(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
March 11, 2012
Results and Implications
WHILE a plethora of analysis seeking to interpret or comprehend the recent results of elections to the state assemblies will continue, the one thing in common that emerges is the following: the growing discontent amongst the people over the economic burdens that continue to be mounted on them, particularly through price rise, has found reflection in the verdict where the electorate has held the central government and its leader, the Congress party, responsible for their miserable plight.
This seems to have
anti-incumbency advantage that the Congress should have derived in
The remarkable victory of the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, which will see the triumphant return of Mulayam Singh Yadav as the chief minister, is a testimony of the growing maturity of the voter. Clearly, there was a groundswell of opinion to rid the state of the Bahujan Samaj Party rule despite the fact that in the last elections, the electorate had given it an unprecedented mandate. In a primarily four-cornered contest, the voter opted for the safest way to achieve this by giving an unambiguous mandate to the Samajwadi Party. This put to rest all speculation on the possibilities of a hung assembly and the possibilities that would have opened up for realignments both at the centre and state level. It would, however, be presumptuous and far-reaching to come to the conclusion that the voter in Uttar Pradesh has finally moved beyond the caste and communal barriers, at least to some extent. Undoubtedly, the issue of governance and stability has dominated. This was admirably aided by the often conflicting and contradictory pronouncements made by the Congress party leaders on post poll alliance combinations in the case of a hung assembly.
Though the BJP managed to
on the strong anti-incumbency trend in
However, it would be a
to conclude that communalism, as represented by the BJP (the political
the RSS), has taken a back seat. The
fact that the efforts to rouse communal passions did not successfully
into votes only suggests grim prospects for the future.
Detrimental to the interests of the people
and to the secular democratic foundations of modern
Once again, these results have shown the utter unreliability of all opinion polls particularly the exit polls. In early days, when exit polls emerged on to the scene, the indomitable R K Laxman captured the perils of such polls in the Indian situation in one of his cartoons. A husband comes home to tell his wife that he had mistakenly stamped the wrong box on the ballot paper (those were the days before electronic voting machines were put into use). He, however, assures his wife that he had corrected the mistake in the exit poll that was being conducted outside the polling booth! However, in these times of widespread prevalence of `paid news’, it should be investigated in the interests of Indian democracy if any of such polls were influenced by this phenomenon.
The moot question is,
Congress-led UPA-II draws any lessons from these results?
Unfortunately, it does not appear to do so.
In case they do so, it must surely be
reflected in the forthcoming budget.
Through these columns, we had repeatedly shown in the past that
of giving whopping tax concessions to corporate
As of now, both the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party continue to support this UPA-II government at the centre from the outside. Unless this changes, no immediate threat to the stability of the UPA-II government exists. The BSP may well seek to be both prudent and pragmatic of trying not to antogonise both the state and central governments at the same time. The SP may well find it convenient to have a better disposition from the central government.
Having said this, it must be clear that the UPA-II government will not have an easy sailing in the forthcoming budget session of the parliament. This, however, will crucially depend on whether this government and the Congress party draws the correct lessons from these results and reverses the anti-people neo-liberal economic policy regime. With all indications to the contrary, it is, thus, incumbent upon the Indian people to mount a greater offensive of popular pressures on the government to change this disastrous economic policy direction.