I am very enthusiastic about the prospects of national development. The clout of pseudo secularism & cast which had been helping many candidates secure seats has been torn apart now. Sabko Saath & Sabka Vikas motto will be realised.
I believe we now have a leader who is not remote controlled and trained to deliver what is commanded by someone, instead what we now have is a leader who places the welfare of nation above all the things. The leader who can make tough but necessary decisions which result in growing India's overall influence in the world. We are lucky we have one at the helm now.
The youth have played a major role in this election. This election had the largest no of young voters in free India. The selfies with ink marked index finger which you can find on Facebook since the elections started show us a glimpse of how much youth has been enthusiastic about voting in this election. This resulted in a focus to the current issues which the new generation faces.
I would very much like to thank AAP for making the people of India realise that they can go beyond the already established norms and vote for better India. Had the Delhi elections not shown this to the people I would still doubt the current result was impossible.
Finally hoping that this election results serve as a model for future elections.
16th General Election has been historic and was being rightly said as a watershed moment in Indian democracy for many reasons.
Large number of first time voters, record voter turnout, role of aggressive media-especially that of electronic and social media, first time use of NOTA in General elections,Constitutionally formed bodies like EC coming under attack from different quartets for its handling of polls, BJP's conscious attempt at making this a kind of a presidential election for obvious reasons. All these have been unprecedented in the electoral history of post independence India.
And then the election results themselves. People giving decisive mandate to BJP, the way Congress has been decimated almost across all parts of India, the way the 'so called Secular parties' like Congress, JD-U, BSP, and SP have been wiped out in their respective states is historic and unprecedented as well.
BJP's coming to power was expected but the kind of numbers that this election has thrown up is staggering and point to a Modi Wave too (Some are calling it a TsuNamo too). For the first time in the history of independent India a non-Congress party has come to power on its own. Further after 1984, this is the first time a single party has got a majority on its own.NDA got approximately 40% of the vote share as well, which is quite incredible considering the varied and diverse political landscape of the country.The Saffron has literally swept the north, central and eastern India. Clean sweeps in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan (Which have traditionally been BJP bastions) ,Delhi, Uttrakhand, Goa. Mind boggling numbers have come from UP(Where Modi's master strategist Amit Shah was in place), Maharashtra and Bihar. Seats have even come from unexpected states like Assam,West Bengal as well.
Also, this election has proven to be a wake-up call to the Grand Old party of Indian Politics. Six months ago it was expected that battle of 2014 will again become the communal vs. secular battle and Congress will subsume the corruption case deep beneath the ground. But they have been proven wrong. For Congress it's the lowest number that this election has thrown up in their electoral history. Many people have started arguing that Congress may have outlived its utility as well. Most of their Cabinet ministers have lost their seats and the party is surely headed for a leadership crisis at the Center. One major complaint against Congress is that it does not allow its state leadership to grow and everyone wants to be a part of Dilli Darbar. I guess this is the right time for them to have an introspection on their way of functioning.
Though there is a lesson inherent in the debacle of the DMKs, The Akalis, and the Congresses of the world that political parties should stop being family firms but how that transition takes place or will there be any change at all ,will be interesting to see.
This election has defied the generally prevalent Political wisdom regarding caste equations as well which can be drawn from the defeat of SP ,BSP and JD-U where the electorates thought to be their respective vote banks have voted against them.
The new aspirational India is changing the rules of the game where they don't vote along the caste lines, where the regional identities do not matter much, where the only thing that matters is high growth, jobs and a respite from inflation. These first time voters, which were around 10 -12 crore have voted in huge numbers for Mr. Modi and have been instrumental in Mr. Modi's and BJP's phenomenal success.
Finally, this 16th Lok Sabha election has restored the faith of people with the representative politics to some extent which had hit a rock bottom during the last decade or so. The excitement with which voters came up in huge numbers was very encouraging too. But to me the sight of the election was 97-year-old Shyam Negi in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, the first Indian to vote in free India in October 1951, again casting his vote along with his 92-year-old wife, Hira Mani on May 7 — to keep alive the flame of freedom. Kudos to your unflinching belief in electoral democracy sir .
