Thursday, May 19, 2016
The Asssembly Polls and the Political Implications
A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books The BJP led NDA Government was assailed by the Opposition on a number of issues. The Congress led by Rahul Gandhi tried to stir the youth into rebellion by fomenting trouble in different campuses following the suicide of Rohit Vemula in Hyderabad Central University. The rise of anti national pro secessionist hoodlums like Kannaiya in JNU stirred the Opposition for some time and men like D Raja, Sitaram, Karat and others could steal National Television exposure in which they could froth for hours on end about Modi. The fact remains that the Economy is picking up and inflation inlow though unemployment still remains a major concern. The Reserve Bank of India under Governor Raguhram Rajan is constantly increasing the interest rates thereby preventing industrial activity from picking up. Except for these minor glitches there seems to be order all around. The just concluded Assembly Elections in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam West Bengal and Pondicherry marks an important shift in Indian political spectrum. In Kerala, the Left Democratic Front consisting of the two Communist factions and a clutch of local parties has come to power. Significantly the vote share of both alliances has fallen and BJP's O Rajagopalan has won a seat in the Kerala Assembly for the first time. He is a senior leader of the BJP who served in the Vajpayee Cabinet. Even in the May 2014 Lok Sabha polls he led in 4 out of 7 assembly segments in Trvandrum and the Congress Party which fielded Sashi Tharoor who is in the news over the murder of his wife Sunanda, was able to scrape though only with a surge of support from the Catholic Church. The vote share of the BJP has crossed 12% and this means that the final frontier or bastion of anti BJP elements has been breached. In neighboring Tamil Nadu as I predicted in my tweet, AIADMK swept to power or rather proved the pollsters wrong by bucking the anti incumbency wave. The reason for AIADMK's success in spite of the lack luster administrative performance is beacause of the slew of populist measures undertaken by Jayalalithaa. The so called AMMA canteens, pharmacies and other such outfits have evoked a huge response from the electorate. The DMK which is neck deep in Corruption, with karunanidhi's daughter having spent time in jail due to the involvement in the 2G Spectrum Scandal along with A Raja tried to focus on the alleged corruption of Jayalalithaa. This diversionary tactic did not yield results and she romped home with a slightly diminished vote percentage. The triangular fight in Tamil Nadu certainly helped AIADMK as it split the anti incumbency vote and DDMK of Vijay Kanth came a cropper in the election. Stalin shrewdly tried to project the old Geezer as the Chif Ministerial candidate, but the electorate was not impressed with this ploy.And the feud in the dynastic fascist family did not help the DMK either as Azhagiri the elder son of Karunanidhi tacitly worked for the AIADMK. In West Bengal, mamta Banerjee survived the Sharada Chit Fund Scam and all the important names involved in the scam have been returned to the Assembly. This is not to say that the people of West Bengal do not care for the honesty and intergity of the political class. It is just that the memory of the 35 years of fascist Left rule is so terrible that even Mamth's scam tainted regime shines by comparison. The BJP has increased the vote base in West Bengal and has secured 9 seats. The release of the Netaji Files do not seem to have had a major impact in the election. The Alliance with the Congress has hurt the CPM as they now show sighs of terminal decline. Mamtha led a corrupt scam tainted Government but the people of West Bengal have no choice. In Assam, the Congress was playing with fire by encouraging illegal immigration from the neighboring Bangla Desh thereby hoping to create a captive elctoral blck for itself. The BJP campaigned against this subversion of the Constitution and even the local Assamese Muslims have voted for the BJP thereby disproving the theory that Muslims are afraid of voting the BJP. The Congress by fanning the flames of minority identity politics thought that the Muslim population of Assam and the marginalized tribal Bodos will vote for the Party. The fact is that BJP has won the Assemply elections in Assam and thereby acquiring a foothold in the North East. The BJP can now look forward to the Assembly elections in UP and Punjab that are due next year.