Monday, May 18, 2009

Congress lead UPA......Jai Ho.....

People of India have put up their verdict. The Congress led UPA Govt has got a clear mandate to run the Government of India for the next term. It has been a sweeping victory of sorts, & the very sweet from the perspective of Congress.
The results must have surprised even the most ardent Congress supporter, as the green brigade virtually swept the country as a populist choice. Till even the last hours before the counting began, every news channel, every political pundit was looking at a fractured verdict & there were various speculations on who & how the Govt would be formed. While, indications were of a possible UPA win, the margins were expected to be wafer thin & hence serious negotiations were underway at all fronts. There were serious debates on how the President would address the situation.

However, on 16th May’09, Saturday, India woke up to the vote counting, & as the day progressed, a clear verdict emerged for the Congress led UPA returning to power with a clear & decisive win over its bitter rivals, the BJP.
States like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, UP & Andhra Pradesh had clearly brought in news of overwhelming joy for the Congress. Since Independence, this is only the second time after Nehru, that a PM has been able to retain his office for two successive terms. For Dr Manmohan Singh, this would be no means an achievement, as over the last few months he has been the target of the rivals as a weak PM & that he went through a bypass surgery recently, did not help his cause. But, with due respect to his grit, he has managed to keep above waters, & is now on the threshold of forming a Govt, which will have very little to worry about pressures of the allies.
Significantly & thankfully, the mandate has been for a stable Govt at the Centre & this time around the Congress does not have to bother about managing the number games. On the contrary, its various allies that are now seeking the patronage of Congress. So, the country does not have to witness the arm twisting tactics of the Left, who have been decimated in this election, even in their home ground bastions of West Bengal & Kerala. The gainers in this episode has been Trinamool Congress, led by the fiery & unpredictable Mamata Banerjee who upstaged the Left in WB after more than 30 years, DMK in South, led by Karunanidhi.

For BJP, it has been a battle truly lost. They had all the reasons to win it back, but probably lost the plot midway through into the warm up to the polls. Their hardline policy has not been well accepted by the Indian mass, & during election campaigns, their regular attacks on individuals like the PM & the Gandhi family proved to be their undoing. To add to their woes, was the dismal state of their allies, especially the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. Major upsets in strongholds like Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab & the pre poll rift with Navin Patnaik in Orissa had the country’s electorate lose faith in their capability to rule at the Centre. Inspite of a good Election Manifesto, which had good reforms & promises, the BJP could not create enough faith in the mind of the masses. There was always the lurking fear of communal disturbances, & the allies did nothing to generate confidence. The leadership under the ageing LK Advani was questioned in merits & longevity & the next line of leadership was found wanting in these trying times. However, one should spare a thought for LK Advani, who never got any chance to lead the country, a job, many feel, he would have done well. However, such is destiny & one has to just accept it as it comes.
Contrary to this, the Congress were able to position young able turks in Rahul Gandhi, Sachin Pilot, Milind Deora, Jyotiraditya Scindia etc who are good spokespersons & were readily able to create confidence in the mind of the voters.
The BJP, now needs to go back to their drawing board & chalk out a clear five year plan as the Opposition Party. They should strategise & implement good grass root level work in the interiors of the country & work towards becoming a National party, rather than being confined to their strongholds only. This needs serious introspection & meticulous planning & then systematic implementations. Its going to be an uphill task, but then that is what singles out true leaders. Seniors like LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajnath Singh, Jaswant Singh, Atal Behari Vajpayee & Arun Jaitley should create new leaders & mentor them for times ahead. A hard look at their work till now & developmental activities over the next five years would give them strong reasons to compete in the next elections.

For Congress led UPA Govt, this time around there are no pressures form allies, internally or externally & the country looks forward to progressive governance from them. The electorate has given them a clear verdict for a full term & now would look closely at the performances ahead.
Lets hope, India grows from strength to strength ahead.

Jai Ho……