Saturday, 14 December 2013

Election Fever-India 2014

The results of the recent Delhi state legislative assembly elections in  have taken up rather comical proportions. One wonders if the two National  parties in the New Delhi  State Assembly Elections had been caught napping being so overconfident about themselves that they ignored the threat posed by the the Common Man’s party.  They have been so engrossed  in their own greatness and bound in knots based on  narrow principles. The two National parties, stakeholders in the running of the future Government of New Delhi   are now  so shy about staking a claim to make the new Government in Delhi because of not getting a clear mandate from the electorate.  It is a catch 22 situation because the mandate of the people has not given any one party a true win. The Rookie Party, the Common Man’s Party has somehow caused a lot of discomfort to the two major parties, a thorn in the side, which has become difficult to deal with. None of the three  major players in the just concluded elections is ready to form the Government because to do so would require  support of from other parties.  None of the three parties wants to form a minority Government  because there is no guarantee that the supporting parties might  not withdraw support mid-term, and this would give a bad name to any party that has formed a minority Government. History has shown how coalition Governments in the Indian context have rarely proved to be effective Governments, what with bickering about portfolios and positions awarded to supporting M.Ps. In such a situation no major party is ready to risk the shame of falling through mid way through their term.
Faced by the possibility of yet another  assembly election in Delhi, one wonders if having frequent elections is not perhaps a drain on resources, and whether the common man  does benefit from frequent elections at all! The prospect of having a Hung Parliament is likely to haunt everyone, politicians and common people alike! Confusion that has  been caused in the just concluded elections is an indication of the common man’s displeasure with both the major parties and a desire for change. This desire for change has been fuelled by a frustration with corruption, nepotism, and increasing prices! I remember listening to advertisements on F.M. radio exhorting listeners to mark the broomstick. Faced by such great symbols like Lotuses and Palms  one couldn’t help chuckling about the prospects of a party that had taken up so humble a symbol!This is exactly what the third rookie party had intended, to appeal to the sensibilities of the common man and show that this was a party that had the interests of the common man in mind, and not just princes, aristocrats and business tycoons! Like the case in Turkey, Egypt and in fact all over the world, what has happened in New Delhi is an expression of a desire for change in the common man, a desire for greater stability, freedom from corruption and rising fuel prices. I guess the lesson to be learned by all the political parties in India is that one should not ignore the sentiments of the common man!
Faced by the verdict of the recently conducted New Delhi state assembly elections, all the major parties need to do a re-think of of their policies and manifestos so as to appeal to the sentiments of the common man. To quote a dialogue from the film Chennai Express, one can’t ignore “the power of the common man!” The results of the New Delhi state legislative assembly elections will no doubt have a profound impact on the elections that are going to take place in the days to come. The forthcoming Lokh Sabha elections  or General Assembly elections slated for the year 2014 are probably going to see some interesting results! If the prices of LPG petrol and electricity are anything to go by, then these issues cannot be ignored by the national parties. Today, it is clear that the common man’s mandate is important for the formation of any Government in the country. Vagaries of economic slowdown, recession, and unemployment coupled with corruption and nepotism have proved to be major impediments in the formation of government in Delhi. The lack of a clear mandate is a pointer to the state of confusion that reigns in the polity of the country. National parties of the country need to take into consideration the fact that the common people are simply fed up of government policies and the attitude of the National parties towards the plight of the common man. National Political Parties can no longer afford to be complacent towards the mandate of the common man. Promises that are made only to be broken can only lead to the undoing of the chances of a major national party winning in the General Elections. Parties can no longer ride on the wave of sentimental popularity. Issues of communalism can also not be taken lightly in a nation that is built on the ideal of secularism! So then the election that took place in Delhi is a wake up call for all major political parties to gather their act and address the problems that affect the common man in the country. Unemployment, corruption, nepotism and rising prices are serious issues that can make or break Governments in the country. Where a singly party cannot command a majority, it becomes important for parties to put away their differences in Ideology for the sake of the common man and agree to set up a coalition government in Delhi. Inability to do so will lead to a period of what is called President’s rule in Delhi and the prospect of yet another election. The question is whether in this re-election the parties will be ready to relinquish the seat they have won in the state legislative assembly and start all over again.

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