This isn't an article written by a grumpy old man trying to take a jab at Indian politics this is merely a youth's haphazardly written ode to the Indian elections 2014, which is funny in itself not because of the fact that despite comprising of roughly 65% of the country's population the youth are often sidelined from politics but also because the general perception is that the youth of this country, despite figuring in most of the campaign speeches of the politicians as the change makers of our country, can have an opinion on everything from Facebook to movies but not on politics. This is proven by the fact that the average age of the candidates who are contesting for the various seats is 54. Yes! 54 in a country where 65% of the population is under 35 years old, well so much for the youth being the saviors of the nation.
My friends election 2014 has been all about statistics and a day after the election commission announced the dates for this year's elections all the major newspapers ,in some way or the other, had the same headline which said “814.5 million people of this nation are ready to be part of the largest democratic exercise of the world” and although the subsequent paragraphs did have the pros and cons of the statement ,that headline did make me chuckle because if one were to decipher the statement one would infer that it only means two things, the first is that a lot of Indians have to start saying 'No' if not we would face an unprecedented population crisis in the future and the second is that fortunately or unfortunately China is not a democratic country.
So all that hullabaloo of this being the biggest event in Indian politics one would expect the contenders to be of the same caliber. Now that polling is complete and we are eagerly waiting for the results lets weigh in our options and find out if they capable enough to rule, rule? that would be the right word correct, well let's try to be politically correct and say “Capable enough to entrusted with the highest duties of the nation”, that sounds about right doesn't it, or was it looting the nation for the next 5 years, no, all I can is that the youth are opinionated and we can't help it. Moving on, it's safe to say Indian politics has reached a state of conundrum, we have on one hand a person whose iconic persona has turned the opposition party into a single man's party. His story is the one of a mythological prince who has slain the heads of his brothers on his way to the top, I'm sure the young, first time voters would even know if Mr L.K. Advani is still a part of the BJP or not, on the other hand we have the currently hackneyed mother-son duo who are famous for their dynasty politics and are currently battling an anti-incumbency wave which has given their opposition an upper hand in these elections. And then we have a tortoise in a hare's race in the name of Mr Aravind Kejraval whose sole objective in this current election is to ruffle a few feathers of the big shots from the other parties. I am of the opinion that his motto is “Live today, fight tomorrow” and considering the amount of slaps and punches that he so graciously has accepted on his road to the elections all I can do is pray that he lives to see the light of tomorrow and hopefully fulfill his dreams of a corruption free India, if at all he has such a dream because rule No. 2 in 'Youth 101' says that the youth of this country are not only opinionated but also skeptical. And finally we have five overzealous leaders who hope to form a third front. I'm sure you know who I am talking about and for the love of my country I hope that never happens because if it does, these individuals would be so engrossed in pulling each leg of the coveted chair that they would forget the woes of the nation. The irony of the third front coming into power is that a chair, and even if it's the metaphoric PM's chair, has only four legs and not five.
Despite of all these so called torch bearers who claim to solve all the problems of the nation in a matter of years we have noticed throughout the campaign that each and every one of them has fought the elections based on petty politics, by taking a jab on their opponents whenever they got an opportunity, future parliamentarians using un-parliamentary language in their hate speeches. And that my friend's brings me to the million dollar question. How much of all of this would take the youth to step in this so called dirt of politics. How long will we stand in the queues and cast our vote for the person who promises to be less corrupt than the previous leader only to be cheated for the next 5 years. When will our country have its years of change? Trust me guys the return of investment in politics is really high, isn't that why we chose our career paths and the best part is in India you don't even have to be educated for it. Politics is a filthy but viable career option and it's about time we the youth get into it and make a change. I hope that in 2019 India will have an option to honestly decide because I think that the youth really are the future of this country and we most certainly should have a definitive say in the events of this country rather than merely a statistical one. Jai Hind!!
