Sunday, February 17, 2019

General Elections

I think I don't love anything as much as I love elections.I have always been excited about them.I guess the reason for this is that I have always wanted to understand how the nation functions.I have wanted to be a part of this process by which the nation is run.Now that the elections are around the corner once more, I feel like writing again on it.

The champion:
No doubt that the undisputed king of the jungle right now is Modi. He is the man to beat not just for Congress but every major political party, not part of the government. The impact of Modi has been so huge that it has come down to the survival of some of the regional parties .The questions about Modi's past (read 2002) have largely been buried in the storm of 2014.Almost all of Modi's tactics have worked successfully and there seems to be no one near his stature in Indian politics.He has become the pivot around which the Indian politics revolves.

The performance:
Modi himself has done pretty well in the last 4 years. Electrification, High way building, Infrastructure projects all have been taken up with a sense of urgency. I also feel that he has done much for India's foreign policy. I don't buy this criticism that he has wasted taxpayers money in foreign junkets. In fact, he is the first PM in a long time who has taken steps to establish Indian relations with long lost countries. He has gone about the world as a salesman, pitching India as a destination to do business with and that zeal is something no PM has ever shown in India. Even if a fraction of  all the MoUs with all of the countries are materialised it would be enough , because it goes a long way in establishing the  impression to the world that India means business.

The caveat:
What might work against Modi is the issue of unemployment. If the opposition is able to successfully build a narrative around him and that he has not been able to provide jobs, then it can harm him. And it is true to  a certain extent that this is a serious concern facing the Indian nation irrespective of the party lines. The demographic dividend that we keep on harping about, in comparison to ageing population of Japan and China would amount to NIL if this demographic does not have quality education and if they are not given jobs.So this is going to be a concern for any party.I don't think Congress could have done anything drastically different for this problem but since Modi is in power it will be counted as his failure.

The challenger/s:
It seems that there is no challenger as of now. Its just a rag tag bunch of parties who are aligning together for their survival more than anything else. It would still be a folly to undermine them, we should not forget that there was a time when BJP was called a party of 5 PM candidates and there was a lot of heart burn before Modi was announced as PM candidate. So, yes even though the opposition might be leaderless but they might galvanise around someone post the results and Indian elections have never been Presidential style traditionally.So the opposition can theoretically pose challenges to the government.

Showdown:
If Modi  does win then it would be interesting to see if it was indeed that easy for him to go and win the elections as it has  been predicted by some.He might fundamentally change the Indian nation because no one other than Congress would have got that much time at the helm of nation. And if he loses then it would be even more interesting to see how the opposition was able to win the match in which they clearly were the underdogs at the beginning.Any which way the results come out, it is going to be a blockbuster!Waiting for it with a popcorn bucket!

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