So, it is over. And, the Congress is the single largest party and how 🙂 I can’t stop smiling.
What is incredible, is the maturity of the Indian voter. They saw saw through all the crap, the political cynicism, the power grabbing dash of the third and fourth front, the negativity of the BJP – and they voted. They voted out those who were harping on irrelevant issues, those who ran negative campaigns and those who cynically exploited their sentiments. So BJP is down, AIDMK is out, the Left is out, Laloo and Paswan are out – and development is in.
The man who has never run for Parliament – Dr.Manmohan Singh – has had a bulk of the country voting for him. It’s good to know that my vote counts 🙂 . I am not sure that the Congress would have done so well if they did not project him as the next Prime Minister.
But, the Congress victory cannot be discussed without discussing the BJP campaign. This is the second election that they have lost on their campaign.
Didn’t they learn from last time? India is not the USA. negative campaigns don’t work here. Calling MMS names possibly put off BJP voters, and propelled Congress supporters to brave the heat and vote. Just as last time around personal attacks on Sonia Gandhi worked in her favour, this time around personal attacks on the PM worked in the PM’s favour – especially when he retaliated.
Funnily enough, at the end of this Campaign I still don’t know what the BJP was promising. I don’t have the time to trudge through miles of policy documents – most of the electorate doesn’t. I knew what the Congress was promising. I didn’t read their policy documents either – but their advertising was fairly precise. I knew that the BJP was promising us Advani as PM –at least the campaign that stalked me on the web did. They were promising that they weren’t the Congress – but what did they stand for ? The only thing I heard was Ram Mandir, and Varun Gandhi – the first reminded me of why I have always found the BJP dangerous – their leadership cannot control their own mobs. If anything the latter put me off the BJP more than ever before. And, towards the end when they started saying Modi next PM – I began wondering if the BJP was sabotaging its own campaign.
Why did they use Modi so much – he may gather crowds, he may even entertain crowds – but it will be interesting to see if those are converted to votes, or are people turning up to get entertained ! Rahul Gandhi obviously converted shows to votes, did Modi ?
Why didn’t the BJP harp on Development more? Especially, the development in the states of HP, MP and Gujarat – and the fact that these are honest administrations. Why did they run such a negative campaign on rising prices. Why didn’t they tell us how they would have cut prices or simple things, for example, like LPG under Rs.50 or Rice at Rs.20 – and communiatec this effectively.
Finally, the BJP needs to understand that India is changing. Caste, religion may be important, but in the personal space. I am not sure that people want it in the public space. I don’t want a Party that targets my fellow citizens on their beliefs. I don’t want to see mosques being destroyed and churches being burnt. I don’t want to see fellow citizens being murdered because they pray differently. I don’t want to see women getting beaten up because they live their life as they see fit. I don’t want imposed morality ! and, that is what I perceive the BJP to stand for. Against personal choice and freedom. To be electable they need to move back to the inclusive middle ground that Vajpayee had created
Ultimately the election comes down to this – who are we, and what do we – as the people – stand for. and, we voted for the Party that stood for us.
I am so proud of the Indian voter ! and I think that we will have a Good Government 🙂