With only few days left for the results, time is of the essence for political analysts and Media to predict the number of seats each party will score. If there is one state which is crucial for any party and all political analysts will be having their eyes on Is Uttar Pradesh (U.P) .
From the perspective of politics, U.P is known for Caste politics where a candidate's prospects depends on his caste or religion and his party's handling of caste equations. With its vast demographic dividend and size, it requires a strong organizational base and network to make inroads into this state. The parties SP, BSP, BJP, Congress, RLD have political significance here and are currently fighting in LS polls to have their impact in every seat possible.
During the time of Indira Gandhi, Congress had a strong hold on UP. A good balance of distribution of tickets was maintained which ensured representation of MPs from every community. Gradually during the 90's Congress began to lose its ground to the emerging BJP and regional players due to the Ram mandir movement and Mandal politics . For BJP, UP served as launching pad to enter into the national fray and in time became a formidable challenger to the ruling congress . The religious polarization during the Ram mandir movement helped the BJP to gain a sizeable chunk of 50+ seats during 1996 General selections. But , later on gradually BJP started losing ground to regional parties due to infighting and emergence of multiple power centres. BJP's performance in subsequent LS and state elections was poor and was reduced to mere 10 LS seats in 2009 elections.
Fast forward 2014, Political equations has much changed in 5 years. A double anti-incumbency factor is much evident this time. The first is of the UPA -2 which is marred with scams, inflation and unemployment. The second is of the SP rule in U.P where it is facing people's ire because of deteriorating Law and order and appeasement politics. There is also considerable disenchantment towards AJit Singh's RLD after Muzaffarnagar riots. The Jat voters which formed a considerable vote bank for RLD are now reportedly have gravitated towards BJP in western U.P. In addition to these factors , a few more factors have given BJP a second chance to make its way back as a serious contender . The following three factors may influence voters towards BJP :
One, the clever social engineering of “quota within quota “ which was introduced during Rajnath Singh's tenure seems to be reaping benefits for BJP after 12 years. This system, to some extent has influenced voters from non-yadav OBCs and non-jatav dalits to opt for BJP as their best choice.
Two , Narendra Modi factor and his fine tuning of pitch for development , employment , good governance has gained prominence . The huge crowds he attracted during the rallies were itself a grand manifestation of the way in which the wind was blowing. In addition to national issues and excerpts from Gujarat model, he always touched upon local issues . His oratory skills and charisma were strong enough to have an emotional contact with the people he addressed. Even though Caste is a formidable barrier, Modi has tried to overcome this barrier by stressing on development politics.
Three, this is the factor which is going to be much discussed post poll if BJP delivers its best performance. It's the Amit shah factor. Amit shah, known to be a confidante of Modi , rose through the ranks of BJP and is now handling it's electoral campaign in U.P. He is known to be a master strategist, a skilled organizer and a person who has keen understanding of how to extract political power from public Institutions. Since he took charge of U.P from June 2013, he had been visiting every constituency, stressing on booth management and campaign strategy. He has played a vital role in scrutinizing candidate selection and has made sure tickets are given to winnable candidates.
If there is indeed a Modi wave in the country, Amit shah has ensured that the BJP's turbine has been placed in a proper direction with a strong structure and has made it to function with clockwork precision to wield maximum power.
The above column presents an overview of an in-depth analysis of various articles and exit polls.
Party : Congress
Number of Seats predicted : 4-5
Congress threw a surprise by winning 21 seats in 2009. This year it will be restricted to a single digit performance and will give a tough fight in a few more seats.
Party : Samajwadi Party (SP)
Number of Seats predicted : 8-10
The short two years of rule of SP has already generated anti-incumbency because of its poor governance. With non-Yadav OBCs drifting towards BJP and section of Muslims opting BSP, SP will find it hard to better its performance.
