By Saurabh Verma:
I think universities should add a new course to their existing curriculum, which is – India. I bet it will be the toughest subject because no one will ever understand what India is, why India is, and how India is. India is the biggest wonder. It’s very difficult to analyse and interpret the masses of this nation. A myriad festival of democracy was recently celebrated here. The results of the elections held in five states are finally out. Every political analyst, in the country, is analysing and interpreting these elections in their own manner. And, I am one of them.
Starting with the Assam elections, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has had a tremendous win in the state. I was watching various news channels as the results were declared, I saw most of them giving credits to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for the victory. News channel experts claimed that the RSS had built the foundation for the BJP win. This could be a factor but there are many others as well. The role of Sabarabanand Sonwal who is likely to be the Chief Minister (CM) of Assam can’t be neglected. He has been active in the politics of Assam for several years now starting with the President of a student union. The story of his success is a remarkable one. Among other factors can be the issues that BJP raised: infiltration from Bangladesh being one of the most important ones.
In West Bengal, BJP has faced massive humiliation. Though, their vote percentage and seats increased (10.2% and 3 respectively) as compared to the previous assembly elections (4.4% and 0). But that proved quite meaningless for them. Mamata Di will now continue to serve as the CM of West Bengal. It looks like the janta loved the efforts she put in. Although, she was charged with corruption in the Sharda Chit Fund scam and the recent Narada Sting allegedly showed the top leaders of her party taking hefty bribes just before elections; the TMC still won and did so with almost no competition.
It was explicit that Amma (Jayalalithaa) would return to serve a second time. Though the opinion polls did create some confusion professing that her party will be the runners-up in this elections. But the people of Tamil Nadu simply love Amma. She was able to win, even without doing enough rallies. Looks like her policies for the poor – Amma canteen; gold to girls; laptops, notebooks and geometry boxes to students – were quite her plus point.
The only place where the communist party was able to save itself was Kerala. It looks like the alleged Oommen Chandy solar panel scam really did act up against Congress.
Congress and their allies AIDMK won with a majority of 17 seats from the total of 30.
The results show a new trend of regional parties in the national politics. It is evident that they will play a crucial role in next Lok Sabha elections in 2019. Nitish Kumar’s plan to create a new front against the BJP to tackle them seems to be working as is evident with the two victories – that of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. Relations between the West Bengal CM and Bihar CM are quite good. And so is Nitish’s bond with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. They can all together try to woo the confidence of Jayalalithaa from the south. But, like in the past, it’s hard to convince the ambitions of leaders because of that one ‘apple of discord’ amongst them: that of the post of Prime Minister.
The second point, I noted, are the populistic policies of parties to gain more seats. It worked for Mamata, Jayalalithaa as well as Samajwadi Party in the Uttar Pradesh with laptop scheme, unemployment allowances, etc. These policies help maintain some placating relationship between the government and the people. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) played the same card in Delhi and see, they won so well. This might make other parties follow suit by making pro-poor policies for collective development to gain more votes. However, I feel that these policies will not help in the long run in the development of India. Where are we are heading? Just wait! And watch out for the next elections of the biggest state of the country – Uttar Pradesh.