Friday, June 5, 2009

Elections 2009 – Yet another analysis

It has been quite sometime since the results of general elections 2009 were announced. The dust has settled down. The new lok sabha session has also begun. So what can one conclude from the results ? We have all heard several knee jerk reactions to the results. We hear about the Left and the BJP facing an existential crisis. We also hear about Rahul Gandhi being the real winner in this election. We need a closer look at the results before we can conclude on any of these.

All of us heard news channels screaming loud that this was an issueless election. An election in which one cannot actually point a finger at the government for non-performance. Kudos to the previous government for having implemented the RTI and NREGS. The NREGS has certainly been the UPA’s flagship achievement. One must also take time to appreciate the state governments which have actually implemented the NREGS. States like Bihar and AP have certainly benefitted from this program. But we must also remember that Infrastructure projects took a backseat under the UPA regime. The telecom sector also did not see any technological advancement. The auction of the 3G spectrum was marred by chaos. The Nuclear deal’s success still remains doubtful in my opinion. India with its vast amounts of Thorium could use alternative techniques for meeting its energy demands. Nontheless , it’s better to wait and then comment on the Nuclear deal.

The BJP failed to highlight the failures of the UPA government. They instead chose to attack the mild mannered Manmohan Singh. The projection of Modi as the PM in waiting and the Varun Gandhi speech only added to the misery. The issue of India’s hiding their wealth in tax havens was raised a little too late. In addition to this, with the media strongly waging a battle against them , it was always going to be an uphill battle for the BJP. If not anything , they could have at least highlighted the incompetency of the Home ministry under Shivraj Patil, an inefficiency that gave us 26/11.

There is also another misconception that the new government without the Left would introduce a flurry of reforms in sectors like insurance and retail. People who think so fail to understand that the Trinamool Congress is more pro-left. The people of WB have only voted for a party which was more leftist in its ideology.

Rahul Gandhi has been declared as the unofficial winner of this election. It is true that his decision to go alone in UP has fetched a few more seats for the congress. This was always going to be easy in UP , where the people have always voted for the Gandhi family. The same charm did not work in Orrisa where Rahul Gandhi camped for several days.

It is not easy to analyse the results of any Indian election and pinpoint to a host of factors that have led to a result. However we can safely say that the NDA lost elections 2004 and theUPA won elections 2009.
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