Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Assembly elections analysis and dramatic debacle of Congress

Congress's depth of defeat in the Hindi heartland cannot be measured in numbers anymore. They have been rejected so badly that it would take years for it to recover. Forget decent defeat this was a decimation. Congress continuous effort to make India a welfarist state where tax payer's money would be given to poor people and convert India into even more corrupt system without altering the existing delivery system of governance has made them an entity to hate by large sections of the country. The misgovernance and increasing inflation has caused widespread anger.


Ending up with 8 out of 70 in Delhi is the worst ever performance. This is worse than Congress's lowest tally so far of 10 in 1978 (post Emergency). A huge variety of factors worked against the Congress - corruption, the way Commonwealth Games were conducted after loot of people's money, deteriorating law and order, rising prices, the inhumane way of treating Anna Hazare and his movement supporters and so forth. Delhi was the safest bet for Congress and a citadel hard to breach with Sheila Dikshit at the helm. Anti-incumbency was not a factor for Sheila as much as Congress wants to portray it.

The rise of AAP is a big shocker for the entire political spectrum. With Omar tweeting that low turn out of crowd is a big problem he was signalling that absence of people at Rahul's rally was a disaster waiting to happen. AAP which captured voter's imagination by raising issues that genuinely affect common man, by writing a manifesto with direct inputs from voters, reaching out to peripheral areas of Delhi which had never received any benefits from either BJP or Congress - were all honest efforts by a new political party to reach out to voters.

Sheila had taken Delhi for granted and the people saw in AAP a genuine alternative to both Congress and BJP. Many people were confused whether to vote for AAP or BJP (since a new clean face Harshavarhdan of BJP personally selected by Modi himself was the CM candidate). Had BJP not changed their leader in the nth moment AAP would have stormed to power with a clear majority. The real hero is AAP and its leaders. They defeated so many Congress and BJP leaders and Arvind defeated Sheila - a moment remembered in history. One could not have imagined that Arvind could defeat Sheila in this manner. He even refused to contest from any other seat and was so convinced to face Sheila and wanted to stand anywhere Sheila stood. 

Role of Modi Factor: Yes, since a clean image of Harshavardhan got BJP the chance of being the single largest party.


No where can Congress's rout be felt as much as Rajasthan (after Delhi). A mere 21/199 seats and BJP getting 80% of seats - 162/199 is a remarkable first time feat for both BJP and Rajasthan's political history.
This is worse than BJP's lowest tally so far of 32. Vasundhara Raje campaigned too hard in the state. Rajasthan somehow votes very decisively each time. It looks like the entire state votes in the same manner. No state probably can match this sort of behavior every 5 years. Gehlot government had been so much inactive that the people were very much against it. Besides, Congress pushed all its central government schemes in Rajasthan to be used as a test lab to be replicated across India and that too in the final year. It failed so miserably that it even backfired. 

Role of Modi factor: DEFINITELY YES. Since the surge of BJP could not have been because of Vasundhara alone. She herself expected close to 120 seats. This additional 42 seats is definitely because of how Modi campaigned in Rajasthan. He truly capitalized Congress's non-performance.

Madhya Pradesh:

Madhya Pradesh genuinely saw real development work in the last 6-8 years. Roads, electricity and women's welfare schemes were a huge hit. Several of my friends repeatedly told me Shivraj Singh Chauhan did impressive work in rural parts of the state and life improved under his leadership. By all its standards BJP did its best performance here since winning 3rd time with this sort of majority is no less achievement. 165/230 which is 22 seats more than in 2009.

Shivraj did what Modi could not do. He increased his victory margin the third time by a whopping 22 seats. Modi in his 3rd time victory managed to get almost the same number of seats as his last time.

Role of Modi factor: Only the SURGE since Shivraj's own charisma was much more than Modi's presence.


Dr. Raman Singh of BJP was known for improvising the PDS scheme by which nearly a corrupt free system of transfer of food subsidies was operating. Further, Raman Singh had a tough opponent - Ajit Jogi. Last year when close to 50 Congress leaders were massacred by Naxals it was expected that Congress will ride on sympathy wave. The race between the two was so intense that till the last moment the seats were shifting in both BJP and Congress's favor. Finally, a 10 seat gap made BJP get 49 and Congress 39.

Role of Modi: Not Heavy, but the game tilting in BJP's favor was purely because of Modi's aggressive campaign.

What does this mean for Modi and BJP?

