Saturday, May 16, 2009
India decides on Congress led UPA
India decides on Congress led UPA – is it a default, surprise or strategy?
Knowing very well, this post is a tad too early; the largest democracy of the world has thrown up very decisive results for Congress and its allies. These results are particularly sweet for Congress and its first family. They had a lot of personal stakes in these elections. State after state the Congress party had to get accustomed to coming of Rahul Gandhi. Be is going alone in Bihar & UP, Punjab candidates list, being projected as the main campaigner of the Congress.
People of India have voted for stability in these tough economic and security related environment. A point which should not be missed out is results are now moving away from the multi party poll pori to a bi-polar polarity around Congress and BJP.
These results are a surprise even to Congress party; they were confident that they would be a single largest block but never expected such a decisive mandate not just for the party but also for the Congress first family. With all the caveats that the Congress led UPA might and will fall short of simple majority, it is still a massive victory for Congress and its allies.
The writing was there for BJP and more importantly Left parties who wanted to do back seat driving by forming the 3rd front government. The following reasons in my opinion led to Congress victory:
1. BJP’s short sighted attempt to make this election a presidential form of election and by making personal remarks on Dr Singh calling him a “nikhama” and weak Prime Minister
Indian has answered convincingly that Dr.Singh’s contribution to India in the last 20yrs has been leaps and bounds compared to any other political and non political person. The underlying current here that I picked up from NTDV is Congress has got better support from urban India, which was more a BJP constituency. This is again to do with Dr. Singh’s projection as PM. What is also important to understand is, there is a clear line of responsibility between Sonia Gandhi and Dr. Singh that of strengthening the party and running the government.
2. RTI, NREGA have been a massive hit in those states where it has been utilized properly
It is to the credit of the Congress party and its mangers for driving hard the point that these were their policies. In short a better marketing and branding exercise
3. The 3rd front myth has been busted
Be it in Bengal, Kerala, UP, Bihar – people have gone for National parties or national alliances and it’s a matter of coincidence that Congress and its allies have made the most of this. Especially the sweep in Kerala and West Bengal West Bengal can itself be a very interesting case to discuss, may b later though.
4. Rahul Gandhi being the youth icon
Rahul Gandhi, Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Omar Abddulla any day would be better in capture the attention of the new voters and the young minds compared to the likes of Advani, Modi, Mayawati, or the Left.
5. Emergence of Rahul Gandhi
He took some strategic decisions rather forced them on Congress. Be is going alone in UP & Bihar, but also was the star campaigner for the Congress. Now I will be accused for being a sycophant, but the fact of the matter is people have seen him trying hard to make the difference and though shy he comes across as natural when he speaks. In UP one can clearly see the hard work of Rahul Gandhi and Congress, their campaign has been around “Bring Congress for development in UP” and largely this has resonated with the people. BJP, BSP and SP have all taken their core voters for a ride and this election has seen the Upper caste Brahmins and Muslims coming back for the first time after 1989.
6. DMK and SP holding roughly to their position this accounts for roughly 50seats
It was expected that AIADMK would sweep elections in TN and SP would be decimated the benefit would either go to BSP or BJP.