Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Election Campaign and the Prospects of a stable Government in India: May 2014

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books

The Election Campaign for the 2014 General Elections in India have started. All the major parties have started their run up for the elections with the BJP under Narendra Modi leading the pack. A few week back it appeared that the BJP was heading for a 300+ seats in the LOK SABHA. Now a new uncertain factor has entered. A clutch of regional parties like the BJD, the JD (U), the AIADMK and a number of smaller parties with limited electoral prospects have entered into an alliance of sorts, styling themselves, the Federal Front. From what we have been able to gather, this new front is only a rehashing of the Third Front whose stated objective is to maintain a equal distance from both the Congress and the BJP. However, in the name of fighting "communal" forces the Third Front can be expected to side with the Congress should there be a fractured verdict. The ease with which the Congress is able to muster support against the BJP makes the task of the National Campaign of the BJP that much more arduous. The anti BJP and anti Congress public stance will last till the elections as the regional parties do not want to share the responsibilty for the criminal acts of monumental corruption which has gone on under the Congress. The so called Federal Front expects the Congress to prop up its Government just to keep the BJP out. Since this game stands exposed let us now turn our attention to the BJP Campaign.

Narendra Modi has had a series of very successful rallies/ In Meerut, Gokarkpur and Kolkatta Narendra Modi addressed massive rallies. If the turn out in these rallies is any indication of ground reality, then we can rest assured that the BJP will sail through to victory. However, Indian politics is neither that simple nor predictable, In all these rallies Narendra Modi addressed a litany of local issues and was able to link them with major national questions: insecurity due to increased terrorist activities and the UPA;s lackluster handling of them, the massive price rise which has sapped the people and of course the monumental corruption have all been brought to the attention of the people. The issue of governance has now taken centre stage and India seems to be moving away from the old style identity politics to embrace a more inclusive and purposeful vision of politics. Narendra Modi worls his magic with the crowds and has the Congress really alarmed as the Congress does not have a single leader of stature who can conncet with the people. In most rallies the crowd was arounf 400,000 to 500,000 and is a huge figure even by Indian standards.

The BJP campaign strategy is three fold. First, it is selling the Gujarat model of economic development as one of successful developmement. In spite of obstacles placed on its path, Gujart has been able to notch up growth figures of 8 to 9% annually and the infrastructure in the state is almost of western standards. In all the rallies, Narendra Modi drove home the point: bijali, sadak, pani--electricity, roads and drinking water. Secondly, the BJP has successfully targeted the Congress and its top brass for Corruption. The 2G Spectrum Scandal, the Coalgate scandal and more recently the Westland Helicopter Scandal has landed the Congress in an unenviable situation and has made feeble attempts to deflect the charge, Now the impression has gained ground that the Corruption of the Congress is the one single factor that inhibits developemt and Narendra Modi and his Government may be guilty of unconventional politics, but corruption is not one of his weak points. None of the other state governments can match that record. Finally, the focus has now shifted from 2002 Riots in Gujarat to the Congress sponsored massacre of 1984 when the Congress party organized a massive pogrom of killing Sikhs when one of their leaders was eliminated. And for this shift of focus, the BJP has to thank bloggers like this one who relentlessly kept the 1984 in the public eye and of course, the rather inane and meaningless remarks of the dynastic mascot, Rahul Gandhi.

All national surveys show the BJP and its allies in the NDA reaching a figure of around 225+ out of 242 and the Congress Party may not cross even into three digit numbers/ The Federal Front is expected to do well and if it reaches around 200 or so then the Congress will extend support and encourage it to form thr next regime. However, the people of India are aware of the dangers of a fractured mandate and this time around we can expect a decisive mandate. The Congress party has started floundering. Its leader Sonia Gandhi's statements about the BJP have evoked hostile response and the Telengana issue has already started snowballing into a huge problem for the Congress. The ham handed manner in which Chidambaram as Home Minister handled the whole Telengana issue so that he could get a safe MP seat from Telngana has come back to haunt the Congress.

As usual let me end by making the prediction that BJP will emerge as the largest pre poll block in the next Lok Sabha.

2 comments:

Bahu virupaksha said...

I put up this prediction before the Cvoter poll projection and my prediction was exactly the same.

Bahu virupaksha said...

I put up this prediction before the Cvoter poll projection and my prediction was exactly the same.