Modi wave cannot be discounted at all. However, Modi's success now hinges on how he can capitalize this Anti-Congress momentum in South and Eastern parts of India where BJP doesn't get good seat count. It is important that Modi makes his presence felt more than ever before in these regions and more so in UP. It is completely MODI and only MODI who can deliver now the drastic increase in BJP's tally. It is time for more smart strategy at work for Modi.

What does this mean for AAP?

AAP is truly the hero of this elections. However, a movement that converted itself into party would take time to make their presence felt in elections at the national level. They can increase their presence in several urban constituencies but can't really dent both BJP and Congress at least in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. You can win votes by showing your anger at the present government but unless they can prove in Delhi by being in government they can't convince voters throughout India. AAP's economic policies are like Congress where there is too much subsidy and freebies. We don't even know what their foreign policy is, how they plan to modify Tax code, how they plan to revive economy, how they can tackle China, how they can increase manufacturing etc. These issues are not easy to tackle just by getting clean and honest people. Right now the best answers to these questions lie only with BJP and Congress because of huge administrative experience in states and the Center. Here is my observation. To prove your mettle you need not be in power, but ruling the country is a whole new game that requires a different vision and perspective. Why is Modi acceptable to a large people? He has a proven track record of excellent governance unlike Rahul. He is making every effort to make himself acceptable to all sections of society.

The best way is to support either BJP or Congress in Delhi and get their Lok pal version passed. If they do so and then withdraw support at least they will prove to be serious contenders to both Congress and BJP. Also, they can offer issue based support just like Mr.Prashant Bhushan of AAP suggested so that way they can withdraw support if either of the 2 parties play tricks.

In other words AAP cannot emerge so strong so as to challenge BJP and Congress right away in this Lok Sabha, but given time they can definitely do so. 

What does this mean for Congress?

There is nothing to say except that things will get worse for Congress in 2014. But Congress is too smart to be ignored. You never know at the last moment what political strategy Congress may employ. It can say it won't declare Rahul Gandhi as PM. This is the best strategy since Sonia Gandhi would shield her son's career by not staking it in a fight against Modi. Secondly, Sonia Gandhi may prefer PM Singh to continue or ask Chidambaram to be the PM face.

Congress may resolve to more freebies and their famous "farmer loan waiver" may be triggered adding a fresh burden on the economy. Their attempt would be to woo the farmers or a massive reservation attempt for Muslims to win over their votes. Any resort to populist votes can be a double edged sword to the party.

The country cannot let itself go bankrupt by involving in these welfarist policies. Sonia Gandhi's National Advisory Council (NAC) must be thrashed out immediately for it is the main entity Sonia is relying on for coming up with such schemes. A young aspiring India is not at all a concern for the Congress.

Unless Congress reforms and comes up with a good vision they will fail to win the hearts of the people. And definitely, as its party member Mani Aiyar put it - "Who can be even half-way realistic and expect the Congress to return to power?" 


BeingAntiModiDoesNotMakeMeProCongress said...

The Congress was bound to lose with all the mess that they have created. The utter disregard for corruption related issues did them in.
But I would say that that it is very naive to think that Mr. Modi will be able to solve all our problems.
Yes the sensex will shoot up the day he is elected but it would not mean much for most of India.
I mean, calling welfare schemes freebies is hardly fair. It really does make a difference to a person who has no idea where the next meal will come from to know that he/she will get rice for a rupee/kilo. Of-course this leads to corruption, its the price we pay for now till things improve.

Look at Gujarat, it has amongst the worst indicators for health, infant mortality, education, sex ration. To me these are the real signs of progress and these have not gotten much better in the last 15 years in Gujarat. As a bonus he has created a divide in India which is unacceptable.

Bottom line for me, a corrupt man is vastly better than a communal one and Mr. Modi is a communal one.

RisingCitizen said...

Mr. BeingAntiModiDoesNotMakeMeproCongress,
I am proModiDoesntMakeAntiCongress. I never claimed that welfare schemes should not be given. Please read the statement in my blog
"....without altering the existing delivery system of governance has made them an entity to hate by large sections of the country." So, I want to clear the perspective in which I said their welfare measures are wrong.

No one is claiming Gujarat is a perfect state not even Modi, so why are you pointing out to indicators saying they are bad. they are bad. However, Gujarat is still the only state where 1000 check dams have been built to make water reach out to all communities (hindus and muslims), 24 hour electricity for farmers and everyone, 11% agriculture growth and increase in ground water in deserted areas - Are all these communal? If this is communal Modi is communal.

Political Police said...

The corruption within the party has destroyed from the inside out.