The assembly elections produced what was already known, an easy victory for Congress. With nearly 145 seats in Maharashtra and 40 each in Arunachal Pradesh and Haryana, Congress has not only been able to retain power but grown more powerful than before, this being clearly visible in Maharashtra where political circles were already abuzz with talks of NCP-Congress merger. Raj Thackeray, the disliked fellow in politics, is a new emerging face though his party MNS has won just 12 seats. In Haryana where assembly is going to be hung, INLD has somehow managed to be the second single largest party. So, it is still wrong to say that this election has not changed anything. It has. It has strengthened Congress, weakened NCP, added value tag to politically underestimated MNS hitherto. Is there some pointer in the result?
We cann’t find a pattern in these last three elections, there seems no common trend; most importantly, all these elections are unique in that they were fought either on no issue or non-issues.However, people may claim that the latest trend is party ruling at the centre will be voted to power in states.
Last year when BJP returned to power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh assembly elections, the success was attributed to a number of welfare schemes of the government that bettered image of the ruling party. There was identical noise after Lok Sabha elections earlier this year. NREGA, till then execution of which was under sharp criticism, was branded as the real game maker. Is there anything identical about the recent elections? Have people voted back to power a government of performance or an individual of promise and action? Difficult to say! But going by theory, it’s victory of neither Congress, nor democracy. Why?
People will nearly unanimously agree on the first point – it’s not Congress party’s victory, for it didn’t really face an opposition, what it faced was alliances of beleaguered and dispirited parties which were further shaken by large vote-eaters like MNS, BSP and all. For the same reason, it can be said that it was not victory of democracy, too, for there actually didn’t take place a strong contest between rival parties. But then, there arises a question whether victory of BJP in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh – because it also didn’t face strong competition, opposition Congress was apparently weak – was also not BJP’s and democracy’s victory? And the victory of UPA in Lok Sabha elections – because it seemingly faced a good opposition and results seem quite uncertain at that point of time – was actually victory of Congress and the democracy? We cann’t find a pattern in these last three elections, there seems no common trend; most importantly, all these elections are unique in that they were fought either on no issue or non-issues.
Hopefully, like last year’s assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and May’s Lok Sabha elections, soon a reason will be found for Congress party’s win. But when there are issueless elections, weak oppositions, sudden discovery of achievements of a party leading to its triumph, it’s virtually victory of none. However, people may claim that the latest trend is party ruling at the centre will be voted to power in states.