Party : Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP)
Number of Seats predicted : 10-12
Mayawati's BSP is giving a fight to BJP . Her hold on Dalit vote bank is still strong but recent exit polls are of the opinion that even a large section of Dalits have voted for BJP in the previous phases.
Party : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
Number of Seats predicted : 53-55
BJP is set for its best ever performance by winning highest number of seats. RSS has been highly active and is helping BJP in booth management. In the last phase , Modi's candidature from Varanasi will influence the remaining 16 seats of Poorvanchal and a few seats in Bihar.
The present scenario highlights that the road to Delhi is leading from Kashi. Only time will decide the outcome.
When Ahmed Patel, the trusted confidante of Sonia Gandhi, said last week days ago that the Congress is even ready to join the third front to keep Narendra Modi out, it betrayed the utter despair in Congress and allied camps in the face of certain defeat. The various hints coming from other Congress leaders reveal that they have accepted that the Congress may be reduced to a hopeless minority in the coming elections. They are ready to explore all options not with a positive agenda to lead a government but to get into bed with any one, with the sole aim of preventing communal forces, (which according to them Modi represents), from coming to power. Ahmed Patel went on to say they are willing to support a third front or if the situation is favourable, they are open to lead the formation of a government with the support of the third front and all secular forces opposed to Modi.
Politics truly makes strange bedfellows. No wonder Ronald Reagan said, "Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realise that it bears a very close resembles to the first."
But such a scenario is very unlikely, given the unanimous poll surveys of various agencies, but it can not be totally ruled out. Life is full of surprises. The Congress in its desperation, as a last ditch effort, is whipping up hysteria, without realising that such frantic efforts may actually go against them. P Chidambaram once again in an NDTV interview a couple of days ago, called Modi 'fascist 'and compared him to Hitler, losing all sense of proportion. A few regional parties, notably TMC, led by Mamata Banerjee have expressed similar exaggerated fears that the country may burn with communal riots if Modi comes to power.
The Congress, more than others is familiar with such desperate coming together of disparate elements against itself, when Mrs Indira Gandhi was perceived as an 'evil' and a ruthless dictator and it was 'anti Congressism' that brought together a motley group which became The Janata Party. Ironically it was the Jana Sangh, the erstwhile version of BJP, which was one of the constituents. They had a single minded aimed to come together to defeat Indira Gandhi. It was only animosity against Indira that knitted them together. And it was inherently flawed. The coalition with mostly self-serving and power-hungry partners with conflicting and incongruous ideologies, working at cross-purposes soon dissipated and dissolved. Such experiments were repeated again a few times in later years but they failed miserably and as the formula did not stick. The propping up of Deve Gowda as the prime minister who commanded only sixteen MPs, by Congress support from the outside to keep BJP out at all costs, failed miserably and did not last long, comes to mind.
Now instead of 'anti Indira', it is 'anti Modi' forces plotting together, a coup of sorts to preempt the uncrowned King from Gujarat. Except what is overlooked is the context, which is totally different. Earlier, it was the anti-incumbency of the Congress and the antipathy to Indira Gandhi's excesses that had brought inimical parties, friends and foes together to overthrow her, whereas now the resentment is against the incumbent Congress-led UPA and the scams during its reign, and the disgust with "high command politics" of Congress's first family, which undermined the constitutional authority of the Prime Minister of the country and arrogated to itself authority without accountability. Maybe these shenanigans will work after five years, if Modi behaves communally or displays dictatorial tendencies and fails to deliver on good governance and development.
It is probably a good thing for the Congress to accept the writing on the wall with grace and listen to Rahul Gandhi's initial advice. Rejuvenate, decentralise, democratise and strengthen the organisational structure of the moribund party. The country needs a good and effective opposition party to keep a check on Modi and BJP if it comes to power. The Congress should play that role and try its chance in the next elections.