What the election results mean to the Congress? To the BJP and other big parties?
Any general election is a major political event. The 2009 Lok Sabha elections and the results are no different.
That is no different from the past trends.
May be in the last two decades we saw the unstable coalitions and thus this latest results comes as a relief.
There is now a possibility there will be more a stable government.
But then it is also time to do some introspection for the parties concerned.
Any winning party or parties will make lots of claims for their victory.
So, this time, the Congress party, the single largest party to win 206 seats and with allies a more significant number to make the UPA a combination of a force for forming the government.
So, what are the claims of the Congress?
The vote for the Congress is a vote for a stable India, for a more secular India, for a more development-oriented, a more youth focused India? So say the soothsayers. The TV channels and others. Then, what are the claims of other victors? The state level parties and governments? Sure enough the vote in Orissa and in AP point towards a vindication of the governments’ performances therein West Bengal? In Kerala?
Sure, the Communists were roundly defeated. Their penchant for aggressive radicalism, their penchant for sort of anti-national anti-development oriented economic policies has been defeated convincingly.
They, the communists must recover and they can do so only by dropping their pet prejudices and their pet narrow-minded and a sort of isolating their mindset from the rest of the society. Honestly Mr.Prakash Karat must offer to step down and his theories must be buried honorably and new faces, new ideas and new mindsets, some sort of an accommodative, democratic minded leadership must emerge in Kolkata and Trivandrum.
Enough noise and spectacle Mr.Karat had made and enough is enough now!
As for the other big losers, mssrs, Lalu Yadav, Paswan and Mulyam Yadav, they are seasoned men, they know their groundwork, they are firmly rooted in the soil and they knew the power of the socio-economic nature of the castes and the social classes. So one can expect they would go back to their constituencies and they would once again start working. They are sure to come with new ideas and strategies. They can’t be written away.
Let us know they are no adventurers like Mayawati and even the southern Dravidians! Mayawati over-estimated her knowledge. Poor lady, she must now do some hard work. She must perform. She should deliver on her many promises, economic development, the fruits of development, water, power, roads and social sector targets, some of the more enlightened social sector polices like universal education, education of girl child and universal healthcare are the toughest jobs any progressive government must grapple with. Mayawati, let us hope and expect, would learn her lessons.
The more promising and the one that would inspire people is the case of Orissa. Orissa is a phenomenon. Here is a chief minister who doesn’t speak his own language, Oriya and yet he has become the darling of the masses. Also, let us know that Orissa has some of the intractable problems land for the new and large iron ore mines and the steel giants of the world have to be tackled. This is no easy job. Yet see what the common people of Orissa have done. They have voted for Naveen Patnaik, overwhelmingly for the third time. A great day for grass roots democracy. No less is significant the success of Dr.YSR Reddy. Whatever might be the criticisms, here is one Congress chief minister who rose against the giants, TDP and Praja Rajyam is a big achievement. So, we congratulate Dr.Reddy for what he had accomplished.
Now the other state parties, the Dravidians we leave here and see what the situation in Maharashtra is. Sharad Pawar was humbled, yes, that is the right word to describe his present condition. He overshot his targets and he over confidently went about.
Shivsena is another big loser. Its entire ideology is now discredited. Sena seems to have lost its rationale, in a fast urbanising India with Mumbai being the greatest magnet, what is the chance for a Marathi focused vote bank.
And of course working on the injured, real or imagined, Marathi pride Raj Thackeray had capitalised that imagined injury to the self-image and helped to defeat the Sena as well as the chances of the NCP. This helped the Congress.
Of course, the Congress claims victory in the Mubain city constituencies as a vote for youth, as a vote for development and as a vote for all the Congress has stood for.
Fine, you can’t quarrel with such claims. As for the BJP and its governments in the state, can we write off the BJP as a spent force?
You can do so at your peril. India is a large country and a diverse society and constituencies with much diverse political and socio-cultural appeal. So comes the relevance of the rightwing party like the BJP. Yes, we may have reservations about some of its policies and policy formulations.
But the BJP has much relevance and much future. Provided it reformulates its policies suitable to the temper of the times. Let the BJP come with some modern themes. There are some very good and capable leaders also in the BJP ranks.
They can be a match for the diverse characters who now make up the Congress pantheon. So too the governance norms on which the BJP scores in the states where it is in power.
Overall, it is development, it is secularism, and it is a vote for a set of hopes from the youth, from the lower castes and classes. May be better education, more education for the SC/STs and the OBcs, they have their own dreams to be fulfilled. May be more modern policies for urbanising India, better infrastructure in diverse fields.
What is left unsaid and remains unspoken is the need for a genuine democracy, genuine democratic rights, more human rights, more personal space, more individual freedoms, the culture freedoms, not for moral policing and more privacy and more freedoms to work and earn and accumulate without too much restrictive policies.
Over all it s positive vote for a more confident India.