May 14, 2004
Few afterthoughts on the Elections 2004 that I must pen down.
- Tough days ahead for Congress, reorganizing the cadres, dealing with inline power spots and above all running a coalition with a bloated ego. Though leaders like Paswan (who earlier backed NDA) want to be part of the government, many (like CPI(M)) will chose to stay outside. Such partners will only add to the risks. We are perhaps again going to have a super-sized cabinet.
- This is not a mandate for Congress in all probability, not a mandate for "secular" forces either. Anti-incumbency is a potent factor in India. People were bored with NDA, the campaign was “up-market”, people at the grass-roots spend the election days wondering what “Feel-good” means in their local lingo, leave alone deciphering the publicised achievments of technological advances and swelling Forex reserve at the helm.
- Running a party and an election campaign like a company does not always pays. If psephological research work on the Indian voter mentality and trends were so accurate the exit polls would have predicted the outcome. Planning on papers is hardly a solution if the party worker is not content with the party; and remember, he is the only link to the denominator.
- People want entertainment even during elections now, reason why so many actors heading towards parliament this time, those who were famous and charismatic won against all odds.
- Past performance hardly matters, public has short political memories. Why was Jagmohan defeated? Why did Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Titler win?
- Don't shed your spots, BJP understood that. But will it go back to the Temple issue next time and will Vajpayee take a political sanyas now?